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Safe Pigeon Droppings Removal

March 4, 2024

Safe Pigeon Droppings Removal

Overview of Pigeon Droppings

Pigeons are ubiquitous birds found in urban areas around the world. As birds, pigeons poop often, and their droppings can build up quickly. Pigeon droppings carry health risks, including:

  • Histoplasmosis – a respiratory disease caused by a fungus found in dried bird droppings. It can cause flu-like symptoms in healthy people but can be dangerous for those with compromised immune systems.

  • Cryptococcosis – an invasive fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus, also found in dried bird droppings. It typically infects the lungs or central nervous system.

  • Psittacosis – a bacterial disease that can cause fever, chills, rash, and pneumonia. Humans can catch it by inhaling dust from dried bird droppings.

  • E. coli – the bacteria Escherichia coli, which can cause gastrointestinal illness.

  • Salmonella – bacteria that causes salmonellosis, which leads to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

So removing accumulated pigeon droppings quickly and safely is important for health. But handling bird droppings requires care to avoid spreading disease.

Dangers of Removing Droppings

Removing pigeon droppings poses some health hazards:

  • Inhaling dust from dried feces can spread diseases like histoplasmosis.

  • Direct contact with fresh droppings can spread E. coli, Salmonella, and more.

  • Droppings may contain mites, fungi, or mold that can irritate the lungs.

  • Accumulated droppings release ammonia that can burn skin, eyes, and nasal passages.

To avoid these dangers:

  • Wear proper protective equipment like gloves, mask, goggles.

  • Dampen accumulated droppings before removing to prevent dust.

  • Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

  • Never use a standard household vacuum which could spread particles into the air.

Safely Removing Fresh Droppings

For fresh pigeon droppings, it’s best to remove them quickly before they dry out. Follow these safe steps:

Supplies Needed

  • Disposable gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels or disposable rags
  • Disinfectant (bleach or enzyme cleaner)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Scrub brush and scoop/shovel for large amounts

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Put on gloves and mask to protect yourself.

  2. Lightly spray droppings with water to dampen any dried feces to prevent creating dust.

  3. Use paper towels to wipe up fresh droppings. A scrub brush can help for dried poop.

  4. Double bag the used towels in trash bags and dispose of them.

  5. Scrub the area with disinfectant and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

  6. Double bag gloves and mask after completing the job.

  7. Wash hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.

This process removes fresh droppings safely while reducing health risks. Disinfecting the area afterwards helps eliminate any lingering bacteria.

Safely Removing Accumulated Droppings

For heavily accumulated pigeon droppings, more care must be taken. Here are recommended steps:

Supplies Needed

  • N95 respirator mask
  • Disposable coveralls
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Garden sprayer
  • Disinfectant (enzyme cleaner or 10% bleach solution)
  • Shovel and scoop
  • Heavy-duty trash bags

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Cover nose and mouth with N95 mask, wear goggles and coveralls.

  2. Lightly mist area with water to control dust.

  3. Use shovel and scoop to remove solids carefully.

  4. Double bag all waste in trash bags and dispose.

  5. Scrub area thoroughly with disinfectant.

  6. Rinse cleaned area with water and soak up remaining liquid.

  7. Remove coveralls and gloves carefully to avoid contact with any lingering bacteria.

  8. Shower and wash all clothing after completing the job.

This extensive process helps reduce exposure when removing heavy accumulations of droppings. Proper protective gear and disinfecting are essential for health safety.

When to Call a Professional

Professional hazardous waste removal may be a better option in some cases:

  • Large accumulations of droppings deep in hard to reach areas

  • Droppings in enclosed spaces like attics

  • Droppings contaminating porous materials like insulation or carpets

  • If you have allergies or a compromised immune system

Look for companies experienced in biohazard cleanup and certified in safe removal techniques. They have industrial equipment like:

  • HEPA filtered vacuums to safely contain dust
  • Powerful disinfectants and deodorizers
  • Truck-mounted steam cleaning capabilities

Though more costly, professionals can thoroughly decontaminate areas beyond what typical homeowners can handle.

Preventing Future Accumulations

To avoid repeated issues, take steps to deter pigeons after removing droppings:

  • Block access to roosting or nesting sites

  • Use non-toxic repellents like spikes, gels or ultrasonic devices

  • Consider pigeon capture and relocation if a flock is roosting on your property

  • Check regularly for new droppings and remove quickly

Stopping pigeons from roosting nearby is key to preventing hazardous accumulations of droppings. Be vigilant and act at the first sign of pigeons returning after cleaning an area.

Summary

Pigeon droppings can create unsafe, unsanitary conditions quickly. But they also pose health hazards if removed improperly. With the right supplies and techniques, fresh droppings can be cleaned effectively by homeowners. Larger amounts may require professional hazardous material removal for safety. Stopping pigeons from returning is crucial for preventing future problems. Carefully following these best practices will allow safe removal of hazardous pigeon droppings.

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