Their ability to spread a range of diseases is why a select species of bird such as pigeons and gulls are regarded as pests. For businesses, this causes concern as it puts both staff and customers at risk, generating a negative impact on revenue, public opinion and staff retention.
This can be particularly problematic for businesses operating within the food industry, as a bird infestation, along with the diseases they spread, can conflict with food safety standards and regulations, resulting in the contamination of food products and outbreaks of food-borne diseases.
The main species of bird which are responsible for spreading diseases are pigeons; gulls; sparrows and starlings.
You may be wondering:
Like most pests, there is a range of factors which contribute to how birds spread diseases. However, birds mainly transmit diseases through their:
Bird faeces, and in particular, the droppings from pigeons, gulls, starlings, and house sparrows, is the primary way birds transmit diseases. Bird droppings basically act like a giant sponge for pathogens and while this doesn’t prove harmful in small doses, the build-up of bird faeces can result in increased risk of exposure when bird infestations reach large numbers.
Although not as common as bird faeces, feathers can also be responsible for the spread of diseases.
A bird’s feather, particularly from those living in urban environments, can often play host to a range of parasites, bacteria and viruses. However, it is primarily the feathers of a dead bird which carry said diseases. It is important to note that the chances of catching a disease from bird feathers are very slim.
Bird nests can also be held responsible for the spread of diseases. Bird nests can be the perfect breeding site for certain species of fungi, which can spread through debris.
To add to this, bird nests can also be a great home for parasites and secondary infestations (other insects). In some cases, said insects and parasites are known vectors of specific diseases, which can result in human transmission.
There are a few ways in which we can catch diseases from birds, some being more common than others. They are:
It is believed that birds can carry over 60 different diseases which have the potential to infect both humans and livestock. The main diseases which birds can transmit are Bird flu, West Nile Virus, Parrot fever, Salmonellosis, Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis
The potential for birds to spread diseases is a major concern for both home and business owners. Fortunately, there are a couple of prevention techniques available to help reduce the risk of catching a disease from a bird.
Ledges, window sills, eaves, and holes in roofing are all fantastic locations for birds to build their nests.
You can prevent bird diseases by deterring birds from your property or premises. This can be done by repairing any damages, adding barriers to window ledges and other deterrents to ledges and eaves.
Birds, and in particular pigeons and gulls, are brilliant opportunists, and scavengers when it comes to food, especially in an urban environment.
Keeping food sources hidden by properly storing food, ensuring all bins are fitted with a tight lid and aren’t overflowing, and using barriers to protect fresh produce reduces the appeal of your property to birds which in turn prevents the possibility of bird diseases.
Birds love areas that are littered with paper, twigs, grass and plant debris. It provides them with an endless supply of materials to build their nests.
Ensuring the outside of your property or premises is clean, and free from debris is an effective way to deter birds, making it less attractive persuades them to find a different area to set up nest.
The best way to prevent birds, and limit the potential for them to spread diseases is to ensure your business utilises the latest innovative pest management solutions.
A bird control professional has a range of solutions available from bird spikes and netting to hawking, which can effectively deter and prevent pest birds from infesting your business.
As the world’s leading commercial pest control provider, Rentokil has developed a range of innovative solutions, utilising the latest in pest control technology to provide your company with a pest-free environment, helping to adhere to the necessary laws and regulations.
Need help getting rid of birds? Schedule a call with the experts at Rentokil today!
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