Pigeons can be found in every state throughout the United States. The color of pigeons varies, but the most common is gray with two black stripes on the wings and a wide black band on the tail. The pigeon is a filthy bird that carries diseases and spreads fleas, lice mites and other pests. Droppings will build up to the extent that people slip and fall, risking injury. Bird droppings also cause damage to structures of all type of material including wood, steel and stone. Excessive accumulation of droppings also clogs gutters, damage roofs and discolor painted surfaces.
You can be sure to find house sparrows anywhere there are buildings and people. They are so common that they are easy to overlook. This rather small bird will barely reach 5 to 6 inches at full maturity and weigh in at no more than one ounce. The house sparrow depends upon humanity for most of their food and nesting locations. However, this creates a problem whereas they have been known to transmit more than 25 diseases including St. Louis encephalitis. Like the pigeon, house sparrows will also clog gutters, damage roofs, deface structures, outdoor furniture and metal objects with their acidic droppings.
The pecking sound of the woodpecker is an almost sure sign that damage is being invoked on buildings or trees. Woodpeckers peck for one of three purposes. (1) A drumming noise is made to either attract a mate or claim a particular territory. (2) Woodpeckers peck or pry and drill into wood foraging for insects. The damage from their feeding frenzy can be extensive, depending on the available source of food. (3) Woodpeckers hollow out a nesting site with continuous pecking in one location to form their cavity-nesting home. Woodpeckers are usually found close to wooded areas and can be particularly destructive to vacation homes or seasonal homes that are uninhabited a good portion of the year. The continual pecking or drilling goes unnoticed with these seasonal dwellings and barns or other outbuildings until considerable damage is done. The woodpecker is a migratory bird and is protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Pest birds have become an incredible liability to homeowners and business owners, costing millions of dollars in clean-up, repairs and damaged equipment each year. The risks invoked by pest birds include health issues, cost factors and liability exposures. Like bat droppings, airborne fungus spores from bird droppings can cause histoplasmosis. This fungal disease, which affects the lungs primarily, can be fatal if not treated. Cryptococcosis can be found in areas contaminated by decaying pigeon droppings and is an infection that is usually mild but can prove dangerous for those with weakened immune systems.
It is possible to follow a few prevention tips and reduce the risk of bird infestations, but once pest birds begin roosting on your property, prevention or removal becomes difficult. You can discourage their habitation by removing all possible food sources. Keep gutters maintained and draining properly thus eliminating a water supply. There are also deterrents that are available but DIY methods are not recommended.