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Many Midwestern mammals and birds hibernate or migrate as the seasons change. Pigeons, however, stay in the same geographical area all year round. While they are often referred to as "rats with wings," these birds have a fairly long and noble history of delivering medicine and messages and are powerful fliers with an innate sense of direction.
Pigeons are found all over the country and all around the world. In Omaha, residents are most familiar with the Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) – which have a dark blue-gray head, neck and chest with glossy yellow/green iridescence along the neck and wings – and are found in/on buildings, grain elevators, parking garages, residential neighborhoods and anywhere that provides roosting and nesting.
Pigeons can be dangerous for several reasons – and none having to do with attacking and pecking you to death. Rather, Feral Pigeons are infested with many external parasites including mites, fleas, ticks and bugs that could infest the buildings and homes on which they nest. These parasites also spread diseases and pigeons are known carriers of Salmonella typhimurium, psittacosis, Newcastle Disease, aspergillosis and pseudo tuberculosis – to name a few. Salmonella is found in 2-percent of pigeon feces and is the most frequent cause of salmonella poisoning in humans, statistically. Pigeon feces is also a known cause of spreading other diseases.
Pigeon feces also accelerate the deterioration process of cars, statues, benches and buildings, especially. In rural areas, pigeons can cause crop losses by feeding on small grains and fruits in the field and disseminate disease to livestock and humans.
Spring and fall are the primary reproduction seasons for pigeons and they may be more prominently seen during this time. Adult pigeons can eat up to a pound of food per week and potential food source is often the cause of their nesting choice. In fact, clean up and pigeon removal efforts should begin by removing potential food sources.
A permanent solution for excluding pigeons from open spaces or buildings would include blocking the openings with wood, wire mesh, plastic netting or nylon. Before blocking these openings it's extremely important to remove both the animals and any byproducts it leaves behind. As with any animal removal, we recommend never removing any of this yourself.
Removing nests, feces or animals can expose you to the potential health risks mentioned above. Critter Control is passionate about keeping your home and business critter free and protecting you, your family, co-workers and belongings.