Hazards from Nesting Birds
By Chris Williams on November 10, 2011.
When birds nest or roost on a building, they can be a noisy nuisance, leaving droppings that mess up sidewalks, awnings, ledges, and balconies. But beyond the mess, there are serious, and even dangerous, hazards that can result from birds roosting on and in buildings.
Corrosion of Surfaces – Bird droppings are very acidic and can eat away at construction materials. Even a light accumulation of droppings can shorten the life span of a roof considerably by eating into tar-based materials, eventually causing leaks. Droppings also corrode siding, air conditioning units, and other equipment, and fade painted surfaces. Buildings with a bird problem have to be cleaned, painted, and repaired more often. Droppings will also eat into the protective coatings on automobiles, boats, and airplanes.
Collapse of Ceilings/Roofs – When birds enter attic spaces and nest on top of ceilings, the sheer weight of years of accumulated bird droppings and nest material can cause the ceiling to collapse. Roofs of commercial buildings can also collapse when birds nesting in gutters and drains cause rain water to accumulate on the roof.
Fire Hazard – Bird nests on top of security lights can burst into flame. Nests inside lighted signs or other electrical equipment can start fires. When birds nest inside buildings vents, especially clothes dryer vents, the blocked lint can ignite. Birds have also caused deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning when their nests blocked ventilation or exhaust systems.
Potential for Disease or Parasites – More than 50 diseases have been associated with birds and their droppings. Histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis are fungal diseases that are spread to people when spores growing on droppings are inhaled. Other viral and bacterial diseases like salmonellosis can be spread by contact with birds or their droppings. Birds can be host to a number of mites, ticks, and other ectoparasites which can attack people, especially when birds have vacated the nest.
If your house or building has a bird problem, call Colonial. We’re bird management experts with more than 25 years experience in dealing with pest birds. We specialize in bird-proofing of commercial buildings. By changing the building’s environment so that it is not longer desirable as a roosting site, we force the birds to move on. Bird-proofing can involve sealing up potential nest site openings, screening vents, or recommending structural modifications. For more on our bird management services, see our Bird Control page under Services.