Well, it’s just a pigeon!

Dec 7, 2022 | Blog

Just about everywhere you go there will be pigeons flying about or perching on roofs. They seem harmless, but these pesky birds can cause damage to buildings, ventilation systems, machinery, statues, and roofs. Bird droppings and nesting materials left by pigeons also brings about health hazards that can become very serious if not treated quickly. Diseases associated with pigeon droppings include Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis and Psittacosis.


Cryptococcosis is fungal in nature, it is a common disease found in the nesting sites of pigeons and gulls, with over 80% of all nesting sites testing positive for the disease. Despite the fact that fungal diseases thrive in damper conditions, when it comes to cryptococcosis, even old, dried-up droppings can contain spores.

Common symptoms of cryptococcosis include Pneumonia-like symptoms, Fever and Coughing. Despite exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms, cryptococcosis is not life threatening and sometimes can be symptomless. The disease therefore tends to infect people with compromised immune systems or who have especially weak immune systems.


Histoplasmosis is also a fungal disease, that thrives in moist areas, especially areas which are rich in organic material, pigeon or bat droppings for example. Histoplasmosis spores are very light, meaning that transferal of the disease through the air is simple. What’s more, spores can be breathed in when cleaning bird droppings.

Some of the most common symptoms of histoplasmosis include: Fever, Muscle pain, Dry cough, Fatigue, Headaches and Chills. There are several symptoms of histoplasmosis, largely because there are several types of histoplasmosis infections. Where minor forms of the disease won’t necessarily show infection at all, more serious forms of the disease will demonstrate symptoms three to seventeen days after exposure.


Psittacosis, unlike histoplasmosis, is a bacterial pathogen which is very infectious. Also known as Parrot Fever or ornithosis, psittacosis is caused by chlamydophila psittaci, and can easily be transferred to humans once droppings have dried and the pathogen has become airborne. Some key symptoms of psittacosis: Bloody spittle, Dry cough, Fatigue, Fever, Chills, Muscle pain and Tight chest.

The symptoms of psittacosis can be very serious. In milder cases, the pathogen will manifest itself with flu-like symptoms, but in more severe cases, the symptoms can mirror that of full-blown pneumonia and can be deadly. As such, it should be taken very seriously. It can also result in the swelling of brain tissue, leading to long term damage.

As you can see in the diseases mentioned above pigeons are not as innocent as most people think, which is why it is best to manage pigeon infestations.

Signs of a pigeon infestation

  • Pigeons settling on roofs or ledges.
  • Pigeon noises – continuous bird cries, especially from young chicks.
  • Nests – nesting materials strewn about your premises.
  • Damaged stock – from pecking and bird fouling.
  • Droppings – concentrated in areas where birds roost.
  • Debris from nests and feathers – may block guttering and drainage systems, potentially leading to damp damage

If you have spotted the signs of an infestation, visit our website at https://www.peststore.co.za or contact us on 086 999 0959 for more information on our wide range of bird control products. They will help you get rid of pesky pigeons in no time. Remember none of our bird deterrents harm birds, they simply scare them away.