Pigeons regularly roost on buildings and fences. Pigeons poop everywhere. A large number of these birds can quickly cover sidewalks, roofing, benches, automobiles, and yards with droppings. Pigeon nests are made of twigs, but quickly become so covered in poop that they resemble piles of waste. In large cities, the accumulation of pigeon poop can be up to several feet deep. If left alone, large amounts of pigeon poop can even become host to small plants and grass!
Not only is pigeon poop unsightly, but it can also be dangerous because it may contain pathogenic spores. Cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis are diseases that have been directly linked with pigeon poop. They come from different fungi that exist in the pigeon poop. These diseases are most easily transmitted when pigeon poop is dry. Dry poop allows the fungal spores to become airborne and inhaled.
Appropriate safety measures should be taken when cleaning up pigeon poop. Although dry poop is easier to scrape off of surfaces, you should gently moisten the poop before removal. A hose nozzle that uses a spray mist is preferred. Moistening the pigeon poop reduces the amount of spores that can become airborne when the poop is disturbed. Wear a facial mask and use disposable gloves when cleaning the poop. Place the poop in a bag, and place the bag in a cardboard box. This should then be put in a dumpster. If the poop is known to contain pathogenic fungal spores, contact your local health department for appropriate disposal. Cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis are not extremely dangerous to healthy individuals. However, people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients and people with autoimmune diseases, should stay away from pigeon poop.