Bird Droppings

An accumulation of bird droppings can result in a public health threat. Here’s why: birds can spread diseases to humans through their droppings. Droppings can also hurt the finish on cars as well as destroy grass.

Feeding birds in public places can be problematic because it can actually increase the chances of diseases being spread. When people feed birds, this causes the birds to gather in one place and be in contact with each other due to crowding and vying for food, thus leading to greater opportunities for birds to transmit diseases to one another. Avian pox may be shared through this form of contact. Avian botulism can also be spread. Accumulated amounts of bird droppings increase the chances of diseases being transmitted and can heighten bacterial amounts, E. coli included, in lakes or other bodies of water that are close by.

The building up of bird droppings can also cause cryptococcosis, a deadly fungal disease. The droppings are said to be the most significant source of Cryptococcus neoformans, a disease fungus. This fungus is most often found in droppings which have built up in bird roosting places such as attics and water towers. Droppings, even if old and dry, can cause infection. Diseases can be caught by breathing in the organism’s vegetative cells. Two forms of cryptococcosis seem to make themselves known in humans. One is known for its skin eruptions, much like acne, or ulcers with bumps beneath the skin. The more general form starts with an infection of the lungs and passes to the central nervous system and other parts of the body. This can be fatal.

To remove fresh, wet bird droppings from surfaces, wet a paper towel and wipe the surface. If the droppings have dried, try spraying them with water and then scraping with a spackle knife. Wet the rest of the droppings, let the water sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe. If the droppings are very old, apply a liberal amount of water and allow the droppings to moisten before scraping them off. To avoid breathing in the droppings, do your best to not let the dry droppings crumble and get into the air.