THREATS

Not all Bird species are problematic, but those on which we focus are generally accepted as being nuisances, even if they have not been strictly classified as pests:

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Red Winged Starling (Onychognathus Morio)

  • The Starling is an exceptionally noisy & aggressive bird
  • Their droppings are damaging & unsightly
  • Lice contamination is a primary issue
  • They congregate in large numbers
  • Starlings are known to nest in roof spaces, entering through tiny gaps

Pigeons (Feral Pigeon – Columba Livia)

  • Pigeons are responsible for the majority of Pest Bird Infestation problems
  • A pair of Pigeons mate for life, producing a potential 320 babies over a period of 20 years
  • Pigeons infest property by way of nesting or roosting
  • Daytime roosting spots are usually close to food
  • Night time roosting spots are chosen to protect them from the elements
  • Their droppings emit a bad odour, attract flies, and damage paint, plaster & concrete
  • Their droppings also contain micro-organisms which are bad for your health
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House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus)

  • The House Sparrow is the second most notorious urban Pest Bird
  • They live on scraps and are extremely adaptive Birds
  • Sparrows like roosting in tree branches, on ivy covered walls, and under roof eaves
  • These Birds build large nests in enclosed spaces such as house shutters, drainage piping, building rafters, and corrugated metal siding
  • They are known to degrade the aesthetics of buildings
  • Sparrows cause a serious health risk when HACCP standards are not met by food processing companies as a result of Birds entering factories and warehouses

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Hartlaub’s Gull (Larus Hartlaubii)

  • Seaboard apartment blocks are most affected due to the Seagulls trying to nest in open roof areas
  • Flocks of Seagulls will infest the space and leave behind decaying food and droppings
  • During nesting season, they become very aggressive and noisy
  • Many businesses, especially in the food processing sector, are attractive to Seagulls because they are able to obtain necessary items for their diet in these places
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Pied Crow (Corvus Albus)

  • The Pied Crow is becoming an increasingly common & abundant Pest Bird
  • They are known to forage mostly on the ground and in litter bins
  • The Pied Crow poses a great threat to farmers, causing damage to maize crops, digging up sewn grain, and injuring small calves
  • They are noisy Birds, and carry a host of bacterial diseases such a Cholera
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The following birds are more difficult to deter, due to the size of the birds, as well as the nature of the infestation. There are products available that effectively deter these pest birds, but they are extremely expensive.

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Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia Hagedash)

  • The Hadeda is a large, indigenous, and raucous Bird
  • They can usually be seen in flocks of 5 – 20
  • They forage mostly on the ground
  • They are known to degrade the aesthetics of buildings
  • The Hadeda is often responsible for the build-up of faeces in dams and around trees, which  result in the death of fish and trees
  • They are also known to steal pet food

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen Aegyptiacus)

  • Egyptian Geese most often pose a problem domestically and on golf courses
  • They are known to enjoy swimming in residential pools, contaminating the water with their droppings and urine
  • Droppings make for both a health and slipping hazard domestically and on golf courses
  • The Egyptian Goose produces up to 20 young in clutch
  • They are omnivorous and have no natural enemies
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Diseases caused by Pest Birds

More than 60 transmissible Bird diseases (some of which are fatal) are associated with Pigeons, Starlings and house Sparrows. For example:

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried Bird droppings.

Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by Pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.

Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of Pigeons and Starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to be found in these areas.

St. Louis Encephalitis an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis Encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over the age of 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected House Sparrow, Pigeons and House Finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis Encephalitis.

Salmonellosis often occurs as “food poisoning” and can be traced to Pigeons, Starlings and Sparrows. The disease bacteria is found in Bird droppings. Dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.

Ectoparasites: Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance Birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of Ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. About two-thirds of these Pests may be detrimental to the general health and well-being of humans and domestic animals. The rest are considered nuisance or incidental Pests.

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