Pigeon-Related Diseases

Diseases associated with pigeon droppings include Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis and Psittacosis. You can become infected with these diseases by breathing in the dust that is created when cleaning droppings.

The risk of pigeon-related diseases is rare. People most at risk from these diseases are those who have a compromised immune system.

Safe Cleaning Tips

Take precautions when cleaning up droppings. Avoid direct contact and wash your hands and any exposed skin after you finish.

Do not clean up droppings if you have a compromised immune system, including from HIV/AIDS or cancer.

Small Projects

A routine cleaning of droppings, such as from a windowsill, does not pose a serious health risk to most people. When cleaning, you should wear disposable gloves and clothes that can be washed.

Large Projects

If you are planning a large cleanup, such as removing droppings from an air shaft, take these safety measures:

  • Wear protective clothing, such as disposable coveralls, boots and gloves. You can also wear a respirator for more protection.
  • Minimize dust when using a high-powered water hose. Use plastic sheeting to contain the area, or wet down the work area. This will prevent inhalation, reduce the risk of infection and prevent dust from spreading outside the work area.
  • Soak the droppings in water and shovel them. This method avoids the risks of using a high-powered water hose. Collect the wet material in heavy-duty plastic bags or other types of secure containers and discard it with the regular garbage.

After an area is clean, wash it regularly to prevent future buildup.

Complaints

Property owners are required to clean up pigeon droppings on or originating from their property. It is not illegal to feed or keep pigeons, but you can report someone who is not cleaning up droppings from these activities. For excessive droppings or other unsanitary conditions caused by pigeons, file an online complaint.

Additional Resources

More Information