Pest birds may seem harmless, but the reality is that they can have a negative impact on your home or business. From disease transmission and fall hazards to structural erosion or even being attacked by aggressive species, there can be an increasing number of risks on your property from pest birds.

To ensure that you have the knowledge to prevent a potential pest bird infestation and the risks they pose, we have put together a list of everything you need to know about them.

What you need to know about nuisance birds

What are pest/nuisance birds?

Most bird species, along with their eggs and nests, are protected against non-permit trapping by provincial and federal laws. However, most nuisance birds are not protected and have been known to impact the environment and human life if they are not controlled negatively.

The nuisance birds are:

● Pigeons

● Starlings

● Seagulls

● House sparrows

● Canadian Geese

Dangers Of Pest Birds

Safety Hazard

Bird droppings can pose serious liability risks if left unaddressed, as a build-up of bird droppings on sidewalks and paved surfaces can be a serious slip/fall hazard. Droppings can be slippery when stepped on, which may cause a critical incident to occur on your property and could open the door for serious legal implications.

Disease Risks

Pest birds, especially pigeons, can harbour a variety of diseases. Serious viral pathogens like St. Louis Encephalitis or H1N1 to fungal diseases such as histoplasmosis can put individuals at risk. However, the scarier part is not only can these birds carry these diseases, but pathogens can also be transmitted through the bird’s droppings.

With natural forces contributing to the transmission of such pathogens, all it takes is a gust of wind to release fecal dust particles into the air, which can potentially put your family or employees at risk of contracting some of the diseases mentioned above.

Blood Sucking Parasites

The presence of pest birds roosting on your property can often mean introducing hitchhiking ectoparasites. These blood-sucking parasites often feed on birds but can feed on humans and other animals if birds are not around. Swallow bugs, ticks, chewing lice, and bird mites are many of the primary ectoparasites commonly found in areas where pest birds roost.

Structural Risks

Bird droppings and nests can also cause thousands of dollars a year in ongoing property maintenance as it erodes metal and paint, but their financial implications can be far more costly than simple property repairs. Additionally, if pest birds nest near drainage areas, you may also have to deal with possible plumbing issues, as a bird’s nest or bird debris can block drainage systems.

Dangers of Pigeons

Because pigeons are common throughout Canada, the risks of these pest birds can be heightened, especially in urban areas. Pigeons can pose a serious health risk, especially for those who are immunocompromised or have severe allergies.

It is not just the droppings of pigeons that are dangerous (histoplasmosis). Pigeons can also introduce hitchhiking parasites such as mites and fleas, which can then latch onto your pets and loved ones, or in a commercial setting, your employees, and customers. This can cause skin irritation and itchiness but may also spread infections through bites that are dangerous to both people and pets.

Pigeons are known to carry over 50 diseases, one of which is the West Nile virus. Although people are unlikely to contract the West Nile virus directly from pigeons, it is still important to avoid removing any pigeons from your property without the help of a professional.

What Can You Do to Prevent Pest Birds From Roosting On Your Property       

Preventing pest birds from nesting and roosting on your property can be done by excluding the area or making habitat modifications. This helps remove the potential attractants that may be drawing pest birds to your property.

Sound and visual effects devices can be used to frighten and repel birds on your property. This is particularly effective in high bird activity areas. Making minor modifications such as moving any potential wood or other potential nesting materials inside a shed or other storage areas can also help reduce bird activity on your property.

Removing food and water attractants that provide feeding sites for the birds can make your property less attractive. It is important to avoid actively feeding birds/using bird feeders. Pest birds can be conditioned to such feeders and will keep coming back to your property.

When dealing with heavy bird activity beyond what you can handle, the best course of action is to reach out to a licensed bird control company that can provide professional solutions to deal with your issue. To learn more, do not hesitate to reach out to your local bird control experts for service information and assistance. For expert bird control and pigeon control services you can trust, contact your Orkin Canada Burnaby branch today! 

About the Author: Alice Sinia, Ph.D., Quality Assurance Manager of Regulatory/Lab Services for Orkin Canada, focusing on government regulations pertaining to the pest control industry. With more than 20 years of experience, she manages the quality assurance laboratory for Orkin Canada and performs analytical entomology as well as provides technical support in pest/insect identification to branch offices and clients. For more information, visit