Note: The following is an unfounded, politically motivated
Click one one of the following to see:
Wildlife Society Challenges Mohave County"
County Reports Zero Cases of
Caused Human Disease"
|2001 COLLEGE DRIVE
LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ 86403
FAX (520) 680-8729
Norman E. Marrah
PIGEONS ARE NOT HARMLESS
The Mohave County Environmental Health Department
has received numerous telephone calls over the past year regarding the
pigeon problem in Lake Havasu City. Wild pigeons should not be regarded
as harmless. In fact, they have been described as "rats with feathers."
The description is appropriate because wild pigeons eating and roosting
habits can cause the transmission of more than 40 diseases to humans and
Some of the diseases known to be transmitted
by pigeons are: chlamydiosis, crytococcosis [sic], Histoplasmosis, Newcastle,
Paratyphoid, Salmonellosis, Toxoplasmosis, transmissible gastroenterisits
[sic], tuberculosis and Western Equine encephalitis.
Wild pigeons are not always selective in their
choice of foods. They will eat decomposing garbage and then move on to
feeding stations set out for other wild birds. Pigeons regurgitate while
drinking water, which then contaminates drinking water set out for other
birds and pet animals. Infected pigeons also spread diseases through fecal
droppings, respiratory droplets eye secretions and ectoparasites.
The roosting and nesting sites are not only
aesthetically annoying, but are also sites for disease transmission in
an enclosed area. The accumulated fecal droppings can provide a medium
for the growth of bacteria and fungi spores. An active busy roost posses
health hazards and once the roost is abandoned an even greater health hazards
exist. Soils around a once active roost can harbor spores and can cause
immediate health risks when the soils are disturbed, such as by digging
or bulldozing. The cleaning of roofs, ventilation systems and other roosting
sites also pose risks of exposure to disease, through release of spores.
There are documented cases of workers being
infected by digging in, and cleaning old roost sites. Therefore, workers
must be sure to wear respirators or face masks and to use disinfectant
wetting agents before cleaning a roost area. This includes the cleaning
of air conditioning vents, etc.
The abatement of pigeons is not an easy process.
The first step in abatement is an understanding of pigeon habits. They
like to roost and feed near human populations. The exterior of human housing
provides comfortable roosting sites and well-intentioned humans tend to
provide easily accessible food supplies. Pigeons have good memories, they
return to where they were hatched and where food is readily available.
Their good memories also will prevent them from returning to where they
constantly meet adverse conditions, such as frightening noise, anti-roosting
devices or lack of food and water.
The health risk now facing our community by
the pigeon population must be addressed immediately, therefore Mohave County
Environmental Health recommends that Lake Havasu City Officials organize
a Citizens Committee to activate an abatement policy for the pigeon problem
in Lake Havasu City.