Some birds may look cute, but they still present a danger to your health. The main threat from birds is the spread of diseases since their droppings tend to contain dangerous microorganisms. Here are some of the ways in which such germs can get into your body and make you sick:
Contaminating Open Wounds on Your Skin
Some birds' droppings contain dangerous germs, which may get into your body when they contaminate open wounds or sores on your skin. The fungal disease cryptococcosis can spread in this manner.
Contaminating Food and Water Sources
You can get sick if the birds defecate on your food or water, especially if the birds' droppings contain germs that can cause diseases in human beings. For example, if you grow a vegetable garden to use in your kitchen, the droppings may contaminate it and make you ill.
Contaminating the Air You Breathe
You don't have to eat food contaminated with birds' droppings or come into direct contact with the droppings to get sick. The germs may also be present in the dry fecal matter; therefore, breathing in dry and dusty fecal matter may also expose you to the germs. Histoplasmosis, a fungal disease with pneumonia-like symptoms, is a good example of a disease that can be passed in this manner.
What to Do About Birds
Now that you know how birds can spread diseases, it's time to know how to keep them off your roof. Here are some of the preventive measures that work:
- Use repellents – Non-toxic bird repellents will scare away birds that attempt to perch or nest on the roof.
- Install a net barrier – Hanging a net or nets on the roof, especially around roof openings, will physically bar the birds from nesting on your roof.
- Erect bird spikes – Birds love perching on building ledges; installing metal spikes in such places will discourage them.
If the birds are already on the roof, take these measures to get rid of them:
- Use decoys – Place fake decoys that resemble predator birds, such as hawks, to scare away other real birds.
- Install ultrasonic sound emitters – These have been known to scare away birds, at least for some time. However, they may only be suitable if your house is isolated; otherwise, you may affect surrounding businesses and residences.
- Destroy their nests – For this, someone has to climb the roof and destroy the bird's nest. Roof projections, such as chimneys, gutters, or ridges are the most likely hiding places for the birds' nests.
Don't forget that the roof is a dangerous area on which to work; it requires special safety gear and skills. Call a pest control company such as Pestco Inc if you can't get rid of the birds on your own.