Pigeons are commonly known as “feral pigeons” or “rock doves” because they were raised from wild rock doves, and they are now recognized mainly as pest birds. They were the first bird in the world to be domesticated, and it is assumed to have happened around ten thousand years ago. The most common bird species globally are pigeons, and their population has increased significantly in a brief period.
Pigeons are found in forests, deserts, cities, islands, and nearly every part of the globe. The only places where these pigeons have not settled are the high Arctic and the Antarctic zones. They can also live in groups of hundreds or thousands in areas where food is abundant and the environment is favorable.
When humans began to construct massive rock structures, such as fortresses, castles, houses, and other buildings, pigeons migrated to these new urban environments because these structures provided a kind of cliff-like parallel environment. Pigeons have a special place in the urban ecosystem because cities provide them protection and ample food.
These birds not only live in the cities but also in rural areas. They are attracted by the ease of access to these places where they can scavenge and eat spilled feed, waste from the garden, and food from animals and from any other supply of food that is present.
Pigeons are responsible for the loss of millions of dollars in destruction per year in metropolitan areas, including the destruction of houses, vehicles, roofs, air systems, and much more. Therefore it is necessary to control the pigeon population in all such sites.
Pigeon Control Program
There are many buildings or places around the world where you need a pigeon control program to avoid further million dollars of damage. These include the following:
Pigeons are often found in hospitals because hospital building is a suitable site for the breeding and roosting pigeons. They regularly gather on hospital rooftops, under parking garages, and around outdoor sitting areas. They also have quick access to health services and their staff and most probably to the patients.
Their droppings may cause severe infection to patients as they carry sixty diseases. These include encephalitis, salmonella, histoplasmosis, and other different diseases. Their droppings may enter the hospital through ventilation or unsuspecting pedestrian shoes. They not only carry viruses and bacteria in fresh droppings but also in the dried ones and in the powder that can blow off and pass into hospital premises. It is essential to control the pigeon population to avoid further damage to hospitals and human health.
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Mostly pigeons are found near hotels because of the abundance of foods available for them, and sometimes, pigeons are more common than humans in hotels. Most pigeons are full-time residents in hotels. This is because hotels have certain unique qualities that can support the activity of pigeons. The three primary reasons why hotels attract pigeons are:
- Most of the hotels have tall buildings that provide pigeons with a perfect view to survey the environment or search for food.
- There is enough opportunity to scavenge food because of plenty of human traffic.
- Hotel architecture design may also provide a wide range of protected areas for pigeons to nest or shelter.
Pigeons have been a challenge for hotels and resorts not just because of the problems they cause but also because of damage to buildings, packaging, and millions of dollars of production loss. They also pose a possible health danger to people working in a hotel. A pigeon control program is necessary for hotels to avoid further damage.
Read also: What is a Group of Turkeys Called?
A significant amount of pigeons are present in airports. They are driven to airports by the vast, peaceful area, gathering in flocks, where they can easily hide from their predators. In addition to protection, pigeons may also find food and water at the airport. The presence of pigeons at the airport also depends on the attraction of the environment.
Pigeon strikes are estimated to cost US aviation 400 million dollars damage a year and have resulted in more than 200 deaths worldwide. In the UK, the Central Science Laboratory estimates that the cost of pigeon strikes to airlines worldwide is approximately US$1.2 billion per year. It is becoming challenging for airports because they have to spend a lot of time and money trying to control the pigeon population on aviation grounds to avoid collisions with aircraft.
Pigeons are common in religious places, especially near mosques, temples, and churches, because such sites are reserved for feeding them. The availability of food, freshwater, and shelter to these birds results in their gathering and development of nests in these areas. It also encourages rapid reproduction and population growth. Their droppings can cause severe damage to religious buildings in these areas.