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Get Pigeons Out of the Attic

04.20.2008 - Pigeons thrive in urban areas. They are one of the few animals that thrives with people in general. They like to live on buildings, and they like to live in buildings, and this means that they like to live in the attics of homes when they can get access. I deal with many cases of pigeons in attics each year. The first step is to remove all of the pigeons. I accomplish this via a number of tactics, from the use of one-way exclusion devices to physical removal. The second step is to seal off all of the entry points so that no more pigeons can enter the building again. The third step is to clean the attic. Pigeons make a terrible mess inside the attic. Most animals make a big mess when they live in the attic, but pigeons are especially nasty about spreading their feathers, nesting material, parasites, and most of all, droppings inside the attic. It's very important, in my opinion, to clean an attic after pigeons have lived in it. They've left behind parasites that could infest your pets or yourself, and the droppings will attract cockroaches. Worse yet, the droppings will promote mold growth, and they can grow a mold which can dispense airborne spores and lead to lung disease, such as histoplasmosis.

In order to clean an attic of pigeon droppings, I conduct the following steps:

Remove the big debris by hand - First I remove all of the nesting material and such by hand, and carry it out of the attic in trash bags.

Vacuum the droppings - Next I use an industrial strength vacuum, and suck out all of the remaining debris and the droppings. I make sure to filter out the spores or place the vacuum outside of the building.

Decontaminate the attic - Finally, I fog the attic with a special enzyme-based decontaminant which destroys all remaining organic and biohazardous waste, by breaking it down and digesting it. This product kills any remaining parasites or pathogens, and is not harmful to people, pets, or the structure.

Once these steps are completed, the attic is pigeon free and waste free, and good as new.

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What kind of damage do pigeons cause in an attic? - Pigeons are notorious for entering the home through attics, and are responsible for causing damages worth millions of dollars each year, all around the world. Pigeons can access the attic when there are nearby feeding areas. Aside buildings, Pigeons have also been found to cause significant damages to automobiles, machinery, and ventilation systems among several others.

Most damages caused by pigeons occur when their droppings and nests are allowed to accumulate over a period of time, and the damages they cause to the attic include the following;
  • Damage to roofs
  • Increase in fire incidences
  • Blockage of ventilation systems
  • Collapsed ceilings
Damaged to roofs is one of the commonest damages associated with Pigeon droppings. Pigeon droppings are acidic in nature, and when these droppings accumulate and eat through materials, they eventually cause leakages. With a pileup of pigeon droppings the lifespan of a roof can be cut by more than 50%.

Pigeon nests and droppings have also been associated with fire accidents. Pigeonís nesting materials located in the attic can trigger fire accidents because they are flammable. The construction of bird straws, and twigs, in combination with dry droppings can make fire accidents spread quickly. Pigeons are known to build their nests close to electric wires or signs in the attic thus it is easier for such appliances to get heated up quickly and that could trigger a fire incidence.

Ventilation systems can also be blocked with Pigeon droppings and nests. When a pigeon is allowed to build its nest ventilation systems or a Chimney, this can increase the chances of spreading diseases and allergic reactions from the birds to humans and animals within because such nests can actually block air flow significantly if not removed on time. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another common issue that has been discovered to be caused by bird nests blocking chimneys.

Buildup of Pigeon droppings and nests in the attic can also lead to ceiling collapse. Pigeons are known to enter the attics of private homes, restaurants and even high-rise buildings through holes that are broken and have never been sealed off. In most cases Pigeons will start their colonies by first setting up their nests and dispose their body wastes. The accumulation of pigeon droppings over the years will continue to weaken some ceilings and their eventual collapse. This situation may be rear but it can occur with weak ceilings that are rarely replaced.

It is better and easier to prevent the intrusion of Pigeons into the attic than actually controlling them after building their nests. Sealing of entry points, installation of electric shock fences and cleaning of pigeon droppings are some of the best possible control measures to ensure Pigeons donít cause damages to your attic.
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