Feral pigeons are the number one pest bird in North America. Large numbers of these birds inhabit nearly every city in the United States. They are descendants of domestic homing pigeons brought to the original colonies in the late 1600's. Several traits have allowed these birds to spread in urban and suburban areas. Most importantly, they are generally not afraid of humans. You can often see them nesting on ledges very near to human activity. With a diverse diet, they can easily find food sources outside of the wild. As pigeons have few natural predators, they can spread unchecked in a short period of time.
In the mild climate of Southern and Central California, feral pigeons will typically have 3 or 4 broods a year. As pigeons are not migratory, these offspring will stay near their place of birth and continue to mate. It is not unusual for a business or homeowner to find that the two pigeons nesting on their roof will multiply to 20 or more in a few years.
Feral pigeons are directly responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage each year. In addition, a pigeon infestation can lead to health issues, lost business, and lawsuits. The uric acid in their feces is highly corrosive, causing damage to rooftops, concrete, and automobiles. Pigeon droppings can cause slippery, unsafe conditions on walkways and steps. Nesting materials and droppings can cause damage to ventilation units and clog roof drains. Health risks related to nesting and roosting pigeons include allergies and respiratory ailments such as Histoplasmosis. On most structures where you find pigeons you will also find parasites such as fleas and bird mites.
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