Health Risks Of Guano

Apex Bird Control are a specialist in bird control services; we cover Reading, Slough, Portsmouth, Southampton and Oxford areas.
21 Mar 2018 | Apex Environmental Services (UK) Ltd

The Health Risks Of Not Clearing Guano

Droppings from birds are a health hazard. So much so that the government’s watchdog for safe working environments, the Health and Safety Executive, have guidelines for employers to follow if there is any chance of employees having to work in an area where they may come in contact with them.

Whenever possible, the bird mess should be cleared by professionals who will have the proper equipment, protective clothing and expertise to deal with it safely. Not clearing Guano poses risks to health, and there are several nasty illnesses it can cause.


Histoplasmosis is a disease that comes from a fungus found in pigeon droppings. If the droppings have been left to dry they turn to powder, and then they can be inhaled. A small amount will do no harm, but if someone is exposed to a large amount they will start to show symptoms of this infection about 10 days later. These include chest pains, fatigue and fever. This disease cannot be passed from person to person.


This infection is also known as parrot fever, as it can affect parrots as well as pigeons and gulls. Their droppings have the infection in them, and this can be passed on to any humans that breathe them in once they are dry.This bacterial disease is characterised by chills, fever, nausea, fatigue, headaches and a rash, but thankfully it is very easily treated with antibiotics.


Pigeons spread this disease and sufferers will experience itching, irritations and pain in the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines, the urogenital tract and in women the vagina.

St. Louis Encephalitis

This disease is spread by mosquitos that have picked it up from bird droppings. It causes inflammation of the nervous system and usually results in drowsiness, headaches and fever.Although it can affect all age groups it is particularly bad for the over 60’s, sometimes proving fatal.


We tend to associate this name with food poisoning because that is usually how it shows itself. It actually comes from the guano of pigeons, starlings and sparrow, but when their dropping have dried they can enter kitchens, whether commercial or domestic, through vents and air conditioning, contaminating work surfaces and cooking utensils.

High Risk Individuals

Anyone with a compromised immune system, such as HIV or cancer sufferers, the very young and the elderly are all high-risk individuals with these diseases, and others caused by not clearing guano. Wet bird dropping is a problem because they are a slip hazard and someone can be injured in this way. But once they are dry they can become airborne and they can affect many people, particularly causing breathing problems.

When someone is employed for guano clearance, they will make sure they wet the areas down first, and the employees doing the work will make safety masks and protective clothing. The area to be cleaned needs to be cleared of all persons before the work starts, as disturbing the bird droppings can cause even more of it to be in the air.

If you have a problem with your premises having bird mess on it call Apex Environmental Services today on 01256 578 025.

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