Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Call Today

Mon-Fri, 7am-3pm

What Diseases Do Pigeons Carry

Pigeons, commonly found in urban environments, are often considered a symbol of peace and freedom. However, these birds control can also pose potential health risks to humans due to the diseases they carry.  In Las Vegas, a bustling city with a significant pigeon population, concerns about the transmission of diseases from pigeons to humans have grown in recent years. Exploring the risks they pose to public health and the potential measures that can be taken to mitigate these risks.

Pigeons are prevalent in Las Vegas and we all have to deal with them, whether you think they are a nuisance or you don’t mind them.  With these little creatures disease can sometimes be spread. Pigeons cause human disease because they carry close to 60 pathogens.  Luckily, the transmission of these pathogens is not very high. There are three diseases that can be given to humans and at a low rate. 

That being said, certain groups of people should keep a safe distance from pigeons – people with compromised immune systems, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, people living with HIV and other autoimmune diseases.

Pigeon Diseases in Humans

This is spread from the pigeon droppings when they dry out. They become airborne and then can be breathed into human’s lungs. An infected person may have symptoms of fever, fatigue and chest pains, but it is more common to not have any symptoms. What disease does pigeons carry ?

  1. This disease is similar to hitoplasmosis.
  2. Psittacosis is different in that it is a bacterial infection that can turn into pneumonia. Once a person is infected, it has not been discovered that they can transmit the disease to another human.
  3. Coli. This occurs when bird droppings land in water and then consumed by humans. This can be avoided by washing food thoroughly before eating. Symptoms include nausea, fever and cramps
  4. Louis Encephalitis. This disease is spread by mosquitos after they feed on a bird that carries the pathogen that spreads St. Louis encephalitis. This inflammation of the nervous system is most dangerous to adults over 60 years old. Symtoms include drowsiness, headache and fever.
  5. Cryptococcosis. Cryptococcosis, caused by the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, is another fungal disease found in pigeon droppings. Exposure to this pathogen can result in respiratory infections and may also affect the central nervous system in vulnerable individuals.
  6. Salmonellosis. Pigeons can carry Salmonella bacteria in their droppings, leading to the potential transmission of salmonellosis to humans. In Las Vegas, the presence of pigeons in public spaces can increase the risk of this foodborne illness if contaminated surfaces or food sources come into contact with humans.
  7. Zoonotic. Pigeons can transmit zoonotic diseases, which are illnesses that can be transferred from animals to humans. Some of the common zoonotic diseases carried by pigeons
  8. Histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, which grows in pigeon droppings. When the droppings dry and crumble, the fungal spores become airborne and can be inhaled by humans, leading to respiratory infections.
  9. Ectoparasites. Pigeons can harbor ectoparasites, such as fleas, mites, and ticks, which can transmit diseases to humans through bites and direct contact.

If you have pigeons on your property, proper removal of the pigeon droppings is crucial for lowering the risk of contracting these diseases. Make sure this task is done properly and hire a professional pigeon control company to help you.

After contacting a pest control company, the following steps will be taken to address your issue:

  1. The specific bird species must be identified
  2. The level of infestation must be determined – from minimal to severe
  3. The specific locations must be pinpointed – tower, parapet, gutter, ceiling or more
  4. The structure’s materials must be identified – wood, vinyl, steel, stucco, shingle
  5. The proper access equipment will be determined such as ladders, lifts, cranes, scaffolding etc.
  6. The area will be assessed for other physical restrictions such as trees, wires and ground condition
  7. Proper permitting may need to be obtained and cleanup responsibilities established.
  8. The appropriate bird deterrent or repellant will be recommended – spikes, netting, sound deterrents to electric track.
  9. Warranty information and pricing proposal will be given.

Public Health Concerns in Las Vegas

Pigeons and Urban Environment

The abundance of food sources and potential nesting sites in Las Vegas makes it an attractive habitat for pigeons. However, their presence in densely populated areas raises concerns about public health.

Pigeon Overpopulation

Pigeon populations can grow rapidly if not controlled, leading to an increase in their droppings, which can harbor pathogens and contribute to environmental contamination.

Tourist Attraction and Health Risks

Las Vegas attracts millions of tourists annually, and the city’s iconic landmarks, including the famous Strip, become hotspots for both pigeons and humans. This convergence increases the risk of disease transmission and raises public health concerns.

Efforts to Mitigate Health Risks

Pigeon Control Measures

Las Vegas authorities have implemented various pigeon control measures to manage the pigeon population and reduce health risks. These measures include netting, spikes, and humane deterrents.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Educating residents and tourists about the health risks associated with pigeons and the importance of avoiding direct contact with them or their droppings is crucial in preventing disease transmission.

Hygiene and Sanitation

Maintaining clean and hygienic environments, especially in areas with high pigeon activity, can reduce the risk of disease transmission through contaminated surfaces.


In conclusion, do pigeons carry diseases ? Yes various diseases that pose health risks to humans. Understanding the potential diseases pigeons may carry and implementing appropriate control measures and public awareness campaigns are essential to protect public health. Through proactive strategies and community involvement, it is possible to strike a balance between urban coexistence and mitigating health risks associated with pigeons in Las Vegas.

At American Pest Control, we have been successfully controlling pigeons for over 50 years.  We are happy to help you get your home back to a clean and pigeon-free environment.  Give us a call at 702-382-6366 today to get your free estimate or check out our page on pigeon pest control.