There are several diseases known to be associated with bird guano (bird droppings): histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and psittacosis – all can represent a risk to human health.
Histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis are fungal diseases that grow in the droppings and soil. Psittacosis is a bacterial disease that spreads when guano dries and guano particles become airborne and are inhaled.
In substantial quantities bird guano’s acidic matter can even cause damage to the fabric of buildings which in turn, leads to higher cleaning and repair bills. Large quantities of guano will also be infested with blood-feeding insects.
Health & Safety
Whilst it’s safe to clean up the odd bird dropping, handling guano of any quantity should be done with care – especially large quantities. Measures should be taken at all times to protect staff, contractors and the public’s health if working near a guano cleaning site. There are health and safety regulations that need to be followed when working with or near bird guano. Anyone doing so should observe the regulations below or consult an experienced professional. Relevant regulations include;
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, Regulation 3
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2932)
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994
If you have a problem with bird droppings talk to your local NBC bird control expert for free advice or to book a survey by calling 0800 169 9646.