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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Risks and diseases from birds in warehouse, factories & logistics

When was the last time you looked up?

Bird deterrents protect your warehouse > your warehouses protects your asset > storing your final product, safely.

Your site is a safe environment for pest birds looking for a place to perch, roost and nest. The fluffy insulation provides the perfect spot to be comfortable, warm and dry, whilst the high rafters provide safety.

big open doors and high rafters

Sounds perfect?

It's time to deter birds from your asset, keep your staff healthy and your work site safe. Install a fully autonomic system, silent, effective, proven and humane.

The insulation gets pulled loose and deteriorates, the bird droppings gather, run down the walls, cover the floor and spread all over the stock stored. Cartons, box's, pallets, machinery, equipment are now contaminated, all hit with highly corrosive bird droppings that is unhygienic, unsightly, dangerous for food safety and cause problematic slip hazards in the work place. Birds carry a huge number of diseases are able to spread to humans and the clean up costs are on-going with no one putting up their hand to do the job. Pressure hoses, scaffolding, boom lifts, working at heights, chemical cleans and all sorts of hanging devices to deter the birds are expensive, time consuming and can require risk assessments.

Disease control

There are over 60 human communicable diseases associated with bird droppings alone. Disturbance (i.e. pressure cleaning) of dried bird droppings, either by the birds or by a worker, causes airborne particulates to circulate, creating a serious hazard if inhaled or ingested. This involves risk management procedures, shut down time, extra labour hours, specialised equipment, moving all the stock, pallets and equipment takes hours. No wonder employees don't volunteer for the clean up! It is a serious issue that is mostly put to one side until something happens. Future proof your business by getting in front of the issues at hand.

Remove the pest birds feeling of safety in your warehouse by using disruptive laser tech, one time programming, with a vast array of patterns to effectively beam across the roofline; inside or out, day and night.

Here is a story how two people died from pigeon droppings from air borne contaminants

Contact Bird Beam to solve your bird issue

Diseases from birds that can make humans sick

The main diseases which birds can transmit can be broken down into 3 categories; bacterial, fungal and viral diseases.


A common bacterial infection in birds is avian tuberculosis (mycobacteriosis), an infectious, inflammatory, reportable disease that is chronic in nature and usually affects the lungs, and any part of the body. People with deficient or impaired immunity are particularly susceptible to this bacterial infection. The causes are by ingestion of food or fluids that have been contaminated by feces from infected birds. Mostly treatable with antibiotics however this particular bacteria (Mycobacterium avium) is highly resistant to treatments.

Psittacosis is another bacterial disease (Chylamydia psittaci) that is spread through the feces and respiratory particles of infected birds. People are infected by inhaling the bacteria from shed feathers, secretions and droppings after exposure to pet birds, like parrots, cockatiels and poultry; turkeys or ducks. The carrier state (feces dust) can persist for years. C. psittaci can survive drying, which allows it to be transmitted on contaminated clothing and equipment. It can also be transmitted from bird to bird, from feces to bird, and from bird to human. Human-to-human transmission can occur as well, mainly by exposure to infected saliva. Infection in humans is extremely rare and is often misdiagnosed.

Salmonella bacteria is the most widely known in Australia. There are food recalls (typically eggs and egg products) several times a year with huge costs associated with it. Salmonella bacteria are widespread in the environment and are associated with animals including birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians (typically in the gastrointestinal tract). Although Salmonella bacteria are very common, actual disease is rare because most strains are not pathogenic. Common clinical symptoms in all species include diarrhea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever. Other symptoms include dehydration, weakness, septicemia, and headaches. The incubation period for salmonellosis varies between 6 and 72 hours, although most cases have an incubation period of 12 to 36 hours. Salmonella bacteria are typically transmitted via the fecal-oral route, usually via improperly cooked food that has been contaminated with feces.

Fungal Diseases

Most Histoplasm infected persons have no apparent ill effects. If symptoms occur, they will start within 3 to 17 days after exposure. Histoplasmosis primarily affects the lungs. Symptoms may include respiratory symptoms, a general ill feeling, fever, chest pains, and a dry or nonproductive cough. Occasionally, other organs are affected. This form of the disease is called disseminated histoplasmosis, and can be fatal if untreated. Histoplasma capsulatum fungus grows best in soil and materials with a high nitrogen content, especially those enriched with bird or bat droppings, such as in poultry house litter, caves, areas harboring bats, and in bird roosts. The fungal spores become airborne when the contaminated soil is disturbed. Breathing the spores causes infection. The disease is not transmitted from an infected person to someone else.

Cryptococcosis is found worldwide; the predominant way the disease is spread is through inhalation of fungus that is associated with many bird species, especially old pigeon feces and bat guano. Cryptococcus spp. is found in bird feces throughout the world, usually the birds themselves are not infected or sick. Humans and animals usually get the infection from inhaling dust contaminated with bird feces, but humans do not transmit cryptococcosis to other humans or animals. However, C. gattii is a type of Cryptococcus that is acquired by inhalation of airborne plant material (propagules or reproductive plant parts like a seed or spore).

Here is a case specific to Cryptococcosis where two people contracted a fungal infection.


The main strain of concern in humans continues to be Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza . More than 700 infections have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) since November 2003. These infections have occurred in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe, and the Near East. In cases where evidence is present, humans who have contracted avian influenza have been in areas where there is constant close contact between birds and humans or in cases where the humans were exposed to infected bird secretions. The incubation period in humans is believed to be from 3 to 7 days followed by a rapid onset of viral pneumonia. Other typical flu-like symptoms include fever, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, chest pain, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The common them throughout the three categories are the effects of inhalation of the droppings pollutants. This is the crux of why birds should be deterred and removed from roosting in your property.

(It is important to note that to date there has been no reporting of Avian Influenza in Australia.

Bird Mites

Besides being direct carriers of disease, nuisance birds are frequently associated with over 50 kinds of ectoparasites, which can work their way throughout structures to infest and bite humans. When the buildings are inhabited by nesting birds, parasitic infestation is from bird mites too small to be easily seen without magnification. Symptoms include pinprick bites, often intense itching with or without lesions, small reddened bumps, and a crawling sensation anywhere on the body; with increased activity at night. Some people label these the “creepy crawlies” or “nose ticklers”. The intense itching and irritation on the skin is due to the mite’s saliva. When a large area is covered with bites it will resemble a rash in appearance, and it is often mistaken for scabies.

Bird mites more commonly infest bedrooms and bathrooms, but will quickly infest the whole house. Mites will infest carpeting, bedding, upholstered furniture, clothing, etc. They hide in cracks, crevices and darkened areas in the home when not active. They tend to congregate where humans routinely are; such as near the computer, in automobiles, etc.

Bird mites are most active from dusk till dawn, but can be active at other times, especially when disturbed. Bird mites are very disruptive to our normal sleep pattern, causing many nights of lost sleep. They tend to be more active on damp, humid, overcast days and nights. (lots of those in Queensland!) Mites are less active during daylight hours, and they are less active on hot, dry, sunny days. Increased activity every seven days or so, when the new mites will mature. Mite activity also tends to increase around a full moon. Bird mite populations tend to peak in the late spring and summer, corresponding to an increase in the bird population and an increase in temperature and humidity levels.

A personal note

I don't know about you, but my skin is crawling just reading this, having had personal experience with this one. Staying at a holiday unit one memorable time, they came through the walls, vents, carpets, everywhere. From the roof where birds had been nesting, into the sleeping area and infested the whole area. We woke scratching mindlessly, covered in red bites particularly on the scalp. The room was evacuated and stripped, the bed was removed, the furniture steam cleaned, the curtains removed and cleaned. Pest control was bought in and found the nesting birds. All very costly and ongoing, lost in revenue, extra expense in deep cleaning, never to return customers.

It was something that I remember vividly and left a long lasting impression. *shudder..

What is the solution?

  • Contact Bird Beam to solve your bird issue.

  • Organise your preventative maintenance schedule.

  • Make sure it is not in nesting season

  • Deter birds from returning by removing old nests from the space

  • Now is a good time to clean the area! (wearing appropriate PPE)

  • Mount your Autonomic Laser on the rafters high above in the warehouse or dispatch area

  • Position the Autonomic Laser to cover the pest bird roosting, nesting and perching areas 24/7, silently and humane, fully autonomous and sustainable.

  • Use programs to deter birds efficiently, that they do not get used to unlike other equipment.

Don't underestimate the risk associated with having pest birds in the workplace. It is a hazard that can be managed effectively, ignorance is not an effective solution.

information credit:

disease information courtesy of University of Florida IFAS extension

Bird Mite information courtesy of

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