Dubai: Pigeon droppings are causing a huge mess on many apartment balconies in different parts of the city, and for many residents, chasing them away has not been a permanent solution, they say.
Pigeons can be entertaining to watch, but when they constantly return to your balcony and dirty your home as a result of neighbours frequently feeding them , their presence can become very frustrating.
Tenants- especially those living in tall story buildings where it has become a common problem- say they are not only worried from the health risks that could arise from pigeon droppings, they are also not sure of the methods they can use to discourage pigeons from roosting without attracting fines from Dubai Municipality.
Dubai regulations regarding balcony use do not allow residents to hang clothes, install dish antennas, or place junk in balconies as it leads to an unaesthetic look, and violators could face penalties.
According to a municipality official, if an alteration on the balcony spoils the look of the building and goes against the building’s regulations, a warning will be issued to the tenant and they will need to restore the balcony to its original condition.
“As long as the installation does not affect the aesthetic appearance of the city, it’s not a problem. Residents can prevent pigeons from populating their balconies through various methods, but they need to make sure the methods are humane, and are not visible on the balcony,” he said.
He said using chemicals or unapproved products that can harm birds or reduce their population violates animal rights.
“It is a positive intent that tenants wish to keep their balcony pigeon-free and clean, because it also helps the building look clean,” the official said.
According to an Abu Dhabi-based doctor, though pigeons are harmless, what they leave behind can be a health hazard.
“The health risks from pigeon droppings arise from disease organisms which can thrive and grow in the accumulations of the droppings and feathers on balconies, ledges and ventilation ducts of buildings,” said Dr Nirajan Mukherjee, consultant paediatrician at King’s College Hospital London, Medical and Surgical Centre Abu Dhabi
“Fungal spores, bacteria, viruses and parasites can all multiply in this environment and pose problems for people particularly with pre-existing respiratory conditions and weakened immune systems,” he said.
Pigeon droppings, he added, can cause a multitude of infections potentially. “Those who have respiratory conditions like asthma and allergic rhinitis are at an increased risk of exaggeration of their symptoms. People with weakened immune system should not be associated with cleaning of the roosts.”
Marwa Jamal, a Lebanese mother living in Deira, said she has been reluctant about using pigeon-proofing methods for her apartment’s balcony because she does not want to violate regulations. She also said that bringing a cleaner to clean her balcony every week from pigeon droppings is costing her money. “The birds come back because my neighbour keeps feeding them and it is creating a mess in my balcony. I have to make sure it is cleaned regularly so my kids don’t end up catching any disease.”
Stella M., a Filipino resident of International City, says she has given up on reclaiming both her balconies from pigeons and relies on drying her clothes inside the house to avoid getting them dirty again.
“We have a notice below the building that says to not feed these birds, but neighbours continue to do so. It’s a waste to have two balconies and not be able to use them. I have to hang my clothes to dry inside the house. It takes up space and the clothes don’t dry fast.”
About Pigeon Patrol:
Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products four years in a row.
Contact Info: 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD (www.pigeonpatrol.ca)