If you have ever laughed at scenes in cartoons and movies of characters getting rained on by bird poop, you shouldn’t. There is nothing funny about it. Pigeon droppings are no joke; coming into contact with them is unwise and hazardous to your health since they can carry diseases such as encephalititis, Cryptococcus and histoplasmosis. This makes cleaning up pigeon droppings properly an absolute necessity. Improper handling and disposal can lead to many cases of serious illness in the surrounding area. Here is how to clean pigeon droppings:
- Wearing protective gear. Before approaching the pigeon droppings, you have to be wearing the right clothing to protect yourself from exposure. A face mask and rubber gloves are absolutely essential. Your main concern is to prevent airborne delivery of the virus into your nose and mouth and direct contact with it. Also, it is not necessary but just to be safe, you should also wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to further cover your skin. It may seem like a lot of precautions just for properly disposing pigeon droppings but it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep pigeon droppings moist. You should carry with you a spray bottle filled with water or a small water bottle. You need to spray or pour a little water onto the pigeon droppings to moisten it and prevent it dry dust particles from being carried by the wind. You do not want to make the pile of droppings mushy. Use enough water to moisten most of the waste material’s surface area. At the same time, do not scatter them around.
- Sweep up the pigeon droppings. Take a metal or hard-plastic spatula or paint scraper and small dustpan from your gardening/tools shed. Make sure that you do not use these objects for any other important jobs or use them regularly. Arrange all the pieces into a pile and sweep them up into the dustpan. It is important that you do not touch them with your hands even if you are wearing gloves.
- Disposal. Empty the contents of your dustpan into a trash bag. Make sure that this trash bag is properly secured and does not tear or rip open. Use a dustpan brush to ensure that you get all of the pigeon droppings into the bag; you cannot miss even the smallest piece. As an added precaution, place the first trash bag into another so that in case the first one rips, the pigeon droppings will not get out. Put the trash bags outside for the garbage truck to pick up.
- Aftermath. It is always best to use disposable gloves and face masks so that you do not run the risk of being exposed to the pigeon droppings. Washing them is unwise and throwing them out really is the best idea. Thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. Remove your clothes and wash them right away just to be safe. You can either dispose of your dustpan and dustpan brush if you can buy them cheap or clean and wash them well and store in a plastic bag if you intend to use them again. However, you should probably only use them again for the express purpose of cleaning pigeon droppings or other waste materials to prevent contamination.
When you are cleaning pigeon droppings, you need to be extra careful lest you be exposed to the harmful diseases it carries. Be smart and focused. Follow these steps and you should be all right.