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pigeons in the attic


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This is way crazy (but true).

I have a friend that purchased a house 5 years ago.

At the time of the purchase the sellers disclosed that they had kept pigeons in the attic space. In spite of that he bought the house anyway.

He did his best to clean up the pigeon droppings and just never went into the attic again. There is no smell but some of the guano still remains.

Some people have told him not to go into the attic that he could get everything from cancer to a heart attack. Other people have said that since it's been five years that the droppings and associated dust is harmless.

I couldn't ask anymore questions and still keep a straight face so I don't have any more information about how much remains, or what type and how many pigeons there were.

In the five years that have passed, he's married and their first child is on the way. He is now very nervous (who would blame him?).

The best that I could do was to put him touch with a microbiologist.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Jeff

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Yes, it can still be dangerous. Send him to this link Histoplasmosis

My Grandfather died from histoplasmosis and the source was Pigeon droppings. He owned a lumber mill and from what I was told pigeons roosted in the mills rafters for years until it was closed in with windows and screens.

I've always wondered about that.

When I was a teenager, I had a huge coop - about 20 by 12 by 8 and had anywhere from 250 to 300 pigeons at a time. I used to shovel that bad boy out once a week without even wearing a dust mask. Never got sick even once.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Nothing to do with disease but pigeons in an attic almost killed me my first year in business.

I still think of it as the worst POS home I have done. I had already been scared by a live possum in the basement and found a huge bloated rat floating in the sump pump. So, later, as I start to lift the attic hatch I was greeted by a sudden loud noise that sounded like hundreds of scurrying rats and almost fell off the ladder. After regaining my composure, I tried the hatch again, slowly, and discovered the noise had been a startled flock of pigeons. Not good, but better than rats. As you can see by the photo, they had increased the R-value of the insulation. I now have a habit of first knocking on attic hatches in old houses.

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Good afternoon Jeff –

In addition to histo, as mentioned by Scott, (which BTW, is endemic in the southeastern US) there are a number of other concerns. Other organisms such as Cryptococcus neoformans, are also of concern. Similarly, and perhaps even more important, is exposure to the endotoxins associated with the Gram Negative inhabitants of the excreta.

The droppings can be safely cleaned up (even by an homeowner) using simple engineering controls to reduce exposures. The hazards of the exposures are very real and should be taken with appropriate concern.

Now, having said that, as a boy growing up on a farm, we were exposed to more bird poop than I care to remember, and I also kept pigeons (French fantails), and we never had a single case of dropping related illnesses.

Cheers!

Caoimhín P. Connell

Forensic Industrial Hygienist

www.forensic-applications.com

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG

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Nowadays, I would definitely have taken a photo to share with the brethren but, regretfully, no photo of the the deceased. I was probably too consumed with trying to lift the float without touching the "icky" thing. For some reason (forgotten now due to age), when I first started I used to only take photos that I thought I might actually use in the report. I only have 57 photos total in that folder on a house I would likely take well over 200 shots of now.

This place was only my 14th paid inspection and the first real POS. A real eye-opener...stuff they just can't train you for. The small home was occupied by an elderly lady who had lived there for 45+ years. As you entered the front door there was a narrow path through unbelievable junk leading to the kitchen, with a branch to the bedrooms. 95% of the flooring was covered with boxes, magazines and other "collected" junk. That would also have been a good photo, but I didn't take one.

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Dead rat... best kind.

I like taking pictures at work as well!

(Not sure why it didn't show up on the forum...?)

http://forensic-applications.com/misc/U ... micals.jpg

Y'all don't want to see the dead stuff I deal with (it usually has a first name, last name and a social security number).

Cheers!

Caoimhín P. Connell

Forensic Industrial Hygienist

www.forensic-applications.com

(The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

AMDG

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But how exactly does someone contract histoplasmosis? Scott's link says one has to breathe in the spores. But are the spores airborne in an attic containing pigeon poop? Or do you have to walk through the gunk to excite the spores into the air?

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But how exactly does someone contract histoplasmosis? Scott's link says one has to breathe in the spores. But are the spores airborne in an attic containing pigeon poop? Or do you have to walk through the gunk to excite the spores into the air?

When my wife was pregnant with our first kid, she read an article about how pregnant women should never change a cat's litter box because of the danger of histoplasmosis. So I took over.

That was 20 years ago and she hasn't touched the damn litter box since. Before this thread, I figured she had made up the whole disease.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Katen's got one somewhere in the archives of a giant muskrat frozen whole, hair and all, in someone's freezer.

Not bad though.

Haven't thought about that one for a while. It took some digging to find it. I never did hear the story behind this one.

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I trapped muskrats when I was a kid. If you had access to a freezer it made skinning them much easier. Fur just peeled off with out much knife work as they were thawing out. Problem was, my mother did not like my using her freezer.
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Katen's got one somewhere in the archives of a giant muskrat frozen whole, hair and all, in someone's freezer.

Not bad though.

Haven't thought about that one for a while. It took some digging to find it. I never did hear the story behind this one.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Freezerburn.jpg

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I gotta ask, exactly why were you inspecting the freezer?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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