Pigeon problem plaguing Coventry city centre
Shopkeepers in Coventry are calling for pest control efforts in the city centre to be stepped up due to a rapidly growing population of urban pigeons.
Private pest control companies have reported an enormous rise in the number of call outs they are receiving from commercial property owners in the city. Some of the traders have said they fear any further growth in the pigeon populations could start to affect visitor numbers to the West Midlands city.
The owner of Smithford Way's Miss Rush Chinatown, Ying Duan, said that she now had to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning the pavement outside her premises in order to combat the increased health risk.
"If I don't clean the pavement it looks terrible. I'm really unhappy about it," she said. "They make such a mess and when we have a windy day the feathers come into the store."
Boss of Birmingham-based Pestbusters, Dave Nash, warned that the increase in the pigeons in the city could have far-reaching implications if nothing was done about it.
"We've seen problems increase four-fold since the economic downturn and something has to be done because buildings are being destroyed by a rise in the pigeon population," he said, adding that one job his firm recently carried out cost more than £100,000 to tackle.
"The fungal spores which are released into the air from infected droppings can lead to lung diseases, as well as attracting fleas and biting insects."