Pigeons and sparrows are examples of animals that people often welcome, but in certain contexts they should be seen as pests. These two kinds of birds are not particularly afraid of people and they live mostly of grains, cereals and seeds. Once they have found a good spot with food in productions or warehouses, they quickly learn how to penetrate these buildings. They build their nests on and in the buildings. They are undesirable in food for the following reasons:
- They contaminate both raw materials and finished products with their droppings (Salmonella, mould spores etc.), feathers and dead birds.
- Birds’ nests are incubators for many different kinds of food pests (moths, beetles, mites etc.) as well as fleas and blood sucking mites.
- They eat goods and damage packaging. Pigeons and sparrows are often considered as kinds of winged rats. A sparrow eats the equivalent to 4 kg of wheat per year (a rat eats 10 kg per year), so the comparison is reasonable enough.
Birds that build their nests inside buildings will smear the goods either directly (1) or indirectly (2). This applies not only to pigeons and sparrows, but often also swallows. Therefore, one should avoid any kind of birds’ nests, especially in buildings where food is stored for short or long periods of time.