In Hawaii, there’s pidgin and then there’s pigeons – the feathery feral ones that many call a nuisance to the community. They hang out on rooftops and swoop through outdoor eateries. The dirty fact of the matter is that pigeons are major hazard to your health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they spread parasites harmful to humans and carry ticks, fleas and mites. Not to mention, these hitchhiking insects have their own set of diseases. Pigeon poop not only smells bad but also causes diseases related to the respiratory system and skin because of the bacteria and parasites that live and grow in the droppings.
Like other states with feral pigeon issues, Hawaii has been pushing to ban feeding feral birds. You may see signs posted in public areas, warning people against any form of pigeon snack time. But because it’s not quite “the law,” it’s difficult for businesses and state officials to enforce. Plus, feeding pigeons can be bad for them. They can’t quite digest human food; thus, making them very sick.
Several years ago, the International Marketplace in Waikiki used to be packed with pigeons and pigeon poop. But thanks to a birth control program, all that’s gone. The KITV news report explains how the landowner of the popular outdoor shopping venue saw a drastic decrease in pigeons within a short period of time. Hopefully surrounding hotels and businesses continue the trend and implement the program as well. It’s bad enough getting a sunburn from your Hawaii vacation but a life-threatening disease, too? No, thank you.