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PigeonQueen PigeonQueen is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Country: United Kingdom
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Blood sucking pigeon bugs the size of ants?


Hell house
Exclusive By Clara Story
Surrey Comet, U.K 11th April 2007

When blood-sucking bugs attacked her five-year-old son as he slept in his bed, young mother Kelly Johnson decided to end their nightmare and abandoned her Chessington home.

It has been a month since the midnight visitors crept from ventilation shafts and attacked the boy, leaving him covered in hive-like bites. Richmond Churches Housing Trust only evicted the birds on April 4 and until April 2 thought the beasties were bed bugs, which would have made them the tenant's responsibility.

It was the final straw in a catalogue of complaints from Miss Johnson, 26, who lives in Cricketers Close. She has had to flush her toilet with a bucket since Christmas and since she moved into the two-bedroom house in July 2004 her living room ceiling has collapsed three times due in part to a leaking bath.

advertisementThe rare pigeon bugs, which normally live on birds, appeared on March 11 and took up residence in her asthmatic son's bed. When she found the bugs and his hive-like bites, she packed her bags and went to her mother Katherine Williams' house in New Malden.

Miss Johnson, who is on income support, has been calling the housing trust regularly but it has not yet tackled the problem. She had the house fumigated from her own money three weeks ago at a cost of £200 but the bugs reappeared. She has been told they are connected to birds in her loft, and it might take up to six treatments to evict them.

“They have taken over and it is just horrendous – it is just the final straw. It is my home and I don’t want to move, I’ve had a new floor put down and my son is settled there. But I can’t live there until they are gone.”
Kelly Johnson

She said: "They have taken over and it is just horrendous - it is just the final straw. It is my home and I don't want to move, I've had a new floor put down and my son is settled there. But I can't live there until they are gone."

The housing trust told Miss Johnson that the birds in her loft were starlings, a protected species, therefore they could not be removed without a licence.

But last Wednesday, after she told the trust that she had contacted the Surrey Comet, a workman came round and removed the nests.

But the bugs remain. Miss Johnson said the pest controller told her the ant-size pigeon bug adapts to the life of a common bed bug when necessary, and when it bites it takes 10 times more blood than a mosquito.

She believes they have come through the vent in her son's room from the loft, above his head.

"He was screaming and had these big red bites," she said.

When Miss Johnson moved into the flat in July 2004, she had heard a rustling in the loft but the housing trust told her it must be squirrels.

Miss Johnson said someone from the housing trust gave her a floor trap but did not check the loft.

Last month Miss Johnson had a visit from a workman from Inspace, the housing trust's maintenance company, about her broken toilet flush and leaking bath. He used a hairpin to try to repair the toilet, she said, but it is still not working.

At the end of her tether, her mother arranged a meeting on Thursday, March 29, at the house with her housing officer and a representative from Inspace.

The Inspace man told her he could not do anything about the problems without approval.

Ian Watts, managing director of Richmond upon Thames Churches Housing Trust, said the trust was only told on April 2 that the bugs were not bed bugs - which are the tenant's responsibility - and were to do with to birds in the roof.

On April 3 and 4 workers removed the birds, and will make a permanent repair to their entry point "in due course".

He said: "We understand Miss Johnson is taking advice from the Environmental Health Department on this matter and we await their comments.

"The trust will then act on areas which are its responsibility."

He said the toilet was properly repaired last month and apologised for the length of time it had taken.


This article made front page news in the local paper here in the UK.
Not good news as there is a anti-pigeon policy here in Kingston and a ongoing
cull. Your comments would be most welcome.


warriec's Avatar
warriec warriec is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 09:04 AM
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this is terrible. I have pigeons (sick ones) sleeping in my bed room. what the kind of parasite so we can be prepared for it.
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Skyeking Skyeking is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 10:27 AM
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Can you post the link?

I have never gotten any bites or problems from pigeon lice, mites, or flies. I am not saying it isn't possible, but I know people who have over 300 birds that have never seen anything like that either. They do keep their coops clean as do I, and the birds are free of ecto parasites.

I want to see pictures and the proper name for these so called pigeon "bugs", is it lice, mites or flies??? What kind of housing is this..with lofts?

I hate to see stuff like that published without difinitive proof, as pigeons get a bad enough rap as it is.
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Last edited by Skyeking; 13th April 2007 at 10:30 AM.
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 10:48 AM
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Utter rubbish.

How many brain cells do these people need to understand that if she has Starlings in her roof space, and the bugs are actually from birds, then that's where they came from.

Maybe she has giant ants from outer space under the floor!

John
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 12:27 PM
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Like John I am totally baffled by the reference to pigeon bugs! So here we have a house that is infested by some bugs that behave like bed bugs and they attribute to starlings ( and I am doubtful that the starlings are their source) but they call them pigeon bugs...if they were pigeon flies I would understand, but the flies are larger than ants and don't behave like bed bugs.

I wish that we could find a way of giving pigeons good publicity to counteract all this rubbish. My local paper always refers to pigeons as "the disease carrying birds". Perhaps if those members that take photos of pigeons at their cutest submitted the photos to newspapers, and others wrote and submitted positive stories we could gradually change the perception of pigeons?

Cynthia
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alvin alvin is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 12:43 PM
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You mean like making Scooter the Posterpijie for the Pijie Awareness Campaign?
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Pigeonpal2002 Pigeonpal2002 is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 01:07 PM
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Sounds like a pigeon fly to me, if anything concrete.....ho hum:P
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alvin alvin is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 02:09 PM
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Oooo! I GOT THE PERFECT POSTER!!!!!


How about some 'Scootertude'!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg scootertude.JPG (29.7 KB, 73 views)
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Lovebirds Lovebirds is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin View Post
How about some 'Scootertude'!
That is TOO FUNNY!!!!! Run some copies and start passing em' out...........
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alvin alvin is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovebirds View Post
That is TOO FUNNY!!!!! Run some copies and start passing em' out...........
I'll run up A couple of hundred of Stratton's bumper stickers too. They read;

I Miss Woody Allen!

But I've plenty of time to reload.....
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flitsnowzoom flitsnowzoom is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: metro Denver area
Posts: 1,398
Talking

More than you ever wanted to know about bedbugs


Quote:
Originally Posted by warriec View Post
this is terrible. I have pigeons (sick ones) sleeping in my bed room. what the kind of parasite so we can be prepared for it.
Here's a lovely description of the fearsome pigeon bug along with its fellow evil bugs. Gee, I used to have starlings in my attic too and somehow, we never got attacked by these horrific creatures

Bed Bugs

Order: Hemiptera (‘half-winged’ true bugs)

Characteristics: Pairs of wings normally present; mouth parts piercing and sucking, forming a beak, or rostrum, normally held under the body. Metamorphosis usually incomplete, with egg and nymphal stages.

Family: Cimicidae.

Flat, oval insects, with very short, functionless forewings; hindwings absent; rostrum lies in a ventral groove; tarsi 3-segmented; exclusively bloodsucking.

Species characteristics and host/habitat:

Common Bed bug (Cimex lectularius)

Adults, 5mm long; reddish-brown in colour, becoming purple after feeding; well-developed antennae; prominent, simple eyes; feet clawed so can climb rough but not smooth surfaces; ratio of head width (including eyes) to length of third antennal segment usually greater than 1.7.

Host/habitat:

The principal host is man, though other warm-blooded animals can be parasitised. Found in human habitations throughout the world.

Other blood-feeding bugs

Blood-feeding bugs, very similar in appearance to the Common bed bug, can often be found infesting birds’ nests and bat roosts. In certain circumstances, these bugs may invade houses and attack humans. They include:

Pigeon Bug (Cimex columbarius)

Very similar in size and appearance to the Common bed bug; can be distinguished by the ratio of head width to length of third antennal segment, which is less than 1.6 in most specimens.

Host/habitat:

Principal hosts are birds; mainly found in starlings’ nests, pigeon lofts and poultry houses, but can attack man.

Martin Bug (Oeciacus hirundinis)

Similar in appearance to the Common bed bug, but smaller and more hairy. Can be further distinguished by the following characteristics: when viewed from above, the front margin of the prothorax is far less concave than in the other species; the head width is also more than twice the length of the third antennal segment.

Host/habitat:

Principal hosts are birds; often found in martins’ nests, but can attack man.


DISTRIBUTION

As bed bugs cannot fly, they must either crawl or be passively transported in clothing, or more probably in luggage, furniture, books and other objects used as harbourages. Their ability to withstand many months without feeding increases their chances of surviving such transportation and the insects’ very wide distribution throughout the world demonstrates their success.

Any household can be invaded by bed bugs, but it is likely that infestations will only become established in premises with low standards of hygiene. Bed bugs are therefore generally associated with poor, crowded and unhygienic conditions.
Most bed bug infestations are to be found in domestic premises, usually in the bedrooms. Both juveniles and adults live similar lives, hiding away in cracks and crevices for most of the time and coming out at night, usually just before dawn, to feed on the blood of their sleeping hosts. Their hiding-places will be close to where their hosts sleep: in the bed frame or the mattress, in furniture, behind the skirting, behind the wallpaper -- anywhere that affords a dark harbourage during the daylight hours for these nocturnal creatures.

The insect infestations occur particularly in areas of high population density including hotels, hostels and holiday camps.

In temperate climates bed bugs reach their peak numbers towards early autumn. At this time all stages in the lifecycle will be present. With the onset of colder weather their activity decreases, egg-laying ceases and development of the juvenile forms slows down.

Bed bugs overwinter mainly as adults, since the eggs and nymphs are more susceptible to low temperatures and die out with the onset of winter, unless in adequately heated premises.

The bird-feeding bugs, such as the Martin bug, will be found in the nests of their hosts and follow a similar lifestyle to the Common bed bug. The occasional problems of these species attacking humans are likely to stem from abandoned nests built near to or inside houses. Nests in lofts or under eaves would be a likely source if such an infestation were suspected.

SIGNIFICANCE

Bed bugs are not regarded as disease carriers, but their blood feeding can cause severe irritation in some people, resulting in loss of sleep, lack of energy and listlessness, particularly in children. Iron deficiency in infants has resulted from excessive feeding by bed bugs. The bite often gives rise to a hard, whitish swelling which distinguishes it from the flea bite which leaves a dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area. Different individuals react differently to bites, some gaining immunity.

Probably more important, however, is the distaste with which these insects are regarded. Bed bug excrement gives a characteristic speckled appearance to their harbourages, whilst their ‘stink glands’ confer a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell on infested rooms. In addition, the very thought of being preyed upon by such creatures is quite sufficient to make most people take immediate action to control them. The bed bug may even help to create slums by driving away householders with reasonable standards of hygiene, leaving behind only those who are less concerned with such matters.

It is interesting to note that many factors are helping to sustain existing bed bug populations: modern building techniques, which allow easy access between adjoining properties; the increased use of central heating, which allows continued feeding and proliferation during winter; the movement of furniture in the second-hand market, which aids their distribution; all these serve to maintain population levels.
. . . .

and to read more here is the link
http://www.valentbiosciences.com/env...n/bed_bugs.asp

Last edited by flitsnowzoom; 14th April 2007 at 07:43 AM.
PigeonQueen PigeonQueen is offline
Posted 13th April 2007, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Country: United Kingdom
Posts: 611

LInk for this newspaper article


Hi Treesa, The link for this story is. www.surreycomet.co.uk then click on to 'news' (left hand side of screen) then click on to 'most viewed column' then click on to 1. Hell house. There is also another story if you click on to 5. Marksman called in to kill kingstons pigeons.

Please forgive these instructions . Im still working out how to use the computer!!!!!!
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alvin alvin is offline
Posted 14th April 2007, 01:16 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Dublin
Age: 42
Posts: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by canaryjayne View Post
Hi Treesa, The link for this story is. www.surreycomet.co.uk then click on to 'news' (left hand side of screen) then click on to 'most viewed column' then click on to 1. Hell house. There is also another story if you click on to 5. Marksman called in to kill kingstons pigeons.

Please forgive these instructions . Im still working out how to use the computer!!!!!!
Did I hear you right? Did you say 'Marksman'?

What kind of blithering idiot discharges a firearm in an urban area?
Don't they know that bullets bounce?
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 14th April 2007, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: UK
Posts: 11,286
Well, we live and learn. Thank you flitsnowzoom for finding out that there really is such a creature as a pigeon bug that is found on starlings before we protested about the involvement or non-involvement of pigeons in that report.

Perhaps some well thought out positive comments about pigeons could be posted through the links provided . The shooting of pigeons in the memorial gardens is poor thanks for the service that they provided during the wars.

Cynthia
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...while all the time your dear full-throated pigeons will be heard, and the turtledove high in the elm will never bring her cooing to an end. (Virgil)
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flitsnowzoom flitsnowzoom is offline
Posted 14th April 2007, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: metro Denver area
Posts: 1,398
Angry

the marksman story


This story was posted last fall. I cut and pasted the story as I'm sure the link will disappear as time marches on.
How times change. It used to be against the law to shoot a pigeon. They were quite the heroes. (Of course that was during WWI and WWII)

Marksman called in to kill Kingston’s pigeons

Kingston's pigeons are due to be culled
A specialist marksman will carry out a "humane cull" of pigeons in the Memorial Gardens, Kingston's Town Centre Management announced this week.

The cull will be done by a private pest control contractor from Cobham as part of a three-year programme to reduce Kingston's pigeon population.

Graham McNally, town centre manager, said it had considered other ways of culling before deciding on shooting. He said: "At this moment in time, a specialist marksman will be used to shoot the pigeons. I can definitely say there will be no gassing and no poisoning. The cull will be carried out discreetly."

Mr McNally could not confirm when precisely the cull would begin, but it is expected in the next month.

Police permission has been obtained for the shoot, which will be carried out in the early hours of the morning. The programme will cost nearly £14,000, with half of that allocated for the first year alone.

Mr McNally said: "We are also working on removing their food and stopping those who foolishly feed the pigeons."

The Surrey Comet would like to thank all of our visitors who left comments on this story. Many comments were obviously heartfelt and others humorous and the issue has clearly sparked a lot of interest - but the debate has now been closed.



I read through many of the comments and based on what was there, pigeons are not appreciated in the least, and worse, many of the readers seem so poorly informed about all the diseases that pigeons carry. AIDS, malaria -- Even if the writers were being "funny", it wasn't. If it weren't so ignorant and the results of this action so awful, this this whole episode would be funny.
I hope if they carried this project forward, that they at least hired an extremely accurate marksman. It's not easy to hit a moving target. Worse yet, anything that packs enough energy to work as a "humane" killing load, also has enough energy to injure or kill something more valuable (like those dogs that poop everywhere ) or a person. They'd better get Olympic-quality markspeople (we must be politically correct here ) based on what I've observed by the average shooter at the ranges here.
Oh, yes, I forgot, they're going to use discreet marksmen -- Has 007 gotten a new job?
I wish the English pigeon the best.
 

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pest control, pigeon flies, pigeon loft


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