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Pigeon Guano Removal – South London

When the SafeSite Security Solutions team were deployed to a property in a London borough last month, little did they know of what lay ahead. They knew that the project they were assessing would be a sizeable project, but the scale and extent of the damage cause by the resident pigeons (over 4 years) was difficult to fathom.

The brief

In a project described as their ‘biggest ever guano job’, five vacant Council properties had been left derelict, dilapidated and leaking. Over a four-year period, these had slipped into a terrible state of disrepair. Following repair work to a leaky roof, the windows had been left open to ventilate the property. Logical, yes, but also short sighted.  A veritable army of pigeons took a fancy to the property and promptly infiltrated every available orifice from head to foot. You can only imagine the scale of the carnage awaiting our team of experts when they arrived on site tasked with the clean-up.

The solution

Gordon Todd, Contracts Manager at SafeSite Security Solutions, takes up the story: “Before going there, our guys had set everything up with our client from a legal standpoint with all the relevant certifications and paperwork. The size of the project meant the client had to be vigilant with our accreditations and level of expertise.

He continued: “The extent of the work reinforced the importance of specialist training with tasks such as ‘mask fitting’, ensuring that all crew members knew how to use the equipment properly. The team wore special suits, gloves, boots, and other PPE as is essential with this sort of work.

“We quoted the client for nine days from arrival to completion. We were one of three quotes and would have stopped after nine days had we not completed it by then as that’s what we quoted them for. So, we were keen to estimate as accurately as possible to ensure that the work was completed on time and as quoted.”

The process

The first step was to save and safely relocate any live or nesting birds with a rescue centre.

Once the properties were completely empty, the team sprayed the guano with chemicals to neutralise the matter and ensure that it was safe to remove.

The removal of pigeon guano is dangerous work due to the chemicals and bacteria within it. Pigeon droppings harbour various diseases causing pathogens which can be transmitted to humans through inhalation. The droppings can also cause long-term respiratory issues and allergic reactions. The dangers to health are as follows:

  • Candidiasis – this is a kind of fungus or yeast infection that’s spread by pigeons. The disease results from the fungus which grows in dried bird droppings.
  • More commonly referred to as food poisoning, salmonellosis can be traced back to bird guano.
  • E-coli. This infection is one of the most common caused by enteric bacteria.
  • Parasites, ticks, and mice.

The team then used industrial sized scrapers to comb the property inch-by-inch, removing every trace of the guano. From there, it is placed in a container professionally and clinically disposed of by our expert teams. After removal, we cleaned site and then sprayed it again.

Seventeen 60-litre buckets were filled as part of the operation – which equates to just over a tonne.  This was a project of size and stature never before dealt with by a SafeSite team.


Gordon added: “We gave daily updates to the client with photos and a summary of that day’s work. For us, this is an important part of what we do as we can liaise with them. It shows how the project is coming along and how the team are doing. It gives the client confidence in us.”

With birds favouring anywhere they can perch, there was no part of any property that went untouched.

Every inch of the property had to be covered and cleared thoroughly, if left, the pigeon droppings will continue to cause corrosion and damage as well as pose a health threat to anyone in the property.

The outcome

The job was performed in nine days. The tonne of guano collect was responsibly disposed of through a hazardous waste specialist. Any nesting birds were safely rehomed with a local rescue centre.

The client was incredibly happy with the work that we completed and amazed by the final transformation.

As a result, the property can now be refurbished and tenanted for use. We’ve completed many projects which have involved the professional removal of pigeon guano but none so significant. It was great to tackle such a huge project so successfully and within time and budget.

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