New signs have gone up in West Bromwich town centre urging people not to feed pigeons.

People are also warned they could be fined £75 for littering for leaving food.

The new signs follow concerns about the number of pigeons in the town centre – and the problems infestations cause.

Sandwell Council and West Bromwich Business Improvement District (BID) are concerned about damage to buildings, nuisance for shoppers and businesses and risks to public health.

Councillor Elaine Costigan, the council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “We urge people not to feed pigeons in our town centres.

“Council wardens are patrolling ‘hot spots’ to educate people on the nuisance, health risks and damage that feeding pigeons cause.

“Signs will also go up soon in areas of Smethwick and Wednesbury town centres, where concerns have been raised.”

Rebecca Jenkins, chair of the West Bromwich BID Board, said: “The town centre pigeons have been causing cleanliness problems in the town centre for the last couple of years.

“We now provide extra cleaning at the Farley end of the town centre, but it is a continual problem. We are asking the general public not to feed the pigeons, as food left for them is making the situation worse.”

Problems associated with pigeon infestations:

  • Droppings are acidic and can corrode stonework, metal and paint.
    Droppings, nesting materials, feathers and dead birds can also block air vents, drains and gutters, which can lead to further damage and flooding.
  • Droppings and food left for pigeons are unsightly and cause footpaths to become slippery and dangerous. This can put off shoppers and deter new businesses from setting up.
  • Uneaten food also attracts rats which contaminate food with their droppings and cause damage to buildings and electrical wiring by gnawing.
  • Although the likelihood of infection is considered low to the general public, diseases carried by pigeons can be transmitted to humans if droppings contaminate food.
  • Pigeons carry mites which can cause skin disease and dust from their feathers can cause respiratory problems in work situations.