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Subject: Pigeon droppings

Pigeon droppings

From: Thomas A. Parker <bugman22>
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000
Mark Aronson <mark.aronson [at] yale__edu> writes

>Who knows, or would know who know, how to remove pigeon droppings
>from historic architectural elements?  We have found a stash of
>disassembled period rooms including flat wood panels, wainscotting,
>and banisters, staircases etc. Some of the material is painted, some
>just stained wood, some carved, gessoed and gilded.  There are also
>unpainted plaster pieces.  All of this material has been stored in
>an open barn and is covered with pigeon droppings.

The pigeon dropping problem sounds like the barn was dry and the
droppings were not exposed to the weather.  In that scenario, the
likelihood of fungal disease organisms being able to flourish is
doubtful.  However, whenever one cleans up such accumulations, the
person should wear an approved HEPA filtered respirator, goggles and

They can be vacuumed with a soft bristle brush utilizing a HEPA
vacuum. Another method (if a HEPA vacuum is not available) would be
to run the exhaust from the vacuum outdoors.  If the materials can
be moved outdoors, they can be vacuumed outdoors with a standard
vacuum as long as the workers are wearing proper HEPA protection.

Most of the material can be removed in this manner.  The staining
can then be removed as the conservator decides.

Thomas A. Parker, PhD
President, Entomologist
Pest Control Services, Inc.
14 East Stratford Avenue
Lansdowne, PA 19050
Fax: 610-284-4494

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:54
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 3, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-54-002
Received on Thursday, 27 April, 2000

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