PEOPLE who feed pigeons are adding to the borough's vermin problem, according to the council.

The authority has called on residents to stop giving food to the birds, which it warns carry harmful bacteria, viruses and mites.

A council spokeswoman said pigeon droppings, apart from being unsightly, can also damage buildings and block drains.

She said: "Residents often ask if Redbridge Council provides a pigeon removal or destruction service. The answer is no.

"Redbridge Council's Environmental Health Service reduce the number of pigeons through natural control methods only, which include asking people not to feed the pigeons, letting them know about the problems associated with feeding them and explaining why they should stop.

"The council also puts 'no feeding' signs up in public places where pigeon feeding takes place and gives advice on how to install anti-perching appliances to buildings to stop pigeons roosting.

"The amount of pigeons depends on the availability of regular food and the only effective way to control them is to stop feeding them and prevent them from roosting and nesting on buildings.

"Not feeding the pigeons won't result in them dying of starvation but they will breed less or move to another place."

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