Sharing apartment with birds: Residents fear for health, safety

06 Dec 2023 05:19pm
A group of swiftlets perched and built nests on tree branches at Danau Perintis Apartments, Puncak Alam.
A group of swiftlets perched and built nests on tree branches at Danau Perintis Apartments, Puncak Alam.

KUALA SELANGOR - About 1,000 residents of Danau Perintis Apartment, Puncak Alam, feel uncomfortable as their residential area is being invaded by thousands of swiftlets.

Residents association chairman Adham Ismail said that the birds started to infest the area since October, causing discomfort to residents and tenants of the 16-story apartment building.

"The corridors are filled with foul-smelling bird droppings and these birds usually start flocking the area from 7.30pm until 3am the next day.

"The bird droppings and the bird infestation are serious problems and we are at a loss on how to handle this issue," he said when meeting today.

Earlier, Jeram Assemblyman Datuk Harrison Hassan, along with representatives from the Selangor Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and Kuala Selangor City Council (MPKS) Health Department inspected the area.

A survey by Sinar found thousands of birds flying around, building nests on tree branches and perching on the apartment's corridors and windows.

This situation compelled residents to keep their windows closed to prevent bird droppings and pests from entering their homes.

Adham said that the situation was worrying, especially after several children experienced breathing difficulties due to poor ventilation in their homes a few months ago.

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"We've even installed black nets to control the problem, but it hasn't fully resolved it.

"This situation has increased the apartment management's expenses as we've had to buy nets and bear higher monthly water bills, now totaling RM1,500 compared to the previous RM600," he said.

A resident Ahmad Syahmi Abd Nasir, 36, who had been living there since 2019, stated that he had to clean bird droppings in the corridor daily.

He expressed concerns about health risks, unsure whether the birds carry diseases.

"What's certain is that we are uncomfortable and don't know when this problem will end," said the father of two.

Razali Ramli, 42, expressed the residents' inability to cope with the issue and hoped for a prompt resolution, especially to prevent any severe consequences, even risking lives.

Another resident, Muhammad Saiful Nizar Nasaruddin, 33, said that his family had to close doors and windows daily due to fears of birds entering their home.

"Almost every day, I have to clean bird droppings from the windows and this situation is adding more stress, especially due to the foul smell," he said.

Ahmad Fitri Aziz, 35, shared incidents of encountering bird droppings in the apartment corridors.

"Moreover, these droppings are also on residents' cars parked in the open area," said the 10th-floor resident.

Meanwhile, Harrison described the residents' situation as unusual due to the involvement of swiftlets compared to the usual issues with monkeys.

He said that discussions with Perhilitan, the Veterinary Department, and MPKS would be held to find the best possible solution.

"Thus far, we haven't reached a conclusion on resolving this issue but are trying various methods to reduce and eventually address this problem that disrupts residents' daily lives," he said.