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Bird droppings happen; it’s what you do next that matters

From paint damage to diseases, bird poop is the 'gift' that keeps on giving

Published August 18, 2013

It’s happened to everybody who has a car. But it happens a lot more to some people. Why?

Turns out there’s something of a science behind why birds prefer to let fly over some cars more than others.

There’s also a science to getting it off of there, and pronto. More on that later.

But first, the droppings.

A U.K. study of more than 1,000 cars showed that red was the most inviting toilet on wheels for birds, according the U.K. Telegraph. Blue was the second-most attractive, while green was by far the least attractive.

It goes without saying (or does it?) that you should try to avoid parking under large, leafy trees, and especially avoid parking under mulberry or other fruit-bearing trees that would be especially attractive as feeding spots.

While freshly delivered droppings won’t do much damage other than grossing you out, the trouble is that most people don’t remove them immediately.

Car care product specialists Autoglym conducted research that proves the damage results from cooling paint lacquer which contracts and hardens around the droppings. The damage can usually be avoided – but only if owners act fast.

“As paint lacquer warms – in the direct summer sunshine for example – it softens and expands,” Autoglym says in the Telegraph. “At the same time, that heat dries and hardens any bird droppings on the surface. … As the paint lacquer cools, overnight for example, it contracts, hardens and moulds around the texture of the bird dropping,” leaving a dulled or even pitted surface.

You can prevent the damage by acting quickly to remove the “substance,” using a soft cloth and warm soapy water.

If the droppings have hardened, let them soak and soften, and then wipe off.

Lastly, keep your hands away from your mouth and wash thoroughly afterwards, because the birds have one more little present embedded in there for you: their droppings can cause Histoplasmosis and Cryptococcus, both of which are extremely harmful diseases that can be spread from birds to humans.

Now get out there and wash that car.

With files from CarBuzz

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