Serious pest problems can be caused by pigeons. If you are having pigeon problems, they are probably being caused by a common pigeon species, often known as rock doves or Columba livia.
These birds come in a variety of hues, but they are often grey in color with black and white markings on their bodies and purple and green around their necks. Pigeon pest management difficulties have been documented all across the world, from the Americas to India, all throughout Europe, New Zealand, and beyond.
Pigeons can populate areas in great numbers if those areas offer them food, water, and shelter. Pigeons’ nesting supplies, feathers, and waste can accumulate and spread beneath areas where they like to perch as well as down the sides of walls. Pigeon dropping accumulation has occasionally been known to result in roof leaks and other damage.
Pigeon droppings are not only unattractive, but they also carry disease. You may be at risk for developing particular diseases if you are exposed to pigeon droppings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Note: Although cases of histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis in humans are uncommon, those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible and should avoid being exposed to pigeon droppings.
Like other birds, pigeons can carry a variety of ectoparasites, or parasites that are carried on an animal’s exterior, like ticks.
In cities where pigeons are commonly found, balcony railings are everywhere and provide the ideal resting spots for pigeons. Pigeons are clever birds with excellent navigational skills. It might be challenging to persuade pigeons to quit once they locate a prime roosting location.
What Is Roosting?
Perching on a surface or ledge to rest or sleep is known as roosting in birds.
Ways to Get Rid of Pigeons
It is crucial to use an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy to address pest control problems. Examine the environmental elements that are attracting pigeons to your house and take steps to alter them. As a result, the environment becomes less appealing to them and there are more natural barriers. Remember that getting a grasp on a pigeon problem likely requires the combination of several control techniques.
Removing Food Sources
Start by removing any pigeons’ access to food sources whenever you can. This can entail taking care of any open trash cans or compost bins.
If you like to feed the birds but are having pigeon problems, it’s important to stop so the pigeons understand that your house won’t be a reliable source of food. Some people really enjoy feeding the birds, but this can affect a bird’s capacity for self-sufficiency and lead to birds overwintering in places they would typically migrate from in the winter.
Bird Netting or Screen
IPM practices include physical exclusion, which entails screening or netting off pest-congregation areas.
If done correctly, this can be an efficient way to get rid of pigeons on a balcony area. Pigeons will not be adequately kept out of the area if the screen or netting does not completely enclose the aperture through which they enter.
Make sure the edges of the space you are enclosing in netting are attached firmly and tightly. Usually, some kind of cable system is used for this, to which the netting is subsequently fastened. Make the call to an IPM specialist if you feel that this is a daunting assignment.
Pigeon and other bird roosting areas may be protected using bird spikes, a sort of deterrent. Birds cannot land on them because of their protruding, broad spikes.
Bird spikes have some drawbacks despite their potential effectiveness, and depending on where you install them, they may be unsightly. Make sure to put the spikes correctly if you decide to use this method to get rid of pigeons.
Note: Pigeons don’t require a lot of roosting area. Pigeons can still use the spaces between the strips of bird spikes as a place to roost. Ensure that the spike strip ends are touching and firmly fastened.
Shock tape is used to areas where pigeons land to utilize a shock strip. Although this technique is thought to be safe for people, animals, and birds, it will give birds a mild shock if they attempt to land on it. Pigeons and other birds may learn from this that your home’s surroundings are not a welcome place for them to roost.
The solar-powered battery system and the tape’s communication concerns are this method’s key drawbacks. Consider the cost as well, as this is unquestionably a more expensive DIY pigeon control option.
Bird Repellent Gels
Bird repellant gel comes in two different categories. The first is an optical repellent that deters birds by giving them the impression that there is fire nearby. These products may be effective in some circumstances, but they are not a foolproof solution.
The second kind of pigeon deterrent gel is applied to surfaces where birds are landing; it comes in a caulk tube. Despite the fact that pigeons dislike landing on it, these gels can also kill smaller birds, are messy, and call for repeated applications.
Scaring the pigeons is a different approach that might or might not work. The most typical scare strategies include:
- Hanging reflective objects in pigeon roosting areas.
- Predatory bird figurines made of plastic are used to deter pigeons.
- Devices that emit ultrasonic sound to deter birds.
Despite the fact that some homeowners have great success using these techniques, there are some circumstances in which they don’t work well, particularly when birds become accustomed to the sounds of ultrasonic sound deterrents.
Pigeon numbers can be reduced by setting traps, but once the traps are full, they must be emptied. Unless you are ready to handle the animals you catch safely and in accordance with local wildlife laws, leave trapping to the pros.
What Causes Pigeon Issues?
When attempting to employ IPM to control a pigeon infestation, the following list of potential causes and environmental elements should be taken into account:
Harborage Areas: Where are the pigeons nesting and looking for shelter?
Feeding Areas: Where do the pigeons get their food from? Or do you have bird feeders in your yard? Do you feed the birds on your balcony? Are they able to access compost or trash?
Water Sources: Where do the birds get their water from? Are there any sources of standing water or bird baths that draw them in? Do you have a system of irrigation that seems to draw them at a certain time of day?
Preventing Pigeons From Roosting on Your Property
Finding out what attracts pests to your home in the first place should always be your first step when dealing with pest management. By approaching pigeon control with this mentality, you’ll be able to create long-term, affordable, and environmentally responsible pest solutions.
Pigeon control can be difficult due to how common these pest birds are, but if you have a pigeon problem, there are almost certainly some things that can be changed around your home to make the environment less appealing for them. If you need help, don’t be hesitant to call a professional.
- Pigeons. University of Florida.
- Other Infectious Disease Risks for Workers who Disturb Bat or Bird Droppings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Boxler B, Odermatt P, Haag-Wackernagel D. Host finding of the pigeon tick Argas reflexus. Med Vet Entomol. 2016;30(2):193-199. doi:10.1111/mve.12165
- Stock B, Haag-Wackernagel D. Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons. Animals (Basel). 2013;4(1):1-15. doi:10.3390/ani4010001