For a long time, pigeons have become an iconic bird illustrating comfortable suburban city, in which people interact with hundreds of birds in a public park. However, large colonies of pigeons might be a full nuisance, especially when they nest around the house. Pigeons, in fact, are prolific—seeing few birds means there are much more dwelling in the certain place. This bird species is often found infesting not only houses but also big warehouses, causing many problems and creates a costly treatment to get rid of them.
Threats caused by pigeons
As a prolific species, pigeons infest certain places in a quite big colony. Not only that they wander around infested places, they also build a nest in spots which are not easily reachable. This infestation may cause a lot of threats to the house, landscapes, and even vehicles, such as:
- Pigeon droppings are massive and damage many roofs, monuments, fences, house exterior, balcony grills, and even automobiles. These droppings contain bacteria and spores which can be transmitted to other animals and humans. Pigeon droppings also cause damages to mortars and bricks, as they act as a binding agent.
- Pigeon urine is acidic and has a corrosive effect on various painted objects, such as painted iron fences, motorcycles, and cars.
- Pigeon debris, such as feathers, dry grass and leaves, and tree branches may clog water gutters and another drain system. In big amount, this clogging material may cause a bigger problem to outdoor sanitation.
- Pigeons also nest in an air conditioning unit. Nesting debris clogs the unit, and the acidic urine corrodes the unit, causing it to eventually stop working.
Inspecting pigeon infestation
Pigeons may infest various places outdoor. Although these critters do not commonly infest indoor areas, they might still cause problems for reachable indoor areas, such as the attic. To check whether you have pigeon infestation around the house, check some signs and areas ensure yourself.
- Pigeons love balconies and might make it a place to build their nests. If you find pigeon droppings on your balcony rails or walls, pigeons might possibly attempt to infest the place.
- Small tree branches, leaves, and other small debris are the materials pigeons use in building their nests. Be alert if you keep finding these things around the balconies, as pigeon nests might be in progress.
- Check attic eaves, as pigeons often use the place to nest and as a shade from rains.
- Pigeons might also be responsible for damages to your flowers and other vegetation in the garden. They might also leave droppings on your stone fountains and other garden statues.
- White dropping on your automobiles can also be a sign that pigeons are around and can possibly attempt to infest.
Getting rid of pigeons
Various methods are suggested to get rid of pigeons from infested places. Choose any methods which are applicable and more affordable to treat any pigeon infestation around the place you are living in.
Scaring them off
Pigeon infestation management can be done through the method of scaring the birds visually. To do this, you will need objects which distort their sense of sight. To get rid of pigeons by scaring them using objects, you will need:
- Aluminum foil pennants
- Kites with larger bird silhouettes
Choose one of the objects you want to use to scare the pigeons off. Put it near the area which is susceptible to pigeon infestation, such as garden, balconies, and attic eaves. These light objects move easily in the wind, scaring the birds away. Because of this, an owl statue which is static and sits in the same spot will not work for scaring pigeons, since they will grow accustomed that the thing is not harmful.
Spraying them with water
Water, especially in strong waves is an effective deterrent for pigeons trying to infest your house. This will scare them and give a message that their presence is prohibited. Pigeons will then assume water as their enemy which makes them uncomfortable. However, to make a pigeon water cannon effective, it has to be sprayed upon the birds’ arrival, before they manage to build any nests around the susceptible places. Once they build the nest, this water attack will no longer be effective. What you need to perform the treatment:
- Flexible time to notice bird’s arrival
- A water hose with sufficient water debit
Creating uncomfortable dwelling spots
Pigeons dwell and rest on flat surfaces, such as house roofs and shades, balcony railings, water fountains, walls, etc. Hence, building an angled surface will be helpful in deterring the animals. If you think this is too costly, you can try making sloppy dwelling places which they are not going to favor. To do this, you will need:
- A can of WD-40
- Slanted metal boards
If you are using WD-40, spray the content directly onto the surfaces you are trying to protect from pigeon colonies. This will be effective for places which are reachable for you since you might have to repeat the treatment every once in a while. Hence, treat pigeons on the balcony railings and the garage walls with this.
If you choose slanted metal boards, you should cover the surfaces which are too flat and hence, too comfortable for pigeons to roost. Put the slanted metal boards on the roof, attic eaves, and other tall areas to keep pigeons away.
Many people complain that pigeons keep trying to roost around their balcony. Pigeons might also try to roost above barn roofs, causing damages to the roof. To avoid this, you might consider bird netting. You will need:
- Fine wire mesh
Cover susceptible spots with fine wire mesh. You can do netting once you found pigeon’s nests around the house and garden. Inhibit the birds from coming to the nest by covering the infested spot with wire mesh to make the birds find a new place to roost.
How to trap pigeons
If you have a large pigeon infestation, you might want to perform a pest management which makes it possible to catch more than one bird at the same time. This will save your time and energy, as well as make it possible to do the extermination faster. Pigeon trapping method is one of the treatments you can perform for getting rid of pigeons effectively and humanely. However, you also need to put it in mind that pigeons are intelligent so that trapping them will not be definitely easy. Despite this, you can attempt to attract them and eventually catch them with your set up traps. Steps for trapping pigeons are described as follow:
- Getting pigeons used to the trap
To trap pigeons effectively, you will need to make them come near the placed trap. Hence, it is important to invite these birds inside the trap without scaring them. To do this, follow these steps:
- Place the trap with the door open—do not set up the trapping door just yet.
- Attract pigeons by generously scatter corn or other seeds around and inside the trap for several days.
- When pigeons are attracted to the trap and have assumed the trap box as their place to feed, set up the trapping door which works automatically.
- Dispose of trapped pigeons by releasing them far away from your residence. However, some homeowners find out that disposing of alive pigeons have a risk of having them back since they are very intelligent.
Some people have experienced severe pigeon infestation with no effective repelling methods. Hence, they decide that to get rid of the birds permanently, there is no other way than killing the birds. Before doing this method, you will definitely have to check with your state laws. In most countries, pigeons are not protected by any laws, so that exterminating the birds by killing them will not put the doer to a law-breaking act. Despite all reasons, killing the species should be the last resort, when you found out all humane treatments do not work in getting rid of them. To kill large pigeon colonies, you might use these methods:
Killing pigeons by shooting them
Shooting pigeons are inhumane, although it can be said as an effective controlling method. To shoot pigeons, make sure you are only using guns in rural areas, which will not cause other homes to be disturbed. Pigeons are accustomed to humans so that shooting should not be difficult. However, if you are a lack of responsibility of taking care of the carcasses, this might not be a suitable solution for you.
Killing pigeons by poisoning them
Bird and pigeon poison is sold widely in the market. This can be an effective solution if you manage to properly target pigeons using the poison. In fact, poisons can put other creatures and animals in danger. Hence, only poison pigeons as the last choice for very large infestation. Make sure you consider some things when using poisoning as pigeon control method, such as:
- Always wear protective gloves before applying any poisons.
- Put the poisoned bait in places unreachable by children and pets.
- You are going to be responsible for numerous carcasses when poisoning works. Make sure you have thought about the carcass-removing method before applying poisoning method.
- Dispose of dead pigeons immediately, since they might be the source of bacteria which spread various diseases.
Pigeon-proofing your house
Among all pigeon controlling methods, preventing pigeons from infesting your building at all might be the best action you can perform. If you see some pigeons wandering around your property, immediately perform preliminary actions to prevent their colonies from growing bigger. There are various methods to make the house pigeon-free:
- Keep the trash can enclose and make sure you clean food scraps and leave outdoor areas clean. Clean thoroughly after any outdoor parties. Do not leave dirty barbecue grill outside.
- Pigeons are attracted to pet’s food. Hence, do not feed pets outside. Remove any left foods in pet bowl to avoid pigeons from trying to clean it up. It is better to feed pets indoor, after all.
- Consider bird netting for protecting plantations which may attract pigeons. This is also an effective method against some other pests.
- Pigeons—and other birds are attracted to fountains as their bathing place. Hence, to prevent them from infesting this fountain, place balloons or kites which can easily move with the wind to scare the birds off. Placing an owl statue near the fountain, for instance, will not be effective, as the birds will soon realize that the statue is “fake” and harmless.
- Check the building frequently. Fix any holes and gaps in the attic, basement, and other spots pigeons might encounter. The birds are intelligent and will remember the locations exactly. Next time you see them, they are collecting tree scraps and feathers to build their nests at the sites.
- Cover chimneys, attic vents, and open areas near the roofs with fine-mesh screens.
- Set up strings in 60 degrees outside your balcony railings to discourage pigeons.
- Check outdoor rainwater gutters. Gutters which are big enough might be used by infesting pigeons as the place for building their nests. Consider covering the gutters with mesh screen which let the water pass, but will keep bigger creatures, such as pigeons away.
- Use deterrents to keep pigeons away. Spices are quite effective in discouraging pigeons and prevent them from infesting certain spots. To deter pigeons using spices, you will need:
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
Put the mixture of these spices into a fine-pore cheesecloth and hang it on the patio, balcony, and exterior window sills. If you prefer, you can also directly sprinkle these powdered spices along with the railings and sill. However, dews and rains might wash it away, so be alerted to replace it once it disappears.
Cleaning up pigeon mess
In many cases, homeowners manage to prevent pigeons from infesting their properties by performing suitable and effective treatments. However, these birds might have dropped some mess—the poops and urines around the building, and it has to be cleaned up to prevent bacterial infection. To do this, use a strong bacterial cleaner or chlorine bleach, which is effective in eliminating residing spores and bacteria in these droppings. Rinse the cleaned areas thoroughly, making sure that there are no chemicals left. Do not forget to wear a mask and gloves to prevent direct contact with the debris, as it may contain bacteria and fungi, which is harmful to your health. Dispose of the accumulated debris of first water it to inhibit left spores and bacteria from growing.