How to Humanely Deter Pigeons: A Comprehensive Guide

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Urban dwellers often encounter the adaptive Feral Pigeon (Columba livia domestica), and let’s face it—they can be dirty. This post will discuss the most gentle and successful strategies for discouraging pigeons.

If you have a Pigeon issue, keep reading—it could be easier than you think to solve!

What Draws Pigeons to Urban Environments?

Prior to examining several outstanding Pigeon deterrents, it may be beneficial to go over the history of this common issue. As they say, know thy enemy. Why then do pigeons feel so comfortable in our cities and towns?

The wild Rock Dove, which breeds on ledges naturally found along coastal cliffs, ravines, and other rocky settings, is the ancestor of feral pigeons. Similar micro-habitats made possible by modern building are ideal for roosting and rearing their progeny.

To term these birds invasive would be unfair, however, since we have taken them with us to every corner of the globe. After “re-wilding” in the concrete jungle, these descendants of tamed birds are now thriving in a new environment to which very few other creatures have adapted.

The natural ledges found on coastal cliffs, ravines, and other rocky environments are the breeding grounds for the wild Rock Dove, which gave rise to feral pigeons.

Non-Toxic Discouragers Reflective Items

Birds prefer to stay away from glossy, reflecting things, however we are not sure why precisely. Perhaps the reflections confuse and disorient them, but regardless of the cause, we can utilise this information to efficiently dissuade Pigeons.

Reflective items, such as old CDs, pocket mirrors, and specially produced holographic tapes, are a common deterrent for troublesome bird species. The idea is to suspend the material—possibly made of thread or monofilament—close to the problematic location so that it may blow in the wind and cast light.

There are also some very creative bird deterrents on the market that revolve by utilising the wind, electricity, or solar power. To deter pigeons, these items are firmly fixed in trouble spots like roofs.

Bird Netting

With basic bird netting, you may be able to totally keep pigeons out of the area you’re attempting to protect, depending on your circumstances.

A very gentle and successful way to keep pigeons out of semi-enclosed spaces like balconies is to use bird netting. Without obstructing light or ventilation, a mesh size of around 2 inches or 50mm offers a great barrier against these birds.

To keep things tidy and stop any crafty birds from scuttling through, the netting has to be securely fastened and extended around the whole circumference.

A very gentle and successful way to keep pigeons out of semi-enclosed spaces like balconies is to use bird netting.

Defending Spikes

A big annoyance may arise from pigeons perching over a doorway, along a balcony railing, or along a windowsill. Thankfully, there’s a cunning fix that will motivate these birds to choose other places to rest or sleep.

Although pigeon spikes or bird spikes may seem dangerous, pigeons are wise enough not to settle on such an unpleasant surface. These spikes may be fastened along the problematic region and come in steel or plastic strips.

Organic Repellents

Numerous sites advise deterring troublesome birds near the house by utilising natural aromas like citronella oil, peppermint, cinnamon, and chilli. Their efficacy varies, and you may need to get accustomed to the scent depending on where you live. Although it is comparatively inexpensive and simple, this approach is worth trying, it is unlikely to be a practical solution for more significant Pigeon issues.

Adjust Eating Patterns

In addition to places where they may rest and build their nests, pigeons are drawn to regions where there is a consistent supply of food. Naturally, it’s not a good idea to feed the birds you’re attempting to scare away. Is it feasible to feed other birds without giving the pigeons any encouragement?

Although they may occasionally be seen eating from platform feeders or bird tables, pigeons mostly feed on the ground. If you want to feed smaller songbirds and keep pigeons away, use a hanging tube feeder. Pigeons cannot just browse on the ground below your feeder; instead, a hanging seed tray underneath it will capture fallen food.

By offering nectar, suet, mealworms, and other delicacies that pigeons dislike, you may also draw in other birds.

Although pigeon spikes or bird spikes may seem dangerous, pigeons are wise enough not to settle on such an unpleasant surface.

Activating Organic Hunters

Even though they may not have as many predators as natural ecosystems, urban areas are nonetheless home to some of the best pigeon hunters in the world. One bird that is becoming more and more comfortable living amid multistory structures in towns and cities throughout the globe is the Peregrine Falcon.

The urban habitat is a unique ecosystem where many different species compete with one another for survival in a somewhat desolate setting. Promoting and protecting indigenous raptors and other possible predators of Pigeons might be a great ecological solution.

Consistent upkeep and management of the nest

Although it could require some work, just taking down pigeon nests is an efficient way to discourage these birds. Birds that prefer a peaceful, isolated spot to raise their young will be deterred by continuous presence in the area, including cleaning and upkeep.

Since new pigeon nests are delicate constructions that are difficult to relocate and maintain, this is only a viable solution if the issue is discovered early enough. Ideally, you should avoid disturbing a couple of birds who are already raising eggs or chicks, particularly if the species is local and protected.

Anti-Roosting Agents and Their Secure Utilisation

If you can safely put the physical deterrents (spikes, netting, etc.) in the issue location, they work well at keeping pigeons from roosting on your property. But there’s another kind of product you may want to think about.

There are optical gels and sticky anti-roosting gels on the market. Some of these products reflect UV light and are said to make the landing location uncomfortable for pigeons. Additionally, they could include compounds that cause a little burning sensation on the bird’s feet and smells like peppermint.

These items could work depending on the circumstance, however use must be done responsibly in this case. Inadequate or excessive application of gels might entangle birds or render them coated and immobile, perhaps leading to a very cruel end to their lives. Make sure the repellent product you use is permitted in your region and carefully follow the use directions.

Available on the market, sticky anti-roosting gels and optical gels are said to discourage pigeons by making their landing uncomfortable.

When communities work together to address the issue, it may be considerably more successful in reducing the harm caused by feral pigeons. Since there are many places for them to nest and roost in our towns and cities, using deterrents alone is unlikely to address the main issue.

A better option is to use humane barriers and deterrents for pigeons on every portion of structures, and even take into account their nesting and roosting behaviours during the building design process. Removing Pigeons physically is only one aspect of the issue; food availability must also be taken into account.

Start a discussion with well-meaning people who feed pigeons in troubled places. It could be just as satisfying and enjoyable to support and feed other native bird species. Food stores and trash management firms should also be mindful that they can be unintentionally giving pigeons something to eat.

Reducing the amount of food accessible to pigeons may seem harsh, but if done properly, it won’t cause them to starve right away. Reducing their success in breeding inside the region should be the ultimate objective.

The Value of Living Together

It’s important to give your pigeon issue some thought before attempting to eradicate them. Sure, you would want to get rid of pigeons as soon as possible if they were roosting in large numbers on your balcony, but in smaller situations, you may decide to let them live. Keeping a little Pigeon litter under check could be the most harmonic solution since we have already kept so much wildlife out of our cities.

When communities work together to address the issue, it may be considerably more successful in reducing the harm caused by feral pigeons.

Is It Allowed to Remove Pigeons?

Depending on the kind of pigeon you are attempting to dissuade and where you reside, different legal protections apply. For instance, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States does not provide federal protection for the Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, but the Wildlife and Countryside Act in the United Kingdom does.

Before attempting to remove or discourage pigeons, it is always vital to check local authorities since there may be rules in your nation, state, or even city that restrict the use of deterrents.

When to Get Expert Assistance

It’s true that sometimes it’s better to simply bring in a professional to handle issues around the house since we don’t always have the time, resources, or expertise to handle them. It’s risky labour to work on roofs and balconies, both for you and the people below! If you do decide to employ assistance, be sure they adhere to humane and legal Pigeon deterrents by asking them about their tactics.

In the United Kingdom, the Wildlife and Countryside Act protects the rock dove, often known as the feral pigeon.

FAQs

Are repellents for birds harmful to them?

The basic goal of bird repellents is to discourage birds without endangering them. However, if deterrents are used improperly, pigeons may be harmed or trapped. Clearly, there are concerns for birds when sticky gels are used excessively or when birds are unintentionally sealed inside an area with a barrier like bird netting.

Can you merely discourage pigeons?

Regretfully, all bigger and similarly sized birds will be discouraged from entering a region by bird spikes and nets. On the other hand, pigeons are often the dominant species in trouble spots like balconies. Smaller songbirds can only be fed using a caged feeder or a tube feeder combined with a seed catcher. Smaller songbirds can pass through greater mesh diameters.

Are Pigeons deterred by plastic Owls?

Regarding their ability to discourage pigeons and other birds, plastic owls have received mixed reviews. While they may work at first, Pigeons usually pick them up quickly and start to disregard them.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the best long-term solution to keep Pigeons away could be to physically block them from landing in the trouble spots surrounding your house and structure. However, it’s worthwhile to start with easy and inexpensive fixes like hanging reflective tape.

Managing untidy Pigeons may be bothersome or even upsetting, so perhaps the advice in this post will help you solve the issue! Above all, kindly use compassionate techniques out of respect for the birds and always abide with the law.

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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