Pigeons are called flying rats for good reason. They pollute buildings and spread disease, to the point that a heavily pigeon infested attic is one of the most dangerous environments we encounter as pest controllers.
If pigeons are roosting or nesting on your property, you need to treat their presence just as seriously as you would a mouse or rat infestation.
Here are my tips for getting rid of pigeons.
Unlike rat and mice poisons which can be precisely and safely targeted with the use of bait stations, there’s no way of poisoning pigeons without also poisoning other birds. Pigeon poisons are not commercially available, and are hardly ever used even by professionals.
Even if there was a poison which only affected pigeons, it would be an almost useless method for reducing their population.
This is because the amount that pigeons breed depends on the availability of food. If you reduce the population of pigeons, the remaining pigeons will have more food, causing them to increase their breeding and rapidly return to their previous numbers.
The most effective way of controlling a pigeon population is to reduce the availability of food. Make sure that there’s no food waste around your property and sweep up any fruit or berries lying around in your garden.
Unfortunately, the food source might not be within your control as pigeons are quite happy to feed elsewhere and return to your property to roost and nest.
You should get in touch with your neighbours, nearby businesses or your local authority if poor waste management close to your property is providing pigeons with a food source.
Along with depriving pigeons of food, you can also use pigeon repellent equipment to make your property unappealing for them. Pigeon spiking, wires and nets are effective at dissuading pigeons from roosting or nesting.
Your property also needs to be kept in good condition. Any large enough hole in your roof or walls can provide a nesting opportunity for a pigeon, and perfectly replicates the crevices where wild rock doves make their nests.
Pigeon droppings may contain harmful bacteria which can cause infectious diseases such salmonellosis and psittacosis. This is what makes pigeons and the areas they infest so dangerous.
If you discover an area where pigeons have been roosting, you shouldn’t attempt to clean the droppings without full protective gear. This includes a filter mask to prevent you from inhaling the dust from dried droppings, along with the bacteria they carry.
If you don’t have the right gear at hand, you should seek professional help from pest controllers such as us.
Most pigeon proofing is beyond what can be accomplished through DIY, and long term control is best achieved through regular site inspection and population monitoring.