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Category Archives for "Pigeons"

Do Pigeons Ever Fly at Night? Where do They Go & Do They Sleep at Night?

One question that many people coping with pigeons frequently ask is “Do pigeons fly at night?” Because pigeons are usually noticed during the daytime, it’s logical to assume that they are usually active during the day. This is usually true, unless they were disturbed. Some of the things that could contribute to pigeons flying at night include:

  1. Loud, sudden noises, especially those associated with building
  2. Having lights left on late at night in or around trees
  3. Outdoor parties or other gatherings that generate a lot of noise

Even though pigeons can be a nuisance, there are effective methods that can be used. If you realize what you need to do, you will be able to avoid having pigeons disturbed by nocturnal activity disrupting your activities. You will also want to avoid methods that fail to resolve the problem over a longer term.

Why Exclusion is Better Than Poison

Many people, especially if they find the pigeons particularly annoying, resort to using poison. In addition to possibly being illegal in some areas, poison can also cause other problems. Some birds collide with building windows or cars after ingesting the poison, possibly causing damage. Dogs, cats, and other predators may also become accidentally poisoned after killing and eating poisoned pigeons.

Exclusion is a better method to use over a long period of time that involves the following:

All of these methods, if used consistantly, should make a difference. Careful monitoring is necessary to ensure that these methods are working as planned.

Barrier Methods

There are two common types of barrier methods, porcupine strips, and netting. They are both effective, but should be used properly to ensure that they work. Barriers are good at preventing them from returning to favorite roosting spots.

Porcupine strips have barbs that are sharp and discourage the pigeons from roosting. Netting also provides a surface that birds can’t roost on. However, both barriers should be checked for leaves, sticks, and other debris that would allow pigeons to get around the barbs or mesh.

Stopping Voluntary Feeding

Many people enjoy feeding birds and don’t hesitate to give pigeons something to eat. However, this encourages them to roost in a certain area that may prove inconvenient if the location is used at night. Some of the ways to stop feeding include:

  • Having a no feeding policy with posted signs
  • Using outdoor trash barrels that are properly covered over
  • If necessary, enlist the help of local health department officials

Reducing Access to Food and Water

Although many don’t like the idea of cutting off food and water supplies to pigeons, this is an effective way to exclude them even when nobody is deliberately feeding them.

  1. Make sure nuts and berries from trees and shrubs are cleaned up when they fall
  2. Consider using netting on fruit-bearing shrubs
  3. Empty out containers with standing water

Pigeons are opportunistic feeders and can easily locate food in another location.

When to Choose Capturing or Trapping Pigeons

If you need to remove a smaller number of birds, capturing can be quite effective. Use a commercial trap and release them into another area. Keep in mind, though, the fact that pigeons have strong homing instincts and might come back. This method works best for smaller groups that only roost in the area and aren’t there all day.

Always stay on top of your exclusion methods to ensure that they’re working. If they are, you’ll be in good shape.




Additional Pigeon Behavior Resources:

  1. Internet Center for Wildlife Management  – Pigeons (Rock Doves)
  2. 7 Strange Tips for Pigeon Problems – Never Pest
  3. Techniques for Feral Pigeon Trapping, Tagging and Nest Monitoring – New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Pigeon Deterrent Sprays, Spikes, Ultrasonic Sounds, Hawks & More

Pigeons are a terrible nuisance once they decide your home or place of business is a good place to roost. Pigeons tend to travel is large numbers, and a significant amount of any bird is going to produce unwanted smells and attract bugs. According to Bird Busters, pigeon droppings are so high in uric acid they can corrode metal building material; flocks of pigeons produce enough droppings to clog gutters and drains along your roof. Getting rid of pigeons can be incredibly difficult, especially since trapping isn’t effective and it may be against the law to disturb an area where they are currently nesting.

Pigeon deterrents are probably the most effective line of defense against pigeons. In most cases, they can chase off your flock of regulars and should be useful for keeping future groups of birds from hanging out on your property. These deterrents include:

  • Netting or fencing materials
  • Metal or plastic spikes and nail strips
  • Electric shock strips
  • Stainless steel coils
  • Slanted molding for ledges
  • Fake Owls (which also work for crows and other birds)

Netting, Spikes, and Coil

Netting is usually used as a temporary deterrent for pigeons. If you need to keep pigeons and other birds off a building project temporarily, this is a cheap and easy to install option. If you don’t mind the way it looks, netting can keep pigeons from landing on your property long-term. Pigeon netting is usually made of vinyl string or plastic.

You may have seen spikes lining the tops of fences or ledges around buildings. Homeowners and business owners can install spikes to deter pigeons as well. They are either made of metal or plastic and come in a variety of sizes and arrangements. A less expensive option is to make your own spikes with nails and strips of lumber. According to The Review Journal, however, pigeons are often able to stand around the spikes anyway. Sometimes they even use the spikes as the upright posts of their nests.

A similar strategy to spikes, stainless steel wire coils are supposed to take up any space on eaves or ledges where pigeons try to land. The key to coils working is proper installation. If the coils are too far apart, pigeons can simple roost around the wire; if it doesn’t reach the edge of the space in question they can simply stand off to the side. Installing this kind of deterrent is supposed to be simple and less expensive than other options.

Shock Strips, Slanted Molding, and Plastic Owls

Electric shock strips may not be the most humane way to keep pigeons off your roof but the reportedly work. These strips are typically flexible and come with an adhesive backing. You lay the strips down on the area where pigeons are roosting and the next time they land they’ll be greeted with a mild electric shock. This should be enough to keep them from stepping wherever the strip is applied. You can either plug the strips into an outlet or use a charger to power them. The only problem is if your power source fails the pigeons come back.

A more architecturally attractive option is tilted molding. This deterrent is simply a piece of metal or wood that sits on top of existing ledges, leaving no place for a pigeon to perch. It can easily be painted and matched to your existing building material, making this option the least disruptive to the aesthetic of your property even if it is not the most affordable.

If you have ever wondered why someone would place a large, plastic owl on top of a building, wonder no more. Those owls are placed to scare away pigeons and other birds. The idea is that pigeons know owls are a natural predator and will stay clear of anything that looks like them.  Product reviews indicate these plastic predators do not work very well, likely because birds eventually see that the “owl” never moves.  Some people periodically move their owl decoys in order to maximize their effectiveness.  Maybe their best use is a backup for one of the other deterrents listed here.

Pigeons are fairly stubborn pests stubborn to get rid of.  The best deterrent is the one that works for your building; figuring out which option that might be is the hardest part of the process. Consumer reviews and advice from a pest control expert might help you determine which pigeon deterrents are right for.


Safe Pigeon Poison – Pellets, Corn & Legal Considerations

Pigeons are well known for being pests in the city. The pigeons roost on or even inside buildings where their nests become a huge problem with all droppings, nest materials and feathers. With the likelihood that they will spread diseases the pigeons have to be removed from where people live. They carry a surprisingly large number of diseases that they are able to transmit to humans. With very few predators their numbers are able to increase rapidly so the chance of diseases spreading grows. The droppings are what cause the biggest danger of diseases spreading; the worst ones are:

Cryptococcal meningitis

This is a fungal infection of the tissues covering our brains and spinal cord. It can cause; fever, hallucinations, headaches, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and stiff neck.

Salmonella and Listeria

Normally associated with food, salmonella can also be transmitted by pigeons. Listeria is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and babies.

Viral encephalitis

The pigeon is the main carrier of the West Nile virus, which is a variable disease causing temporary illness to permanent nervous system damage. This is particularly dangerous to children and the elderly.

E. Coli

If you are ever in a pigeon infested area; make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. They are better transmitters of the E. Coli infection than under-cooked meat.

If you didn’t think you had reason to remove the pigeon before, just knowing about these four diseases should convince you that you need to remove them from your housing area as soon as you can.

Poisoning  Pigeons

It may be illegal in your area to poison pigeons. You must check with your state or city regulations before actually using this as a means to remove pigeons from your home. The reason for this is that a poisoned pigeon will become a serious threat to household pets that may eat it or to the wildlife in the area that may also find the dead bird and eat it. It can also result in the city you live in to spend money to discover why all of a sudden a large number of pigeons are dying. When any number of deaths start showing up they will first suspect a disease has broken out and want to study the dead birds to discover the reason for their death.

Poison Alternatives for Pigeon Control

A better solution to getting rid of the pigeons would be to reduce their numbers with wildlife control and still provide you with a permanent solution to your problem.

  1. Ovocontrol is a chemical bait that will render pigeon eggs non-viable. Once you get the pigeon eating this “free” food, they will stop having babies. It’s basically a birth control for the pigeon population. It will take about six to eight months before you start seeing results, but they will be obvious.
  2. Pigeon repellents can make it uncomfortable for the pigeons to roost. You can find this in gel or liquid form and can be either soft or sticky. This repellent can even be purchased as a hot substance. The birds are not going to like landing in it and will find a new area to roost. While it is not a poison and will not harm the birds, it will encourage them to find a new home away from you.
  3. Pigeon scare balloons that have a few reflective surfaces on them and predator eyes will put the fear in the heart of the pigeon and send them away from your building. The balloons are brightly colored and can be hung in tree branches or on the eaves of buildings they are entering to ensure the pigeon flies away in fear and doesn’t want to return. Put these balloons in your balconies, patios, and boats or anywhere the pigeon is roosting on your property.
  4. Motion detectors can repel pigeons by creating sounds that will annoy them and make them choose another route. These detectors use ultrasonic sounds which are only heard by the pigeon when it flies into the area and activates it. Place the detector on the ground about three feet from the ground and aimed where you know the birds are going to fly. You may have to change location occasionally to make sure you keep the bird confused and annoyed and not wanting to return to your building.

The pigeon has an incredible homing ability; so trying to trap them and relocate them will pose a very difficult task. They have been known to find their way back to a location hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Your best chance of success for getting rid of the pigeon by your home is one of the tips we have listed here.


How to Get Rid of Pigeons

Pigeons can be a relentless nuisance for those who live in, or near, a city.  They make themselves at home on windowsills and balconies, causing damage and leaving a mess wherever they go.  In fact, pigeons are considered the number one urban pest bird in the United States.

To be clear, we’re referring to feral pigeons and not those raised for hobby or sport. Feral pigeons are the opportunistic city-dwellers who feed off scraps of any food people leave behind.  They gather round the trash can in your local park, cooing and trilling, doing that pigeon bob-and-weave thing they do, looking for the errant pizza crust or hot dog bun. They leave their droppings everywhere and acidic pigeon poop eats away at your car’s finish, your home’s exterior, and just about anything it touches.

Those are the birds that cause such a nuisance, and cause you to wonder how to get rid of pigeons. Not only are their droppings destructive, they can also harbor diseases, such as histoplasmosis, which is harmful to human beings. Get rid of one or two, and four more come back.  It’s enough to rattle your nerves!

Before you find out how to get rid of pigeons, you should know a little bit about them.  They are intelligent birds and have an interesting backstory, in spite of their annoying habits.  Once you understand why they do the things they do, you’ll have a better idea of how to get rid of pigeons.

Why Pigeons Are a Nuisance

Pigeons are not native to North America and started arriving in the 1600’s. In Europe, at the time, pigeons were trained as pets and for entertainment. When the colonists arrived, with their pigeons, they soon had bigger worries than caring for their aviary pals, and these prolific pioneers had to fend for themselves.  Abandoned in the earliest cities in the US, the pigeons from across the pond soon learned to adapt to their new habitat.

Pigeons naturally roost in high areas, as their instinctual homes are rocky outcrops and cliffs. Without the natural roosting area available, pigeons sought the highest available real-estate.  As high-rise office buildings, apartments and condos started popping up, they became prime real estate for these birds.

Chickens may come home to roost, but so do pigeons. In fact, it isn’t unusual for these bird-families to have more than one generation living nearby, and coming back year after year. That’s why homing pigeons have a natural ability to return to their nest.  Pigeons will often reuse the same nest, or build another on top of the old one.

These messy penthouse pests can exist on seeds, fruit, and scraps of food left behind by those who dine al fresco, making urban life fairly easy. Real areas also have their share of pigeon problems. Grain silos, and feed mills make a great place to grab a bite and barns and silos make excellent roosting areas, or a place to just hang out, and leave behind a huge mess.

Why Are There So Many Pigeons Around?

Pigeons have few natural predators in urban areas, though snakes,owls, hawks, and other birds-of-prey are their biggest threat in less urban surroundings.  Pigeons reach sexual maturity at seven months, and begin mating right away. The female can lay up to 3 eggs, two weeks after mating, and the eggs will hatch after 18 days.

The chicks will leave the nest after 3-4 weeks, but the female can lay more eggs before the first group has flown. Their prolific reproduction, combined with the lack of natural predator, makes for extreme overpopulation, which makes figuring out how to get rid of pigeons difficult.

Evicting Pesky Pigeons

If you’re having an issue dealing with pigeons, in either the city or out in the country, take heart.  There are ways you can evict your tenacious tenants. There are answers to how to get rid of pigeons. Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to poisoning the birds, and rerouting them to areas more accommodating to their natural instincts.

The kindest way to remove pigeons from your home or building is by convincing them they don’t want to roost there.  Since these birds have such incredible homing abilities, you can’t simply trap and release these birds elsewhere.  If you’re seeking out how to get rid of pigeons, you want a permanent approach.

Whether you’re in the city, suburbs, or a more agrarian space, the easiest method to try is the scare-away tactic. Most experts agree that the plastic owl, or birds of prey, that scare off garden pests, won’t work for these savvy birds. Instead, scatter a few rubber snakes around your porch, or try using something that will move and make some noise. Strategically placed wind chimes, or a mylar balloon, tied to your balcony, work well.

Making their roosting area uninhabitable is another tactic that will discourage pigeons without causing them harm. Anti-roosting spikes that you place along exterior window sills, balcony railings, roof gutters, and anywhere these pervasive pests might land, make these places very uncomfortable, causing a rapid relocation. They are one of the most sure-fire ways to prevent pigeons from roosting. These spikes are an investment, especially when professionally installed, but will last for years to come.

Commercial gels, designed to repel birds, works well as a method for how to get rid of pigeons.  However, with the gel, you will need to reapply after inclement weather.  Be sure your product is non-toxic to kids, animals and plants and eco-friendly.

Screens affixed outside of your window can create a barrier.  Homemade barriers can be made out of weather proof string, such as fishing line. Tie a few inches above your porch railing to discourage pigeons from landing.

If these methods won’t work for you, there is another way to encourage relocation of these bothersome birds.  Technology offers a sound-emitting device that is annoying to pigeons, but inaudible to you.  These devices employ ultrasonic technology, creating a barrier of sound around your roof, balcony, or window.  Ultrasonic technology has been used for years as a method of discouraging pests in agriculture, but is recent to your local garden center or hardware.

Patience, Perseverance, and Pigeons

Ridding your space of pigeons will take some patience. But tackling the problem using these methods is the only way to avoid pigeons roosting, messing, and scavenging in and around your property altogether, now and in the future. It’s vital that you keep in mind that these birds have been occupying these spaces, or areas nearby, for generations.  They can essentially survive on any type of sustenance, and they breed year round. Persistence is key in removing these pigeons, and their descendants, for the longterm.

You may grow weary of trying and trying again, but never take matters into your own hands.  In most areas, especially cities and suburbs, it is illegal to kill wildlife.  If you truly are at the end of your rope, contact someone who specializes in removal of wildlife. But, be aware, that very well may not be the end of your pigeon problem.