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.