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Guide to Pigeon Control, Best Pigeon Repellent for Your Home

Updated on August 21, 2011
Lily Rose profile image

Some may call me a shopaholic. I like to discover new things that improve my life! I love providing real & honest reviews to help others.

A pigeon’s natural habitat is high cliffs, ledges, and caves. For this reason, Pigeons flock to metropolitan areas because windowsills, roofs, eaves, bridges and other man-made structures are similar to their natural habitats.

Pigeon poop is not only unsightly, but the high acidity in it can pose serious damage to buildings and autos. Pigeon poop contains ammonia and uric acids which can turn into concentrated salt if it’s not properly cleaned. When dried pigeon poop gets wet, the “salt” compound takes on an electric charge and can even rust steel, thus corroding steel structures such as bridges. Acidic accumulations of pigeon poop makes surfaces hazardous to work or walk on. Washing these droppings can be extremely costly. Pigeon poop is estimated to cause nearly $1.1 billion in damage in the United States each year.

Human health problems from pigeon poop are not generally an issue; at least they are rarely reported. Resolving conflict between pigeons and people has been an ongoing effort that has not proven to be an easy one.

Many people enjoy bird watching from a distance, but when they start to camp out and make home on our gutters and window sills, it’s no longer scenic – they become pests and people want to know how to get rid of them. There are many humane options available for dealing with pigeon control, as well as some that are not so humane. This article will touch on many of the available humane options for individuals seeking guidance in getting rid of these pest birds.

Pigeon Feeding

A lot of the time, the problem begins when well-intentioned people start regularly feeding the pigeons.  The problem in that is that it encourages more and more birds to come and stay, thus requiring more feeding.  Eventually the situation gets out of control.

The amount of feeding by humans, especially in urban neighborhoods, must be limited to avoid this problem.  The best way to go about this is to gradually reduce the amount fed over a couple of weeks to a reasonable amount.  Supply only an amount that you feel birds will eat within 5 to 10 minutes.  Vary the time of day that you feed them, too, so they don’t get conditioned to be at the same place, at the same time, every day.

Humane Pigeon Control Products

Bird control spikes.  Creating a physical barrier which will prevent pigeons from returning is one of the best options available.  Bird control spikes, also known as anti-roosting spikes are one type.  Birds can’t land on an uneven surface, so they’ll just move to different spot. There are a few different kinds of bird control spikes; however, they all serve the same basic function – to deter the birds from landing where they are installed.  Most come in short sections and can be installed with either an adhesive or with nails to virtually any surface.

The pigeon “pill”.  In 2007, the city of Los Angeles began a trial use of an oral contraceptive for pigeons called OvoControl P.  This was done in a combined effort with an attempt at a citywide campaign to ban the feeding of pigeons.  According to the contraceptive’s manufacturer, the pigeon population is expected to shrink by at least half by 2012.

Bird netting. Prevent pest birds from accessing nesting areas on your property with bird netting. It is used to seal off structural openings from birds. It is available in different sizes and will keep out a number of different birds, depending on what size bird netting that you purchase. Ease of installation and virtually no maintenance make this a great bird repellant option.

Bird spiders.  Similar to the bird spikes, bird spiders have “arms” that protrude from the base; however, the arms of this physical bird deterrent are somewhat flexible and they bounce and sway in the wind, thus creating a visual distraction for the pest birds.  They will want to stay away from the area.  This type of deterrent is best for boats, docks, signs, light posts, ac units.  They are available in several sizes as well.

"The only difference between a pigeon and the American farmer today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere."

~ John Hightower

Bird deterrent shock systems.  This repellent is a good option if you are looking for something somewhat low profile.  It is a track system that produces a mild electrical jolt to the pigeon that attempt to land on it.  This electrical jolt does not harm the birds, but it does change their habits.  This track system is available in flexible material that can be installed on round or other shaped surfaces.

Solar bird repeller. This type of pigeon control uses solar power to continually sweep up to a 5’ diameter. Great for use on boats, bimini tops, radars, patio furniture, or any flat surface (even angled surfaces.) Very easy to install.

Holographic Tape. Birds are scared by the sheen of this iridescent material, which constantly changes when light hits it. Additionally, the metallic noise that it makes as it blows in the wind rattles the birds. Simply hang it and watch as it flickers and flashes with bright holographic flare.

Bird slope. This product is perfect for ledges. When installed, it turns a 90 degree ledge into a “slope” and pigeons and other pest birds can’t land on it because they slide off.

As you can see, as a property owner, be it a private home or commercial building, there are many effective products available to help make your property less attractive to the pigeon population.

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  • Lily Rose profile image
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    Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

    I would always opt for something humane, even though I hate these birds! I like the bird spider myself...

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

    These all sound like humane solutions. Good job!

  • donotfear profile image

    donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

    I can't say I've ever had a pigeon problem, but I certainly CAN say I've had a chicken problem! Great article, Lily!

  • Lily Rose profile image
    Author

    Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

    Thanks Cosette! I had never seen the spider, either - it's pretty cool.

  • profile image

    cosette 7 years ago

    hmm...i might try that bird spider...never heard of that, or pigeon pills. pigeons are becoming a big problem in my area...thanks for the excellent tips! i'm pressing the UP button.

  • Lily Rose profile image
    Author

    Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

    You guessed it, 50 Caliber! Actually, my parents were - are - the ones with the problem. They have a townhouse that they rent out so right now it's the tenants' problem, but prior to them renting it out, they had an ongoing struggle with these disgusting birds and tried almost everything to keep them out of the patio/balcony area.

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 8 years ago from Arizona

    Well written hub on an interesting subject. I'm not sure but I'm guessing you must have had dealings with pigeons in the past?

    I think of pigeons as rats with wings, a few are fun to watch and 1,000's are disgusting in their wake of sh!t.

    I am more direct to the cure firing pyrotechnic charges into the air surrounding them will send them off to a quieter place. I would suggest a shotgun, but who would want to clean that mess up?

    Great hub, I'm sure will be helpful to those in urban areas that have to be humane.

  • dusanotes profile image

    dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

    Lily Rose, this is a much needed blog and you did so with much skill and ease, so it seems. You might have had trouble doing this kind of a Hub, because, to me, these birds are highly disgusting. I was in Venice once and the biggest takeaway was my negative outlook on their pigeons. They were all over the square, with their droppings. It must be the world's dirtiest and most unhealthy place. Thanks for the spikes and other deterrents you gave.

    Best wishes, Don White