How to get rid of pigeons: on your roof, balconies and courtyard

Wondering how to get rid of pigeons? They may have become a nuisance because there are so many of them congregating in your yard that they monopolize all the bird food and deprive smaller birds of their due.

Or maybe the sheer number means your driveway and vehicles are covered in poo? And while their cooing may be pleasant, you may have discovered that a large group of pigeons can be noisy and the sound of their wings is loud as they jump up and fly away.

So if casual visitors have become a significant and disruptive presence, here’s how to humanely dispose of pigeons.

How to get rid of pigeons

There are good reasons why pigeons flock to a place. “Pigeons are attracted to spaces that provide them with shelter and a source of food,” says Darren Backhouse of MJ Backhouse Pest Control. “Rooftop spaces and solar panel installations can provide them with good places to nest, so it’s important to take protective measures against birds.”

Fortunately, there are a variety of options you can use when looking for the answer to how to get rid of pigeons, and they should be used together. “To humanely deter birds like pigeons, you need multi-sensory deterrents (sight, touch, smell) used in conjunction with each other,” says Elizabeth Frieling, co-owner of Vanguard Wildlife Solutions, a company owned and operated by veterans who provides strategic wildlife removal and repair solutions. in southern New England.

Ask our guide.

1. Remove food sources from pigeons

As with many things in life, prevention is a good strategy. “Eliminate potential food sources and don’t feed them,” recommends biologist and training specialist Thomas Ward of Critter Control.

Make sure trash cans, recycling bins and compost bins are secure and do not provide food for pigeons. Clean up leftovers after outdoor meals and make sure they can’t get to the pet food either.

2. Stop pigeon nesting

There are many places the pigeons will choose to make their home. “For residential and commercial properties, the main problem for pigeons is when they roost on ledges, roofs, chimneys or in attics, sheds and barns,” explains Thomas Ward. “If a pigeon has a nest somewhere inside, it will have to be removed.”

“One of the most effective ways to humanely dispose of pigeons is to deny them a place to land and roost, which can be done with a variety of products, such as a bird slope,” it adds. he.

Bird spikes can perform the same task. “They prevent birds from landing on the surface, preventing them from searching for suitable nesting sites,” says Jordan Foster of Fantastic Pest Control. “There are a variety of tips designed for different implementations.”

A net can also be used. “Half-inch mesh netting prevents pigeons from accessing a specific spot,” says Thomas.

Other habitat modifications may be worthwhile. “Prune trees with dense branches and leaves regularly,” advises Thomas, although he points out that this may have a limited effect as pigeons often nest and roost on man-made structures.

3. Repel pigeons

There are a variety of solutions offered to repel pigeons. “Optical gel is a tool that has incredible results in deterring birds when used correctly,” says Elizabeth Frieling. “The product uses multi-sensory discs that need to be spaced in a certain way.

“It’s made from citronella, peppermint oil, agar and beeswax – pigeons don’t like the smell of citronella or peppermint oil.

“You clean the area beforehand to remove bird pheromones. Applying optical gel masks pheromones and creates visual disturbance, and if pigeons were to touch it, it would be sticky. The birds won’t like it, but it won’t hurt them.

“The product is both humane and more aesthetic than bird spikes,” she adds.

Birding zoologist Joseph Greene, founder and CEO of Trinidad Birding, recommends an ultrasonic deterrent. “These devices are small and unobtrusive, they can be placed anywhere and omit sound that humans cannot hear, unlike birds,” he explains. “The sound is quite shocking to the bird population and will quickly deter them from staying and nesting in the area.

“As long as the device is working, the birds will stay away and it won’t hurt them.” You can also buy solar-powered appliances so you never have to maintain them.

Try wind chimes, suggests Jordan Foster. “Installing a wind chime is one way to discourage pigeons from nesting on your patio or balcony. The sound of wind chimes helps keep unwanted visitors away. Some of these chimes have reflective objects which discourage pigeons from hanging around.

There are also anti-pigeon gels. “This product usually contains ingredients such as essential oils, which are offensive to pigeons,” says Jordan. “Gels are usually applied to edges or areas where they don’t belong. However, they are a short-term solution because the gel dries out quickly or becomes covered in dust or debris, rendering it ineffective and requiring reapplication.

Alternatively, try reflective surfaces. “This is a proven method for keeping birds out of your yard,” says Jordan. “For example, many of us have seen this used in the form of CDs or other shiny objects that reflect sunlight when viewed from the side. Moving light is irritating to birds. Motion-activated lights, tape, and reflective spiral stickers can deter birds adequately,” he adds.

4. Hire a professional

If the problem is a large flock, professional help may be needed to get rid of the pigeons. They can then be trapped and dealt with according to the rules of the city or region.

What smell will keep the pigeons away?

There are many scents suggested to keep pigeons away. “There are misting and wicking products that use the scent of grapes as a bird repellent,” says Thomas Ward.

“Pigeons and other birds are said to dislike spices like chilli and cinnamon, but that’s a very temporary fix,” says Darren Backhouse.

Lemongrass and peppermint oil are also scents that pigeons do not like.

What is the best deterrent for pigeons?

A combination of methods is likely to be the best deterrent for pigeons. Slopes and bird spikes can prevent them from nesting, and netting can prevent entry into an area of ​​your property.

You can also try to scare away pigeons. “Laser products can cause enough disruption to be effective in some situations,” says Thomas Ward. As for other ways to scare them away, remember that pigeons are used to humans. “Spooky devices for pigeons aren’t very effective,” he says.

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