- Pigeons are sustained by consistent and deliberate feeding by certain individuals, often older or single people, who will frequently feed pigeons with high quality food like grain and corn and also in high quantities.
- It is a misconception that they are sustained by food litter left by the general public from fast food restaurants etc
- Problems should be reported to town and city councils who have the remit to deal with pigeon control on a wider basis. They will not deal with the protection of private properties.
- For private properties it is advised to buy deterrents like bird spikes or bird wires.
- Pigeons will consume almost any food that is available to them – food scraps, fast-food leftovers, worms, insects.
- Their natural diet is seeds and grain but when this is not available they will resort to other food types.
Why do we still have such huge flocks worldwide when pest control companies kill millions of pigeons every year in control operations?
- Pigeon flock size is determined by available food. It is common, even after a wide-scale culling of a pigeon population, that they come back in a matter of weeks in large numbers such is their capacity to breed and rejuvenate.
- Pigeons will breed 4 to 6 times a year in areas where there is a steady food supply.
- Where there is a shortage of food pigeons will not breed because there is not enough food to feed their young.
What deterrents are available that will offer complete protection for a property where pigeons are either roosting or breeding or both?
- Anti-roosting spikes are the industry standard. If installed correctly, spikes are completely effective, easy to install and inexpensive.
- Anti-roosting spikes can be installed by the general public without the need for bringing in bird control specialists, as long as it is easy to access. For high-rise buildings and large commercial buildings it is recommended that you get advice by trained bird control specialists.
- Nylon bird netting is also an industry standard and in most cases it should be installed by professionals
- For obvious problems where pigeons are roosting on window ledges and causing soiling issues, then anti-roosting spikes are advised.
- If you think that pigeons are roosting and breeding inside of the building and there are pigeon chicks in situ then you should call in professionals
- Pigeons will congregate on roofs because they can overlook feeding areas- maybe a restaurant, bakery or fast-food outlet. They will also stay on residential roofs because they overlook a bird feeding station or there may be access in the loft for them to breed.
- Chimney pot spikes can be used to prevent this or nylon bird netting.
- Anti-roosting spikes are perfect for preventing this. It is advised that the spikes are installed using an electrical cable tie wrapped around the bottom of the spike and around the aerial. This will make it more secure and stop it from slipping and facing downwards.
- If you are concerned that a stainless steel spike will interfere with TV reception, then plastic spikes can be obtained.
- Anti-roosting spikes are perfect for preventing this. Assuming that the window opens inwards or upwards, the spikes should be installed on the window sill itself.
- For windows which open outwards you should attach the spikes to the base of the frame of the window that opens.
- This is fairly rare. For period properties where there might be large and wide cast iron gutters it is possible. Use anti-roosting spikes together with a gutter clip. This will stop them from nesting and also perching on the gutter.
- Nylon bird netting can be an expensive option and is not always guaranteed to work. It is worth trying anti-roosting spikes first to see if that eradicates the problem.
- Galvanised steel mesh can sometimes be a suitable alternative. This will last longer than nylon bird netting but can’t be used to protect large areas because of the weight.
- To avoid this install a chimney cowl on the chimney pot. These are easy to install and inexpensive.
- A chimney cap may also be an option if the chimney is no longer used.
- Pigeons do not nest in chimney pots but birds like jackdaws do. Always ensure that the breeding period has finished before implementing any preventative measures.
- Pigeons do not tend to roost on ground floor windows so it is the upper floor window sills that need to be protected. Anti-roosting spikes are perfect for this.
I have pigeon excrement on the ground at the side of my house but there are no windowsills or obvious perching places?
- Pigeons are probably roosting on external pipework or overflow pipes. Pipe spikes can be obtained to counteract this problem.
- If there is no external pipework then pigeons may be roosting under the gable or within the roof space or soffit. Anti-roosting spikes can deal with the problem under the gable. If the pigeons are occupying the roof space it is advised to call in professionals.
- Pigeons are probably entering through a hole in the soffit. The soffits will need to be thoroughly investigated for live birds and chicks. The soffit board may have to be repaired or replaced to stop the problem from happening again. It is advisable to bring in professionals.
I have a dormer window on my roof and pigeons appear to be roosting under the overhang of the gutter on the dormer – is this possible?
- Pigeons are well known for roosting or nesting under the overhang of gutters on dormer windows. Check for live birds or nests and if there aren’t any, install anti-roosting spikes.
- Anti-roosting spikes can also be installed onto the roof tiles to protect the overhang.
- The best thing to do is get professional help to deal with the problem.
- All wild birds carry diseases but it is extremely rare for these diseases to be passed onto humans.
- Large quantities of bird faeces can cause respiratory problems so bird control specialists will use protective clothing and equipment when cleaning areas that have been exposed to significant volumes of bird droppings.