Pigeon Control : A Complete guide
Why pigeon control?
People generally don't think of pigeons as an invasive species, but they have been defined as such by the USDA, and given how infested they can be with diseases, they are often heard referred to as 'flying rats'
Pigeons are both destructive to property, and carry diseases that can be lethal to humans - especially when cleaning their droppings, if dust is inhaled. In addition to Chlamydophila psittaci, which can cause severe respiratory problems, pigeons are also known carriers of West Nile virus, salmonella, and avian flu. Combined with the pathogens in their nests, pigeons can be particularly problematic in conjunction with air conditioning systems, as ducting and areas around AC units are attractive to the birds.
Why Pigeons numbers have increased?
Feral pigeon flocks have increased in numbers and dominate the urban landscape, agriculture and country towns due to the availability of:
- Fresh water
- Secure breeding sites.
As a result, there has been an increase in feral pigeon numbers in many areas of Western Australia.
Action needs to be taken to help rectify the feral pigeon problem before the problem escalates.
- They have a life span of 3 to 4 years in the wild and up to 16 years in captivity.
- Pigeons are monogamous. A mating pair will have 3 to 4 broods per year of 1 to 2 eggs each.
- Eggs are a solid white colour. They hatch in 18 days.
- The young leave the nest within 35 days.
- Pigeons do not migrate. They stay near their birth site (which may be your home).
Identifying a feral pigeon
The standard feral pigeon is generally:
- blue-grey with a white rump
- has iridescent feathers on its head and neck
- has 2 broad black bars across each wing
- has a broad dark band across the end of the tail.
Feral pigeons can also display white, brown or grey plumage.
Problems and health risks
The presence of pigeons can result in a range of problems. These can include:
- attracting ticks, cockroaches and rats
- damaging buildings and monuments due to the highly corrosive nature of acid in pigeon droppings
- damaging properties by pigeons roosting/breeding in roof spaces, rolled steel joists and inside factory units
- debris from roosting flocks building up, causing gutters and drains to block, damage to roofs and other structures, and creating potential fire hazards
- extensively damaging air-conditioning units and other roof top machinery
- pigeon droppings in/on industrial, commercial, and domestic buildings causing hygiene concerns
- introducing weeds and disease through pigeon droppings
- increasing the risk of disease and parasite transmission between feral, domestic and seabird populations
- escalating costs through public liability insurance from slipping on dropping build up.
Does your property have a pigeon problem?
Many property owners do not realise their building has a feral pigeon problem.
Factors which indicate a pigeon problem on your property include the following:
- 1 or 2 pigeons frequenting your yard/property
- an accumulation of pigeon droppings on or around your property.
Once you recognise your property has a pigeon problem you will need to take action to prevent pigeons from roosting and nesting on/in the building.
If no action is taken the problem may escalate and more cost will be involved.
In the majority of cases, if corrective action is taken, the property should be pigeon proofed indefinitely.
Research has shown that only using lethal methods to control pigeons (culling) have its limitations as a long term control strategy. Moreover it is illegal to kill pegion in india according to (WPA) 1972 &
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960) section 11 (l)
Implementing non-lethal control techniques is the most effective long term solution to reducing the pigeon population.
Remove sources of food and water such as:
- Outdoor Pet Food Bowls
- Bird Baths
- Bird Feeders.
Ensure that rubbish, especially from a food premises, is properly stored and food spillage is kept to a minimum.
Eliminating of nesting sites
Pigeon nests are very simple and often consist of a few stiff twigs.
Look for nests along building ledges, bridge supports, air-conditioning units, window sills etc.
Pigeons are very persistent and destruction of the nest at regular intervals is needed with a combination of other control methods.
Installation of Pigeon spikes
Pigeon spikes are considered to be the most efficient and the most cost-effective pigeon exclusion device available within the pest control marketplace. Most independent experts believe that pigeon spikes are the only that can be considered to be 100% effective. Pigeon spikes are renowned for their versatility in terms of application, longevity and the ease of installation, making them the best-selling. Probably their greatest benefit to the property owner is the fact that the product is not only extremely quick and easy to install.
Installation of Anti- Bird Netting
Bird netting or anti-bird netting is a form of bird pest control. It is a net used to prevent birds from reaching certain areas.
Bird protection netting comes in a variety of shapes and forms, the most common is a small mesh (1 or 2 cm squares) either extruded and bi-oriented polypropylene or woven polyethylene.
The colour most used is black (as the carbon black UV inhibitor offers the best protection against solar rays), but also bird netting may be available in other colours.
Bird netting is one of the most effective and long lasting ways of bird proofing buildings and other structures against all urban bird species. It provides a discreet and impenetrable barrier that protects premises without harming the birds. Bird netting can be particularly effective for large open areas such as roofs and loading bays. Design considerations include the type and material of the fixings utilized and the bird species requiring exclusion.
Proofing and deterrents
It is important to prevent pigeons from gaining access to roosting and possible nesting sites by closing doorways and windows, and sealing open eaves etc.
This may be as simple as closing a window or sealing a crack or crevice using materials such as mesh or wooden panels.
Products such as netting (bird wire or mesh), wire coils or pigeon spikes prevent pigeons from landing or roosting on building surfaces.
Other methods include:
- scare devices such as a combination of audio or visual deterrents
- Application of gel products that pigeons find sticky and uncomfortable to stand on.
It will also be in the best interest for neighbouring properties to proof their property otherwise pigeons will quickly take up residence.
Repellent gel is normally used to prevent birds landing on solid external surfaces such as windowsills or architectural features and is applied using a mastic gun (caulking gun). Repellent liquid is a less viscous version of the same product allowing the user to spray or paint the liquid onto larger or more difficult to treat internal areas via a pressurised spraying device.
Repellent gel is recommended for most types of external application and repellent liquids are more commonly used for internal applications.
Both products are relatively easy to apply and virtually any surface where birds perch or roost can be treated with the product. Even trees and shrubs can be sprayed with repellent liquid. Both products are suitable for use with all species of birds making the products extremely versatile. Repellent gel and repellent liquid are both non-poisonous and non-harmful to birds