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How to get rid of pigeons

Information, facts and resources to help you deal with an infestation of pigeons and, if the worst happens, how to destroy the pigeons and prevent this household pests return.

Feral Pigeons

What does a Feral Pigeon look like?

feral pigeon

Feral Pigeon

Pigeon Description

  • Flocks of feral pigeons have become an increasingly common sight in many towns and cities.

Where do Feral Pigeons live?

  • Feral Pigeons thrive in urban areas in particular because there is usually a good food source and also because of the absence of predators.
  • The result is that pigeons can become a pest in built up areas.

What are the signs of Pigeon infestation?

  • Large flocks of pigeons.
  • Pigeons nesting and roosting.
  • Vacant buildings, structural defects and building design can all provide attractive roosting sites. Various proofing methods are available to deter roosting.

What do Pigeons eat?

  • Pigeons are scavengers and eat waste food and scraps in towns and cities.
  • More people are choosing to buy from "fast food" outlets and to eat their snacks and meals outdoors.
  • The amount of food spillage and litter containing food waste has increased in recent years, and this source of food has been exploited by the feral pigeon population.
  • Feeding Pigeons. Feeding is one of the main reasons why flocks congregate around many shopping centres.
  • Some people feed pigeons in the mistaken belief that the activities of the birds are harmless to humans.

Why must Pigeons be controlled?

  • Pigeons cause many problems including:
  • Fouling of Buildings. Fouling occurs where birds nest or roost. Apart from being unsightly, the acidic droppings can erode stonework resulting in costly long term damage. Gutters and drainpipes can become blocked causing flooding. Ladders and fire escapes can become coated with droppings, making them unsafe to use.
  • Hazards to Pedestrians and Drivers. Pigeon droppings are a danger to the public as they can cause slippery pavements and roads. Startled flocks will take flight suddenly, causing hazards to pedestrians and drivers.
  • Encouragement of Other Pests. The feeding of pigeons attracts rats and mice, which take any uneaten food. Pigeon nests, droppings and dead carcasses provide a home for a wide variety of insects. These infestations can spread into buildings causing nuisance, damage and skin irritation.
  • Disease Transmission. Pigeons carry a number of potentially infectious diseases such as Salmonellosis, Tuberculosis and Ornithosis. Contamination of food by pigeon droppings or by the birds themselves can transmit these diseases to humans.

How can I get rid of Feral Pigeons?

  • Discouraging their roosting and nesting by the use of nets and mechanical deterrents.

How can I prevent Pigeons from returning?

  • This is an issue for everyone and we can all do our part by:
  • Removing all food sources.
  • Disposing of waste food carefully.
  • Not feeding the pigeons.

Pigeon Poisons and Pigeon Pesticides

  • Major Feral Pigeon Infestations in town centres have been controlled by poison, and chemicals in the past, but these methods are no longer used due to their danger to the environment and limited success.

The "Green Option" - Environmentally friendly control of Pigeons

  • No encouragement should be given to Feral Pigeons by feeding.
  • All food sources should be removed.
  • Nesting and roosting sites should be made inaccessible to pigeons.

  • Human food lacks the necessary nutrients the birds require for good health.
  • Feeding attracts pigeons into an area that is potentially hazardous to them - resulting in damage to wings and feet.
  • Feeding results in all year round breeding which causes overcrowding in roosting sites, allowing disease to spread quickly within the flock. The birds therefore live in an unhealthy and stressful condition, exposed to parasites and disease which can be passed on to other wild birds.
  • Pigeons are wild birds, capable of searching out their own natural food supply. Regular feeding by humans destroys their ability to fend for themselves and makes them dependent on humans.

Feral Pigeons : Household Pests

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