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Effective Ways to Humanely Deter Pest Pigeons and Protect Your Property

a pigeon roosting at the top of a building

Pigeons are the top nuisance bird pest in cities across the United States. While you may think pigeons are harmless urban dwellers, they actually cause major property damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Their droppings are highly acidic and can quickly erode materials like wood, steel, and even plastic. Just a few pigeons can generate hundreds of pounds of corrosive feces that puts stress on buildings and creates hazards for people living or working inside.

Beyond the property damage, pigeons also pose significant health risks. Their droppings and nesting materials are considered biohazards as they can carry over 60 different transmittable diseases. These include viral infections like meningitis, Newcastle's disease, and H1N1 bird flu. Bacterial diseases like salmonella, E. coli, and listeriosis can also be spread through pigeon droppings. Serious fungal diseases like histoplasmosis and cryptococcosis are other risks. Pigeon nests may also harbor ectoparasites like bird mites, ticks, and even bed bugs that can transfer to humans.

Clearly pigeons are more than just a nuisance - they are a legitimate urban pest that must be controlled through professional methods. Simply shooing them away or using humane trapping is ineffective as more will return. Implementing an integrated pigeon control system is required to eliminate existing populations and deter new pigeons from moving in.

Pigeon Deterrent Methods

There are several humane and ethical ways to discourage and deter pigeons from taking up residence through environmental modifications:

Habitat Modification

One of the most effective ways to discourage pigeons is to make areas uninviting for them to land, nest, and roost. Physical barriers like pigeon spikes, netting, and electric track systems deny pigeons access to tempting surfaces. Applying a sticky deterrent gel also creates an unwelcome landing area for pigeons.

Bird B Gone Pre-Assembled Anti-Bird Spikes - Spikes can be installed on windowsills, ledges, and edges that birds may use to land on. They're easy to install and can be effective, but the birds might just move to a spot that doesn't have spikes installed. Should be used with other deterrents in order to maximize it's effectiveness.

Bird Netting Mesh, 3/4-Inch by 14-Feet by 200-Feet - Netting can be installed inside or outside in order to prevent birds from landing, roosting, and building nests. Installation is a three part process: installing the anchors that will secure the net, running the cables that will keep the netting tight, and finally installing the netting itself. Netting is very effective but can be a costly option.

Deterrent sticky gels make surfaces undesirable for landing. These gel discs attack the senses in three ways: they have a holographic surface with can scare birds and deter them from landing. They are sticky, so birds will avoid coming close to them, and they give off an odor that is unpleasant for birds. These discs are easy to install on ledges, windowsills, rooftops, and anywhere else you are looking to keep birds away from, but they can be unsightly. It's best to use them in areas that won't be easily seen.

Scare Tactics

Using sights, sounds, and smells that pigeons find unpleasant can drive them away from an area. Ultrasonic devices that emit bird distress calls or predator noises signal danger. Reflective spinning objects and reflective tape create confusing visual stimuli. Aromatic grape seed repellents are extremely bothersome to pigeons' sense of smell. Putting up realistic-looking predator decoys like owls can also frighten pigeons from congregating.

Pigeons have a heightened sense of their environment so by using deterrents that overwhelm the senses you can make it uncomfortable for them to call your building home.

Sound Deterrents - Bird distress calls or predator noises tell the birds that there is danger in the area and they should avoid it. Products like Bird-B-Gone’s Bird Chase Super Sonic Bird Deterrent or the Bird-X Deterrent Electronic Bird Control play a variety of different sounds, depending on what type of bird you are dealing with, and they can be set to play at different intervals. They are easy to install and can help deal with a heavy infestation.

Visual Deterrents - Reflective Tape, spinning devices and reflective discs make it difficult to see and land, so they’ll look for a new place to go. These products are used for light to medium infestations, but should be used with other deterrents to ensure that the birds don’t come back.

OFFO Bird Away Reflective Spinning Device can be installed on rooftops while Bird B Gone MMFT-050 Flash Tape Bird Deterrent can be used on ledges, beams, window sills and other areas that they use to land. Bird B Gone MMSEB Balloon Bird Repellant is an inflatable visual scare device. The bright colors, predator eyes and reflective surface will confuse, frighten and cause birds to avoid the area.

Aromatic Bird Repellents - The Bird B Gone Bird-Out Aromatic Bird Repellent Kit - Dispenser & Cartridge periodically sprays Methyl Anthranilate, a food-grade grape scent that makes it uncomfortable for the birds to hang around.

Decoys - Predator bird decoys signal to the pigeons that a predator is in the area and that it might not be the best place to roost or build their nests. The downside is after a while, the birds seem to become indifferent to the decoy unless you move it around constantly. Decoys are useful for some infestations and should be used with other deterrents as part of a system. Owl decoy

For best results, use a combination of different deterrent methods as part of an integrated pigeon control system. However, before installing deterrents, thoroughly clean up any existing pigeon waste and nests to remove attractants. With some diligence, you can reclaim your property from nuisance pigeons through humane means.

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With an integrated approach using different humane deterrent methods, it's possible to reclaim your home or business from invasive nuisance pigeons. Professional pest control companies can design and implement the right customized pigeon deterrent system for your needs.

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