how to get rid of pigeons
Animals, Life Tips

How to Get Rid of Pigeons: 7 Effective Ideas

Pigeons. Love them or hate them, these white grey birds are everywhere. While they’re harmless for the most part, too many pigeons can be quite a nuisance. They can damage property; they poop everywhere; and, worst of all, they can carry diseases.

Hence why pest control often includes them on their list of pests to exterminate. However, if you don’t want the hassle of paying them to remove the pigeons, you can always do it yourself.

Here’s a basic guide on how to get rid of pigeons in the quickest and easiest way possible.

An Introduction to Pigeons

Pigeons

For such a common bird, pigeons have a surprisingly complex history. They’ve been a constant fixture in human settlements ever since they were domesticated in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago. During that period, they served as a convenient food source in areas prone to droughts.

They were also a delicacy in many Asian cuisines, most notably Indian. However, as useful as they were, they’ve become quite the bother in recent years. For example, feral pigeons are a major problem for homeowners and businesses alike.

These birds exhibit a behavior known as roosting, meaning they will typically congregate together in large groups on rooftops or sidewalks. Such large groups will often go wherever there’s an abundant food source, which can pose a significant issue for those in the food industry.

Even if you don’t actively feed pigeons, you’ll likely drop a piece of food on the floor or dump it in the trash can. This will inevitably attract the pigeons, who will then persistently hang around restaurants, food processing plants, and parks.

But wait, that doesn’t sound so bad. Pigeons are totally harmless, and feeding them can actually be entertaining. However, remember that these birds are one of the most prominent carriers of diseases next to rodents and livestock.

Pigeon droppings contain several different types of fungi, including histoplasmosis. This fungus attacks the lungs and can cause severe damage, especially if you’re immunocompromised.

So having pigeons drop waste around human food sources can be incredibly dangerous for public health. In addition, large quantities of pigeon poop can be very slippery, which is always an issue during the colder months.

Considering these facts, it’s no wonder why people call these birds rats with wings. It’s even more understandable why you might want to know how to get rid of pigeons.

Is It Legal to Kill Pigeons?

Kill

Killing an animal is always a painful thing, even if it’s a pest. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable. It may even happen by accident while you’re trying to get rid of the pigeons humanely. Therefore, you likely want to know what the law says about killing pigeons. Is it legal or not?

The short answer is yes and no. This is mostly due to the pigeon’s status as a domesticated bird. Depending on where you live, different countries afford domesticated animals different rights.

In the European Union, for example, a pigeon has the same rights as any other pet animal. Though it’s technically a feral, the law still views it as a pet without an owner due to its dependency on humans to survive.

On the other hand, the US has a completely different stance on these birds. Almost all bird species in the US, Canada, and Mexico are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The MBTA, as it’s abbreviated, protects all native bird species which migrate.

However, the act excludes three species — the English house sparrow, the European starling, and, of course, the feral pigeon.

Since none of these birds are native to the region, it’s completely legal to dispatch them using culling techniques. Some of the most common ones include trapping, shooting, or poison. The only caveat here is that you have to do this ‘humanely.’ Now, this is the tricky part, because it begs the question — how do you kill an animal humanely?

For example, poisoning is a valid and common culling technique. However, many would consider the slow death a poisoned pigeon would experience to be incredibly cruel. What one person thinks is humane may not be so for someone else.

Therefore, different municipalities have varied stances on what is considered animal cruelty. In New York, you could get into serious trouble if you poisoned pigeons with Avitrol, while in Long Island no one would bat an eye.

So before you go ahead with your extermination program, be sure to check your local law on it.

Ways to Get Rid of Pigeons

Get Rid of

As previously mentioned, killing pigeons can be a murky business due to differing animal cruelty laws in the US. In the UK, the matter is even more strict thanks to the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

This law forbade the killing of pigeons and any other wild bird species. So with the complicating matters, the only other option is to use non-lethal methods. Fortunately, when discussing how to get rid of pigeons, there’s no shortage of those.

1. The Natural Method

falcon

While there are quite a few anti-pigeon products available on the market, the natural method is always the best. In this case that would be keeping a falcon around. As birds of prey, falcons naturally hunt and kill pigeons. This makes them a great deterrent for the feathered menaces, as they trigger the pigeons’ fight or flight response.

Moreover, introducing predators to the area is a fantastic way to keep pigeon numbers down. A predator functions as a natural method of population control. Falcons will not only kill the weak and sick pigeons but also ensure that they don’t breed wildly out of control.

Plus, a natural method guarantees that you won’t have to go get your hands dirty and kill the birds yourself.

Simply allow the falcon to circle your property, and see the pigeons vanish in terror, never to return.

2. Other Methods

Keeping a falcon around sounds lovely in theory. However, in practice, it’s expensive and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have any experience keeping birds.

Luckily, you don’t have to do something quite so complicated to figure out how to get rid of pigeons.

  • Anti-Bird Spikes

Spikes

Image source: Pinterest

Nobody likes to rest in uncomfortable places. The same is true for pigeons. So if you want to know how to get rid of them, the answer is to make your yard inhospitable. One of the best ways to do so is to use anti-bird spikes or ‘spike strips.’

These are a set of attachable spikes that can be fastened to any surface. Since the pigeons will seek to avoid the spikes, they won’t land on them.

That is how they can prevent pigeons from perching or nesting in areas near your home or work, like roofs or windows. Thus, this method will still rid you of an unwanted pest without harming them outright.

  • Parallel Wires

Wires

Image source: Pinterest

When discussing how to get rid of pigeons, parallel wires come up as the most effective method. It involves installing parallel wires that run across a structure. The wires will act as a kind of barrier, which will prevent pigeons from landing and nesting.

Therefore, you’ll once again be able to get rid of the problem without spilling any blood or potentially breaking the law.

  • Bird Netting

Netting

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Anyone wondering how to get rid of pigeons should check out bird netting. While a giant net hanging on your window doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing, it’s very effective. The mesh structure acts as a barrier between the pigeons and possible perching areas.

Plus, if you’re concerned with how the net looks, you can always decorate it in some creative way to spice up its look.

  • Bird Gels

Gel

Image source: Pinterest

If you’ve ever caught rats, then you’re likely familiar with this trapping method. Bird gels are a form of sticky trap or sticky gel. They’re essentially bird repellent that uses a chemical that creates a translucent barrier across structures.

This barrier causes the pigeon’s feet to become stuck to the surface. While you might think this will hurt the bird, don’t worry.

With a bit of wiggling, the pigeon will be able to free itself. However, seeing how unpleasant that experience was, they likely would not want to repeat it. Thus, they’ll try to avoid landing on any areas that have bird gels. Therefore, if you’re wondering how to get rid of pigeons in the most humane way, go with bird gels.

  • Decoy Kites

Kites

Image source: Pinterest

If you can’t afford the natural way to rid your property of pigeons, go for a knock-off. For example, you can wave a kite-shaped decoy with a falcon image plastered on it. From a distance, the pigeons will mistake it for an actual falcon and avoid landing in a certain area. It’s a fun, yet harmless way to keep them away.

However, kites may not be the best solution. The pigeons can potentially miss the decoy and land anyways, seeing as their eyesight isn’t exactly flawless.

  • Lasers

Lasers

Image source: Pinterest

Lasers don’t just work on cats and dogs. They can be powerful anti-pigeon weapons too. But while our canine and feline companions find them fascinating, birds might be less enthusiastic about them. The persistent piercing light can blind the pigeons, which can cause them to crash while flying.

Unfortunately, much like the previous entry, this may not be the best method to get rid of pigeons for good. That is because these birds can easily grow accustomed to the light show and learn to avoid it when coming to land.

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