Oh how the pigeon has fallen. Pigeons were once the premier method of relaying messages and communicating with nearby villages, now they are considered pests. Pigeons’ impeccable navigational abilities guiding them “home” is now the characteristic that makes them frustratingly hard to manage and control.
Pigeons are social animals and tend to roost in groups of 20 – 30 but sometimes many more. Pigeons mate for life and both the male and female pigeon incubates the eggs and cares for the young. It is believed that pigeons can recognize themselves in their mirror as well as recognize all 26 letters of the alphabet. They can fly at altitudes of 6,000 feet at an average speed of 77 miles per hour… and always find their way home.
For all their intelligence and impressive skill, feral pigeons are dependent upon humans for food and roosting perches. Where humans thrive, pigeons accumulate. Where pigeons accumulate, they poop. Pigeon poop is blamed for slip and fall accidents on city sidewalks. Their acidic fecal matter damages historical buildings, roofs, and the paint on cars. It may also contain disease causing bacteria and attract flies and other pests. Business owners that rely on outdoor dining and activities simply can not tolerate the infusion of bird feathers and fecal matter that accumulates under a flock of roosting pigeons.
Pigeons homing instinct allows them to fly hundreds of miles from “home” and always return. Pigeons nest anywhere that offers a bit of protection from the elements and infest both crowded cities and more rural neighborhoods. Pigeons may nest inside roofs or attics, gutters, chimneys, and within the detailed architectural features of old buildings. Ledges of any kind are irresistible to pigeons as their social tendencies are encouraged by a long ledge. Pigeons roost on statues, under bridges, and high in the rafters of barns, sheds, and railway stations. Any place that is out of reach and offers some protection will attract these opportunistic squatters.
Unfortunately, removing the nest or shooing pigeons away with a broom is completely ineffective. They will return to their home, their mate, and their social structure. In order to remove pigeons from an established roost, habitat modification is often necessary. Habitat modification makes the treated building inhospitable to pigeons such that they abandon the property and associate a new nesting location as “home.” These changes also prevent new pigeons from establishing a nest.
Before installing any bird deterrent system, a thorough cleaning and sanitation effort should take place. Take care to remove or limit all sources of food and water if practicable. Trapping pigeons prior to the installation of a deterrent system may be necessary with extreme pigeon populations.
There are many different deterrent systems that can be installed to keep pigeons at bay. Your professionals at Nextgen Pest Solutions are experienced in installing and maintaining these systems for optimal performance. The system recommended will be dependent upon the architecture of the building, your business’ requirement for visual discretion, the number of birds in the area, and of course your budget. Options for pigeon control may include spikes, netting, ledge deterrent systems, electric tracks, or bird wire.
Bird spikes are one of the most popular pigeon control products. Bird spikes are available in either plastic or stainless steel and they prevent birds from landing/roosting on the areas where they are installed. These spikes are on a strip which is secured to the ledge or roof. Some bird spikes can curve gently or turn edges. Bird spikes are a durable, cost-efficient nuisance bird solution, however to some they are not aesthetically pleasing.
Bird netting is a highly specialized bird control solution. Netting is most useful in buildings with open air or semi enclosed features such as balconies, barns, airplane hangars, loading docks, and courtyards. Properly installed netting prevents birds from accessing the elements of the building and is nearly invisible. While good quality bird netting is highly durable, it may eventually need to be replaced due to exposure to the elements.
Ledge Deterrent Systems
As stated earlier, pigeons love to roost on a good ledge. Rather than installing spikes on the ledge, you can install a weatherproof piece of material on the ledge at a 45° angle. Rather than roosting comfortably, the birds cannot get comfortable and will slide right off. Eventually, they will abandon that “home” and choose another. This product can be color matched to blend in with the building and provides long lasting results.
Electric Tracks for Birds
If the visual aesthetics of your building is the primary concern, consider electric tracks for bird control. This system involves placing tape with electrical currents running through it along popular roosting locations. When birds land on the tape they receive a shock, which does not harm them. The birds learn to stay away from your building giving you bird protection without loosing your any curb appeal.
Bird wire can be installed on any building which can support two posts. Wire is attached to these two posts at different heights. This creates an uneven and uncomfortable perch for the pigeons and they often vacate the area in search of more comfortable roosting area. When installed correctly, bird wire is barely visible and highly effective.
Trapping alone is not a long term solution to your pigeon problem. Pigeons are highly intelligent; certainly trap and release is not a viable pigeon solution. In some situations, trapping pigeons in conjunction with habitat modification measures can help to reduce the population so that you can safely install the bird deterrent device.
Specially designed pigeon traps are large cage traps with a one-way entry door. Many pigeon traps can capture multiple pigeons at a time. By scattering cracked corn or other bait in and around the trap you can easily capture pigeons. However, have a plan for the trapped pigeons. Even if you drive hundreds of miles away and release the pigeons, they will find their way back to their “home.” If you euthanize the pigeons you have trapped, more will likely take their place. In short, trapping alone will not get rid of pigeons, but it can be a tool used in getting pigeons off your property.
Pigeon Pest Control
In our modern world, pigeons have become a pest that can not be tolerated. Pest Control Professionals and Wildlife Nuisance Wildlife Control Officers have specialized training and experience battling nature and the complexities that it presents. Allowing pigeons to roost unobstructed on your building can damage not only your building, but your business’ reputation and status. Contact Nextgen Pest Solutions today to get your pigeon population off the ledge.