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Monday, June 24, 2024

Solving the Pigeon Problem: Effective Methods and Strategies

Are you constantly at odds with pigeons, feeling like you’re playing a never-ending game of tag? The cycle seems relentless: the constant cleaning of droppings off your car, the painstaking effort to scrub away stubborn marks from your balcony, and those incessant cooing sounds that rob you of precious morning sleep. It’s undeniable—pigeons have this uncanny ability to assert their presence in the most inconvenient ways. 

For many, the battle against these birds is a daily grind, and if you’ve ever felt helpless against their antics, you’re not the only one. However, you must understand it’s not just about shooing them away for a fleeting moment of peace. The real goal is finding solutions that last. You’ve landed in just the right spot for that. Together, we’ll explore and show you how to get rid of pigeons using different methods, from preventative measures to direct interventions. But first, let’s understand why pigeons are so attracted to your space.

Why Are Pigeons Attracted to Your Space?

Pigeons, like any other urban wildlife, are survivors. These birds have acclimated to city life primarily because our urban landscapes offer them plenty of opportunities. Here’s what’s drawing them in:

Food Galore: Pigeons aren’t picky eaters. The crumbs on the streets, leftovers in open trash bins, or even the intentional feeding by bird lovers—it’s all a feast for them. Over time, they remember which locations offer a regular food source, and they keep coming back for more.

Shelter & Safety: High ledges, underpasses, and rooftops mimic the natural cliff faces pigeons would have used for nesting in the wild. Our buildings provide them with plenty of nooks and crannies, offering both shelter from the elements and protection from predators.

Easy Living: With fewer natural predators in the city and plenty of resources, urban environments are, in many ways, safer for pigeons. There’s a lack of significant threats, and with food readily available, it’s an easy choice for them to settle.

Social Creatures: Pigeons are social birds. If a few find a great spot, others soon follow. Their flocking nature means that once a place is marked as ‘safe and resourceful’ by a few, it’s only a matter of time before more join in.

Different Methods to Encourage Pigeons to Find a Different Spot

1. Deny Them Food:

For pigeons, food isn’t just sustenance—it’s an invitation. An open buffet of breadcrumbs, open garbage bins, or even the loving elderly person tossing seeds in the park—these scenarios are all welcome mats for pigeons. But here’s a reality check: even a few breadcrumbs can attract a whole flock. So, how do we turn away these uninvited guests? 

Begin by being mindful. If you’re eating outdoors, ensure that no remnants are left behind. Got a trash bin outside? Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid. If not, try upgrading your trash bin. And as for that sweet elderly neighbor feeding the birds? It might be worth having a gentle conversation about the larger consequences of their actions. It’s not about depriving the birds but about redirecting them to places where their presence is less problematic.

2. Alter Their Favorite Spots:

Pigeons are creatures of comfort. They love those cozy ledges, the comfortable nooks of buildings, and any spot that reminds them of the cliff faces they naturally prefer. If we’re going to reclaim these spots, we need to make them less comfy for them. 

Bird spikes? They might sound menacing, but they’re more about discomfort than harm. Installing them on popular perching points can make a world of difference. And if spikes sound too aggressive, bird slopes are a great pigeon control method. These are nothing more than angled, slippery surfaces that pigeons can’t grip. Think of them as the architectural equivalent of a “slippery when wet” sign, ensuring that pigeons slide off, searching for more secure perching alternatives.

3. Use Safe Repellents:

Repellents aren’t about harm; they’re about deterrence. Consider gel repellents, for instance. These products create a tacky surface that pigeons dislike, making it a no-go zone for landing or nesting. They are perfect for ledges or other flat surfaces where pigeons tend to gather. 

But if gels aren’t your thing, how about something a bit shinier? Reflective objects like specialized bird tape or even just old CDs (yes, you can repurpose those oldies) can work wonders. When light hits these reflective materials, it creates a visual disturbance that many birds, including pigeons, find off-putting. Simple, humane, and rather effective!

4. Introduce a “Predator”:

Now, before you jump to conclusions, I’m not asking you to release a hawk in your backyard! I’m talking about decoys. An owl or hawk decoy perched on your rooftop might send a clear message to pigeons: “This isn’t a safe place.” However, pigeons aren’t entirely gullible. If they see that the “predator” hasn’t moved for days, they’ll catch on. So, every once in a while, move your decoy around. It keeps the pigeons guessing and at bay.

5. Birth Control – The OvoControl Solution

When we think of pigeon control, birth control might not be the first solution that comes to mind. However, in the world of avian management, it’s a game-changer. OvoControl, for instance, is a specialized bird feed that acts as a birth control for pigeons. This isn’t about harming the birds but humanely reducing their numbers. So, how does it work?

OvoControl contains a chemical that prevents eggs from developing or hatching. Over time, with no new birds being born, the pigeon population naturally and gradually decreases. This method has its advantages. First, it’s non-lethal and doesn’t cause immediate harm or distress to the birds. Second, it addresses the root of the problem – unchecked reproduction. However, for this method to work efficiently, consistency is key. The birds need to consume OvoControl regularly for effective population control. Many cities and large establishments have started using this method, especially in areas where pigeons are a significant concern.

Header Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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