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How to Deal with a Pigeon Problem


Image for article titled How to Get Rid of a Bunch of Asshole Pigeons



Photo: PauliusPeleckis (Shutterstock)



Pigeons are pests. There are reasons city-dwellers call them “rats with wings”: They multiply quickly—reproducing over the course of just a few weeks—and drive away other bird species. Their droppings are gross, and they can carry and spread a range of parasites and diseases. They can also cause problems around your home:

  • Slippery walkways due to a build-up of droppings (gross)
  • Corrosion from acidic feces (ugh)
  • Clogged gutters, drains and chimneys due to nests, increasing the risk of fire or flood

Once pigeons choose to roost on your balcony or roof, they can be difficult to kick out. Access to food, water, and a safe place to nest are the key factors inviting the pigeons to make themselves at home on your property, so those are the issues you’ll want to address for pigeon prevention and management.

Here’s how to deal with a pigeon problem.

Get rid of anything they can eat

Close up trash cans, cover compost piles, and remove any bird feeders. You don’t want to condition pigeons to use your home or yard for mealtime. If you must keep bird feeders, ensure they are pigeon-proof—you can find feeders with holes that are too small for pigeons to fit through or that have weight sensors too sensitive for larger birds.

Block them with bird netting or spikes

The next step to getting rid of pigeons is to make it difficult for them to roost on your house. Hang bird netting vertically to prevent them from landing on pitched roofs or eaves, and to cover any openings, like chimneys and drains.

Spikes installed on flatter surfaces or railings are another option to keep birds from roosting. These generally cause discomfort but not harm, so you won’t have to feel guilty about hurting them. Even though they deserve it.

Install deterrents like electrified tape, gels, or sound-emitting devices

Solar-powered shock tape strips give off a small shock when birds touch down, and they’re generally considered humane and safe. You can also put down gels that either offer a visual deterrent before birds land or a physical one if they do.

Wind chimes and sound devices designed for deterrence can keep pigeons away from balconies and porches. A scarecrow that incorporates reflective surfaces and movement—such as CDs on strings—can also repel birds.

Good luck—and don’t slip on any acidic feces in the meantime.

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