Three steps to humanely solve a pigeon problem
You may just need one or a combination of all three techniques to humanely solve a pigeon problem, depending on the size of the pigeon population you’re dealing with.
Stop feeding the pigeons (intentionally or not)
Most conflicts with pigeons can be tied at one point or another to feeding, intentionally or otherwise.
Pigeons get fed plenty of handouts and garbage, but there are also well-intentioned pigeon lovers who regularly feed the birds. This does the pigeons more harm than good as the pigeons begin to gather in large numbers, often leading to inhumane and ineffective attempts to reduce their numbers.
When such troubles arise, the best thing for the birds is to reduce feeding gradually over several weeks. The flock will gradually disperse until the remaining number of birds matches what the area can naturally support this is the best way to humanely solve a pigeon problem.
Unintentional food sources
Even when not feeding on purpose, we humans are messy, leaving leftovers and dropped crumbs everywhere. Pigeons hang around town squares, public parks, and other trafficked areas to help themselves to what we leave behind, especially when convenient roosting and nesting sites are nearby. To discourage pigeons from gathering, food attractants need to be cleaned up regularly.
In suburban neighborhoods, too, homeowners may mistakenly feed pigeons or they may be providing food for pigeons inadvertently when feeding their backyard birds by tossing seed on the ground, rather than putting it in birdfeeders. To discourage pigeons visiting your yard, change the type, amount, and timing of feeding. If most of the pigeons fail to move elsewhere, you’ll need to stop feeding all birds for a couple weeks. (Don’t worry; the birds won’t starve.) When you resume feeding, only put out seed in birdfeeders and keep the ground below them cleaned up.
Prevent roosting and nesting
Pigeons look for flat surfaces for roosting and nesting. Encourage them to do these things elsewhere by making flat surfaces unavailable to them. With the correct application of the right product, roosting structures can be rendered virtually pigeon-free.
There are a variety of devices that can be used to change flat nesting spots into inaccessible spaces and prevent pigeons from roosting in areas where they’re not wanted.
- Attach wood or metal sheathing (Birdslides) at a 45- to 60-degree angle over window ledges and other flat surfaces to keep pigeons from landing.
- Install “bird wires” to keep pigeons off ledges, railings, awnings, and rooftops.
- Use netting to keep pigeons out of large areas.
NEVER use polybutylene gel. Sticky gel repellents made from polybutene can harm all birds and any animal that comes in contact with it. The HSUS strongly recommends that these dangerous repellents be avoided at all costs. The feathers of any bird who comes into contact with the dense, sticky gel will become damaged, interfering with their ability to fly and to stay water-proofed.
These gel repellents are not selective. Other birds are likely to land on the gel, get stuck, and die a slow death. The polybutene gels are particularly harmful to smaller species.
Limit flock size with pigeon birth control
As year-round nesters, a pair of pigeons can raise a dozen or more young each year. If pigeons have plenty of food and space, their numbers can quickly increase. Fortunately, a bird contraceptive is available that limits growth of pigeon flocks.
Ovocontrol bird food is “birth control” for pigeons. Innolytics, LLC
Known as OvoControl, pigeon contraception comes in the form of a kibble-type food, which causes birds who eat it regularly to lay eggs that fail to develop. In March 2010, OvoControl received landmark general-use approval by the Environmental Protection Agency. Visit ovocontrol.com to learn more about the product and how you can implement an OvoControl program.
Combined with exclusion and other humane measures to discourage roosting and nesting, OvoControl effectively reduces hatching rates in pigeons, thereby limiting flock sizes and diminishing problems associated with large numbers of pigeons.
Business owners who pledge to use OvoControl instead of lethal methods can download our free signage and educational materials. In Hawaii, where pigeons can be a major problem, businesses that have started OvoControl programs have seen a noticeable decrease in pigeon numbers.
About Pigeon Patrol:
Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca
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