Pigeons can carry lice, ticks and disease-bearing mites, and their acidic droppings can damage your car’s paint and anything else it comes in contact with. To make matters worse, once your home becomes their favorite place to perch or nest, it takes some effort to get rid of them.
Luckily, you can encourage them to move somewhere else without causing them any harm. Here are 9 ways to get rid of pigeons if you have an infestation.
An ultrasonic bird repeller discourages pigeons from landing on or near your house by emitting the sounds of their predators and bird distress calls. Because these sounds are ultrasonic, you won’t be able to hear them unless you turn the volume up to the highest setting. But, area pigeons will. While some pigeons will immediately leave your home after hearing the repeller, others will take time to associate your house with the noises and decide to roost elsewhere.
These devices start at about $50 and top out at $200, depending on how far they transmit the sounds (some can cover up to 5,000 square feet) and their features. On the downside, ultrasonic bird repellers don’t just repel pigeons. They can repel other animals, too, and can disturb your dog or cat.
Give them no place to roost
A common solution to a pigeon problem, bird spikes are thorn-like protrusions, usually made of plastic, that attach to a strip. When pigeons try to land, the spikes make it impossible to find a place to roost. Most homeowners install them to the roofline, but you can also install them on beams, window sills, ledges, fences and gates. You can purchase these at most home improvement and garden centers for $25 to $40 for a 7’ to 8’ strip.
Bird spikes are one of the most effective ways to get rid of pigeons because they can’t roost where there is no place for them. However, they can detract from your home aesthetically.
Be a bad host
Similar to bird spikes, bird wire runs 3” to 4” above the space where you don’t want pigeons to land. As a bird begins its descent, it contacts the wire, which will feel unsteady, and abort his landing. Over time, pigeons will determine your house isn’t a safe place to land and avoid it altogether.
To install bird wire, you’ll need thin, metal posts that attach to your roofline. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find at home improvement stores or online, so you may have to hire a pest control company to install it for you.
Get a gel for that
Unlike bird wire, you can easily install bird repellant gel. This clear, sticky gel comes in a caulk tube that you apply to your roof, fence or wherever they perch. When a pigeon lands on the gel, it will sense its stickiness and leave. Each tube sells for about $15 to $20 and should cover about 10 to 12 feet.
It does have a few downsides. Bird repellant gel needs to be replaced at least annually and, as it collects dust, can become unsightly. On a more positive note, though, it’s virtually invisible and can reduce other pests, such as ants, which can get stuck in it.
Hang reflective tape
Another popular way to get rid of pigeons is to hang reflective scare tape, sometimes also called reflective bird tape or flash tape. Sold in rolls of up to 350 feet, this tape has a holographic pattern that interacts with light and disorients birds of all kinds. To use it, cut the tape into strips and hang them wherever you want to discourage the pigeons from landing.
Not only does the shiny “flash” from the tape fluttering in the breeze confuse and scare the pigeon but the sound of it moving upsets them, too. Some people don’t like the look of reflectors, but for less than $15 for 350 feet, it may be worth it.
Surprise them with a little sprinkle
Good for all types of pests, including skunks and raccoons, a motion-activated sprinkler scares pigeons away with a combination of sound and water whenever it detects motion. Once activated, it will blast water in the direction where motion was detected for 5 seconds. Most cost between $50 and $75 and can be customized to work only at certain times of the day. After its program, all you have to do is attach it to a hose.
These systems do have a drawback, though, in that they can’t tell the difference between a pigeon, your dog or the neighbor’s kid. If pets or other people routinely walk within the perimeter specified on the water jet’s packaging, you might want to consider using a different method.
Get an owl decoy
Pigeons want to avoid their predators just as much as any other bird. Use a frightening decoy to your advantage. Owl decoys work well to deter pigeons. You can find them at most home improvement and garden centers, and they can range from simple decoys with heads that rotate in a breeze to solar-powered ones that emit “hoots” and flap their wings.
Since most weigh very little, you’ll want to secure the base so it doesn’t tip over. And, although decoys are designed to withstand the elements, over time, you may need to clean the sensor on yours or replace the decoy outright. Another possible concern is decoys can deter other birds and smaller animals, like squirrels, from visiting your yard.
Lure them with bait
If you don’t have many pigeons to deal with, a pigeon trap may do the trick. Specifically designed for pigeons, these traps can accommodate up to 10 live birds. To use one, place fruit, seeds, cracked corn or other treats inside. When a bird enters through the one-way door to eat, it will close behind him, and he won’t be able to get out. Once you have trapped the birds, you can drive them far from your house and release them.
Traps generally cost between $75 and $100, but those with extra features, like shade covers or water dispensers, will cost more. The good news is they’re effective when you’re contending with a few birds; the bad, they don’t work well for infestations.
As creatures of habit, pigeons return to the same place over and over unless you give them a reason not to. While most of the above methods scare them away, you can also remove the things that first attracted them there. Cover all trash cans, pet food and standing water, like birdbaths. Put netting over fruit trees and your garden plants. And don’t overseed your grass or set out other seeds.
It also helps to seal off any gaps in your roof shingles, cap vents and chimneys, and fill any holes where they might nest. These steps will make your home less attractive and may encourage them to find another place with access to berries and places to make a nest.
You’ll want to get your pigeon problem under control quickly if you plan to show your house or if you move into a new home with an infestation. In those cases, consider hiring a professional pest control company that will find the right solution for your unique situation.
Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor or 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 Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.
Contact us at 1 877-4-NO-BIRD,(604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca
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