Pigeons are common a common urban pest. Although commonly considered to be harmless and nothing more than just a nuisance, local pigeon populations can to pose a risk to human health with the ability to transmit diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and psittacosis.
The presence of pigeons can also attract ticks, mites, cockroaches and rats.
Why control Pigeon populations
It is important to understand that unless pigeons are forced to relocate away from a particular area, they will stay there permanently.
Pigeons do not migrate by nature and typically remain near their birth site which can often be around homes or around commercial food sites such as cafes and restaurants, especially in the presence of an open alfresco area.
Pigeons have also been known to clog up gutters and drains as well as cause damage to air-conditioners and other roof top structures, equipment and machinery.
Eliminate food and water sources
Pigeons typically gather around areas where food and water are easily accessible. This is why alfresco dining areas are often considered prime real estate that gets pigeons flocking in numbers.
By ensuring that food scraps are removed both off tables and swept from floors, you stand a better chance of reducing your local pigeon problem.
These precautions are important even when implementing bird control.
Why lethal methods don’t work
Pigeons will typically lay 3-8 eggs per year. An egg will typically hatch in 18 days and the newborns leave their nest within 35 days.
Meaning that it is extremely difficult to trap and/or kill pigeons faster than they reproduce, making these methods not only inhumane but also ineffective.
Long term solutions
The most effective solutions for dealing with local pigeon populations is through non-lethal implementation that act as a deterrent.
Different methods of bird control can consist of bird netting, which employs a mesh over elevated building ledges, windowsills and platforms and is most commonly seen on older buildings and monuments primarily to prevent droppings due to the acid in bird droppings being corrosive.
Another popular method is to use bird proofing spikes which, unlike bird nets, are often unseen at the ground level and prevent pigeons from being able to land. The spikes are not designed to impale or even hurt the pigeons and are purely a deterrent.
A surface gel can also be applied by either being painted or spray in. The gel gives a sticky feel which is uncomfortable on the pigeons’ feet, discouraging them from staying on the applied surface. The gels are typically non-toxic and non-corrosive.
Continually destroying/removing the nest will also help to encourage the local pigeon population to move on. Pigeons are resistant to do this though and will likely attempt to rebuild the nest multiple times before finally they accept defeat and seek a safer location for their nest.