How To Get Rid of Pigeons – A Bird’s Eye Perspective On Pigeon Control
In today’s society, we are currently facing a multitude of distressing problems. The ongoing verbal boxing match between Hillary and Trump, North Korea’s occasional world domination jabs, Britain’s voluntary expulsion from the EU, and obviously Brad and Angelina recently splitting up. There’s a lot more going on than just pest control Birmingham.
It’s a cruel world.
However, there is one breathtakingly important issue that has slipped beneath the radar.
For years now they have lay dormant, a private eye, watching over us like demonic imps. Their gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. Appearing in every season, no climate halts their ravenous nature. They march mercilessly, their fickle claws scratching across cold cobbles. Hollow wings carry a breast of dread, fluttering, watching. Fearless, they refuse to avoid our towering paths only narrowly missing us with their erratic flight-paths.
Alone, their shadow equates to that of a mere coffee cup. Together, they cover our homes and cities in a poisonous cape of dread. They watch from above, scornful, relentless, pondering their next torturous move.
They go by many names, these rats of the sky. Destroyers of roofs. Tsunamis of excrement. Bringers of expensive power-wash services.
Though, we know them only as…
While pigeons did a great deal in aiding us in both world wars, their use has dwindled since.
How To Get Rid Of Pigeons
The very word brings dread in each undeserved letter of its devilish title. Fear not, no longer must you live in fear under their tyrannous reign. We may not be able to entirely rid them of our lives, but we can certainly offer advice and potential solutions that may halt their destructive nature. Throughout this guide, AMES Bird Control have willingly allowed us to reiterate their professional advice as we search for answers and guidance.
To emphasise the severity of this topic, we were fortunate enough to bump into Margaret Collins, who had recently experienced their terrifying nature first-hand. She willingly granted us permission to ask a few questions regarding her encounter.
Please be advised that the following content may disturb some readers.
Pigeons – A first-hand experience of their ravenous nature.
Margaret Collins speaks of her woes regarding her recent pigeon encounter:
“It was a Wednesday, I had just awoken to the sound of a Song Thrush. A beautiful bird, charming and elegant. I made myself some tea and continued outside, eager to witness this creature’s polite song. It was then I was met with the disappointing presence of a common pigeon. This was indeed upsetting, but I could never have foreseen the horror that was soon to come.”
“They came in the morning, one after the other. They took up positions, flanking me from every angle. They must have rehearsed this. There was no escape, it was mortifying. The decimation that followed was, I just…”
It was clear Margaret was in some distress. We gave her a moment to catch her breath, offering her an Earl Grey tea to ease her quivering hands.
“I was sitting innocently in my garden, enjoying my Earl Grey when it happened. At first, it was just the one. It perched upon my washing line, looming over my evening dress. It sat, curious, observing my every move. I thought nothing of it.”
“Shortly after finishing my tea, it bellowed a hollow ‘coo’. I turned, meeting its piercing gaze. I retreated back into my conservatory, quelling my nerves with a rich tea biscuit. When I had returned, my garden was ablaze in these monsters, these savages! My fresh grass, decimated, my patio obliterated and my evening dress, defiled. My heart sank as my rich tea biscuit met the patio with malice and rage. But the horror did not stop there. As I looked to the skies, more had gathered, huddled like shifty gang members upon my roof terrace. Previously an adorable satin beige, my terrace had been ravaged by their ruthless, unforgiving bowels.”
“It looked as if Da Vinci had attempted a portrait whilst being stabbed in the ribs with a cattle prod.”
Margaret’s story – though disturbing – serves as a harsh reminder of what these creatures are capable of. If our previous concerns about pigeons were not enough, Margaret’s story bludgeoned the final nail in pigeon-shaped coffin.
To begin, we shall be looking at the common areas pigeons commandeer. This will give us an insight as to how their devious minds work and why they adopt certain places of residence.
Common pigeon docking areas and the negative effects they can bear
Where Do Pigeons Live?
Pigeons are everywhere.
I can see one atop the corner shop. As I sit, writing, it sneers at the school children passing by. Our common belief is that pigeons are most commonly found in urban areas, or atop building sites. The reason for this is because feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs (their natural habitat). They have become adapted to urban life, they even have a certain swagger about them.
Though they served us well in the past, most notably acting as messengers in the war, they have become a somewhat of a nuisance. Many of us find ourselves experiencing the same pigeon-related problems. Due to their love for building tops, we find them decimating our properties and whilst this may sound petty, their waste can be disastrous.
Common areas pigeons decimate and potential solutions
How Can You Get Rid of Pigeons?
It is important that we prevent pigeons from holding daily meetings on our roofs. Let’s start with the obvious areas pigeons clog up like distasteful bath hair.
Removing Pigeons From Roofs
Arguably the most common area pigeons are found. Though, they are more of a nuisance to your roofs than you may previously have thought. Their droppings will not only stain your property but has also been known to cause significant damage to roofs. In some cases, roofs have been left cut in half due to the acid their droppings contain.
Politely ask them if they would consider relocating as you fear for the structural integrity of your building. Failing this, purchasing bird spikes is a common solution.
‘The birds cannot land on the surface which is covered in spikes, leading them to move on to other locations.’
Removing Pigeons From Balconies
Balconies, again resemble cliff edges and make for a perfect place for pigeons to perch. Their droppings again can cause staining and seriously damage the paintwork of your exterior designs.
Again, tentatively approach the pigeon (usually there’s a ringleader, or Head of Office) and propose an alternative perching ground. Preferably the house of someone you dislike. If this particular flock of pigeons are hard negotiators, the aforementioned bird spikes are an ample solution.
‘They can be applied to ledges and ridges on the exterior of buildings and window sills. Roof lines, eaves, aerials, lamp posts and hanging strip lights, awnings, canopies and balcony ledges can all be protected through the installation of bird spikes.’
There is however, an alternative to spikes. This may sound absurd, but try tying a Mylar balloon to your patio table, or purchasing plastic snakes to scatter on your balcony. Pigeons are terrified of snakes due to them being natural predators. If you yourself dislike snakes, then propping an owl on your balcony may also work. Owls are noble, attractive birds with phenomenal table manners and a keen interest in philosophy. Pigeons are naturally disgusted by the attitudes of owls and refuse to be associated with them. Thus making them a strong choice for deterrence.
Removing Pigeons From Solar panels
If you’ve moved into the solar-energy era (good for you) pigeons can cause issues to your attractive shiny panels. They are vain birds and love themselves, their reflection even more so.
Due to their vein nature, invite them to inspect the mirror section at one of the many department stores in your area. Pigeons, despite their small, thuggish physicality believe they are rather good-looking birds. Though, they can take this as an insult and proceed to decimate your panels to no end. Depending on your solar panel structure, there are many solutions. It may simply consist on lining your roof with bird spikes and/or position a fierce-looking owl on each corner.
Removing Pigeons From Garages
If a pigeon nests in your garage, well the solution is actually quite simple.
Close the door.
Removing Pigeons From Your Garden
Trying to deter pigeons from a garden is like trying unravel the Da Vinci code with no arms.
Again, it’s all about persuasion. Pigeons are not fussy with regards to homing themselves – pun intended. All that you need to mention is that the neighbour down the road regularly tops up his bird feeder. They should flock to their residence immediately. Failing this, the solutions vary depending on your garden. If you have a pet, this is their time to shine. Even if Butterkins’ legs have seen better days, pigeons do not like animals that pose a threat. So, throw any cat, dog, snake, wolf, bear, or dinosaur outside and prepare to bask in your pigeon-free garden.
Side note: If you’re one of those people that enjoys other birds but discriminates against pigeons, your solutions are minimal. You can however purchase small hanging feeders and place them under a table roof. The reason for the specific hanging location is that pigeons won’t be able to perch inside the table roof. They are too large. Just make sure that when the feeder shakes (which it will) the seeds are collected in a mesh bucket so the pigeons can’t collect them from the floor.
Alternative installation services
Bird Netting for Pigeon Removal
Now bird netting is one of the most effective ways of preventing pigeons from becoming a nuisance.
‘The netting essentially stops pigeons and other birds from roosting, accessing rafters and also creating mess in courtyards, car parks and on building ledges and façades. This is particularly useful for much larger sites such as buildings and large outdoor areas, such as restaurants and open, outdoor establishments.’
‘With the ability to deny birds access to specific areas or practically a whole building, netting is a flexible and cost-effective way to protect your buildings.’
Of course there are other solutions to these problems, but not all are affordable or practical. Hiring out pest control can be invasive and expensive. If you are desperate to rid your life of pigeons, then you can invest in a bio acoustic system. These are ultra-sonic devices that are thoroughly successful. The device emits a sort of sonic ‘net’ which confuses and confounds the birds, causing them to get away as fast as they can. Imagine walking into an invisible bubble that immediately gave you a hangover, you’d be out of there quicker than a vegan in a butchers.
‘This equipment and approach may be used to rapidly displace large volumes of birds as required, or at frequent intervals to train birds permanently away from certain areas.’
‘Approved and used by civil and military airports and aviation across the world, Scarecrow bird dispersal products are at the cutting edge of large-scale, humane, bird-control equipment.’
Interview with Malov ‘The Protector’ Kelar
Cleaning up pigeon mess is something that requires tact, guile, wit and nerves of steel. After our several unsuccessful attempts at cleaning pigeon excrement from our building, it was time to seek advice from an experienced pigeon veteran.
After randomly dialling numbers in the phone book, we were able to source a man capable and willing to offer his services to us. He gracefully accepted a to partake in a short interview and invited us to join him in his office. Which happened to be an abandoned warehouse. After arriving, we perched on some stools, eager to meet our veteran. Malov’s entrance was grand, angelically gliding down from atop the roof via his homemade pigeon exoskeleton.
The interview commenced shortly after he untangled his wing from my coat.
“The first thing you must realise when dealing with these birds, is that they aren’t human.”
“They may walk on two legs and erratically nod their heads like a British person being offered tea after a stressful day at work. But you must remember that there is no ‘real’ pigeon, only an entity, something illusory.”
We asked if he would like a cup of tea, but swiftly retracted out statement, realising he was drinking the tears of pigeons.
“It’s a tough job, but someone has to stand up to the anarchy, otherwise who will? Our homes would be drowned in their filth, children crying in the streets, begging the God’s for salvation. Cities would lie desolate, cold, baron. Pigeons must learn their place. Their ability to fly makes them believe that they are in control. They are misled. I am in control. Their reign of terror is at an end. No longer will I awake to the sound of ambiguous ‘coos’ and conniving comments.”
“I recently overheard one of them mocking my wife’s choice of upholstery.”
“Needless to say he had a point, but it’s the principal. Attitudes like this will not be tolerated. Not in my city.”
Malov explains how he has come to learn of their language. Going as far to say that his language-learning methods have aided him in unravelling their future plots and schemes. Though, the process is tiring and time consuming. Some nights he would up-and-leave his wife and children halfway through dinner. Hearing the pigeon whispers, he would situate himself atop the bell tower, cooing. He fears that he himself is becoming too close to the pigeons.
“Sometimes I’d arrive home after a hard day’s work to witness horror sweep across both my wife and child’s faces. Little did I know I had entered the room entirely covered in feathers, aggressively clasping a bird feeder.”
We tried to get Malov back on track, asking him what equipment we would require to tackle their mess. He stared at the ceiling for a moment, snapping his head to the noise of fluttering wings. We tentatively leaned over, offering him with a pen and pad. After making eye-contact, we requested a list of essential cleaning items. After a brief, incredibly awkward silence, he cooed and began writing.
Malov’s essential pigeon cleaning equipment:
- A cape
- A mask ideally depicting an owl or snake (natural predators will also work)
- Commanding boots, for stamping you authority
- A hose (the more powerful the better)
- Inspiring music
- Chewing gum – not essential but will add to your threatening look
- Antibacterial spray + chlorine bleach
Shortly after Malov had finished the list, he dropped the pen and pad, shaking and cooing. He rose from the stool, shook our hands and exited, attempting to gain flight. We retreated back into the car, contemplating our lives and eagerly looking forward to putting his equipment and theories into practice.
The pigeon cleaning process
This, as we swiftly discovered is not an enjoyable process. Unlike other bird mess, you can’t simply hose it away due to the bacteria inherent in pigeon excrement.
‘Pigeon droppings have been linked to various health and safety issues including airborne fungus spores found in starling and pigeon droppings. They can also have a corrosive effect on buildings architecture, stonework and monuments.’
So, strap on your mask and cape and prepare for action.
You’ll need a powerful antibacterial cleaner for this, chlorine bleach should do the trick. Fight fire with fire. The bleach’s acidic properties will burn away the contents after a good scrub. Now you can don the power washer like Arnold Schwarzenegger mercilessly deposing of his enemies. If using hose isn’t a viable option, then you’re only other bet are professional cleaning services. You can try and use boiling water to remove the initial debris but a thorough cleaning service is advised.
Sometimes you may not have the experience or equipment to carry out certain tasks alone. This is where AMES are here to ensure your nightmares of pigeons are put to rest. They offer a far more comprehensive service in comparison to Malov.
‘Our service eliminates slipping and respiratory risks, ensuring any future bird proofing is effective and helps to maintain the cleanliness of the area or building.’
‘We can also put in place a proactive cleaning regime to ensure bird droppings do not hinder refurbishments and renovations on roofing, guttering and building projects.’
During our concerning interview with Malov, he briefly mentioned ways in which to trap pigeons. Whilst this is seen as a tiring, last ditch option, it is sometimes the only remaining solution.
Trapping and caging pigeons in a humane manner
This is a far more structured program than the aforementioned deterrents (and arguably Malov’s methods).
The majority of pigeon traps feature a one-way opening drop bar entrance. The pigeon enters by pushing the door open with its head, it then closes, leaving the pigeon confused and probably surprised at its stupidity. This is a very superior and effective trap that is also very humane.
It probably goes without saying but you need to bait the trap with grain or pigeon feed. The pigeon isn’t just going to wonder into a metal cage because of its eccentric interior design. The bait should be placed on the floor of the cage trap. For full effect, bait the area where their trap will be situated for a few days. This way you will round up a few pigeons prior to placing the trap down. This means that they won’t fear to enter the trap as they believe the area to be safe.
A spokesman from AMES describes the process in detail:
‘A structured program, trapping can remove up to 70% of a pigeon community, which takes upwards of 18 months to recover. The process creates disorientation within the social order through trapping and removing dominant birds. Regular programmes are designed to control repopulation from neighbouring areas. AMES employs only humane and discreet methods.’
Trapping methods – whilst time consuming – provide an efficient alternative to common deterrence items and proffers an alternative to calling a pest control service.
An interview with a happy customer
After reviewing our collected data, we felt that this pigeon infested world was no match for our reinvigorated outlook. We were curious if anyone else felt similarly, all had conquered their pigeon problems altogether. After a few phone calls we were able to locate Mrs Clements, who had vanquished pigeons from her life altogether.
“I bought an owl and placed it on the metal barrier outside my window. It was a rather mean-looking owl. It took some getting used to, at first I myself feared its looming gaze. I sometimes have to place it face down when I’m working. Owls are known to turn their heads 360 degrees and I did not want to indulge in that idea for too long.”
Mrs Clements confirmed she lived in one of the typical pigeon-abundant areas. Stating she lived high above ground, describing her area as ‘very urban with a busy atmosphere.’
“It may just be luck. The owl however, is remaining up there. It is sometimes a bit daunting, but serves a nice reminder of nature, as I live quite far from a local park or natural reserve.”
It was only at the end of the phone interview that Mrs Clements revealed that she lived on an oil rig in the southern hemisphere, miles away from civilization and consequently, pigeons.
In all of research, there are many ways to dispose of pigeons, each with their own advantage. Depending on your living situation and your tolerance of these animals, you are free to experiment with different methods. This guide hopes to serve as a point of reference for anyone suffering with pigeons and the problems they bring with them. There unfortunately is no direct quick cure to deterring these animals. That is unless, you live in an airport, or in the middle of the ocean on an oil rig.
Thanks, Mrs Clements.