Many people encourage birds into their gardens as they are a source of joy and an essential part of our environment.
However, while many of us appreciate birds, pigeons are one species we do not want to encourage. Pigeons are considered a pest as they can cause much damage and annoyance.
One of the difficulties in preventing pigeons from taking over is that you do not want to scare away other birds.
This article will explore the methods you can use to scare away pigeons but not other birds.
Why are pigeons considered a pest?
A pigeon infestation can be very destructive to your home, garden or business, particularly as they tend to stay in large groups of up to 30 birds.
Droppings – Pigeon droppings are problematic because when you have a group of pigeons, they will leave unsightly marks that are difficult to remove from buildings, roofs, patios, driveways and paths. Droppings are costly for businesses to remove and can affect customer appeal.
Health Risks – Pigeons are more disease-ridden than rats, so their droppings pose a risk to those who come into contact with them. Mites are also attracted to their droppings which will cause itching in humans.
Plant Damage – Keen gardeners will be disappointed if pigeons spend time in their garden as they feed on a variety of plant life by pecking at leaves and tearing them off. They will also gravitate to vegetable patches and strip leaves from fruit trees.
Drainage Issues – Pigeons carry a large amount of debris and litter to build nests. They often drop items that end up blocking drains.
Noise – Pigeons in large groups can create a considerable amount of noise that can disturb you at night or affect employees and customers.
Damage to Reputation – Pigeons are known to swoop down when people eat outside and can even be aggressive if they need to protect their young. Customers may avoid businesses with a significant pigeon problem as they will feel uncomfortable or even scared.
How to deter pigeons from your garden
If pigeons have become a pest, you will be looking for ways to keep them away without affecting other bird species.
It is possible to use some creative ideas to do this.
Choose Pigeon Proof Bird Boxes
Pigeons seek to build nests in areas that offer some degree of protection as their nests are fragile and need extra security. They often choose eaves, attics, roofs and bridges to provide additional shelter.
It is understandable then that if you install open bird boxes in your garden, pigeons will take the easy option and nest there. Instead, choose small entrance bird boxes that will allow wild birds like its and sparrows to nest but exclude pigeons.
Feed the Birds Carefully
Many households in the UK enjoy feeding the birds to encourage British garden birds to their garden. They are fascinating to watch and provide an environmentally friendly way to rid your garden of unwanted bugs and pests that attack plants.
Pigeons are attracted to bird feeders and will drive away other garden birds as they force their way to the front.
You can discourage pigeons by choosing food they don’t like, such as wheat-free food and feed mixes that are rich in seeds. Pigeons also dislike peanuts and mealworms.
Squirrel-proof bird feeders are ideal for deterring pigeons as the small perches are not big enough for larger birds.
It is always best to clear up dropped bird seeds as they will be easy for pigeons to eat from the ground. It is also attractive as a food source to other pests like rats.
Pigeon Proof your Bird Table
Many people choose a bird table over a feeder as it allows you to watch the birds easily and can make an attractive feature in the garden. Unfortunately, a bird table is a magnet for pigeons who can quickly swoop down and help themselves to a banquet.
If you have a pigeon problem, it is probably best to avoid bird tables or choose small ones that deter the larger birds. Protecting your table with chicken wire and creating a small opening for other garden birds is also possible.
How to Prevent Pigeons from Roosting
Although you may not mind the odd pigeon visitor, you will likely want to avoid them nesting in your home, garden or business.
There are some ways you can prevent pigeons from building a nest.
Pigeons choose sheltered areas to build their nests, so you can use bird netting to block access to your roofs, solar panels, eaves, and even shed roofs.
Mesh is a humane way to keep pigeons out as it should deter them from trying to enter the spaces that appeal to them as nesting opportunities. However, you should check netting regularly to ensure no birds have become trapped.
Pigeons use all sorts of twigs and debris to build their nests, so ensure you do not create a ready supply of nesting material for them by tidying your garden regularly.
Leaf piles are particularly inviting as nest material, so it is best to compost fallen leaves or put them with your garden waste.
Bird spikes can be placed in areas where pigeons might roost. They are relatively cheap to buy and do not cause harm to pigeons.
The spikes come in a strip that can be placed on fence panels, roofs, near solar panels, or sheds. They prevent large birds like pigeons from getting a foothold on a surface and stop them from setting up a home.
Use a Professional Pest Control Company
If pigeons have become a nuisance to you and your property or premises, it is worth calling the professionals.
Pest control firms have plenty of experience in removing pigeons and setting up prevention measures that will keep them away in the future.
They will also understand the law regarding bird removal and following humane methods.
As a householder or business owner, you must remember that it is your responsibility to follow the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 when carrying out or using a company to do pigeon-proofing.
It is against the law to:
- Kill or injure any wild bird without following licensing regulations
- Harm pigeon eggs
- Disturb occupied nests
If you want some advice on deterring pigeons from your home or business and want some solutions to prevent pigeons from nesting, get in touch with us at EWS. We have extensive experience in pigeon-proofing homes and businesses, and we will work with you to find a humane solution that puts an end to your problem.