How To Get Rid of Pigeons (2022 Edition)

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Birds can be relaxing to watch from afar. However, they can quickly destroy our property through perching and roosting behaviors. In addition, pigeons can carry diseases, such as E. coli and St. Louis encephalitis. Pigeon droppings can also transmit hazardous diseases like histoplasmosis, a dangerous respiratory disease, and salmonellosis, which commonly contaminates our food and causes food poisoning. All of these diseases can have severe ramifications for our health, especially in young children, the elderly, or those with an already compromised immune system. Additionally, pigeons can also carry fleas, mites, and the West Nile virus. 

While it’s rare that these diseases would cause fatalities in humans, they are still unpleasant and can cause long-lasting discomfort and damage to the human body. So, if you have pigeons near your property, it’s crucial that you act quickly before pigeon droppings contaminate your yard, water, and more.  

In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics related to getting rid of pigeons: 

  • How To Safely Get Rid of Pigeons
  • How To Keep Pigeons Away
  • What Pigeons Look Like
  • How Long Pigeons Stay
Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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    How To Safely Get Rid of Pigeons 

    Pigeons are stubborn pest birds that will happily stay on your property as long as you allow them to hang around. So, what steps can you take to get rid of your pigeon problem? 

    Here are our top tips for dealing with your pigeon problem: 

    • Purchase an ultrasonic pigeon repeller. Birds and many other pests are irritated by certain types of noises. They can also hear many sounds that humans can’t pick up on. Use this to your advantage by purchasing an ultrasonic device that emits high-frequency noises that repel pigeons. Please note that your pets, such as dogs and cats, may also hear this noise and be bothered by it, so if you have pets, you may want to try another solution.
    • Hang up reflective surfaces to scare off pigeons. Pigeons do not like reflective surfaces or bright flashes of light because the light can make them feel disoriented. Try hanging up old CDs, mirrors, reflective tape, foil balloons, or foil strips to scare pigeons away from your home. We recommend hanging these reflective surfaces in a way that allows them to move in the wind because the movement is also scary to birds. 
    • Install roosting spikes. Roosting spikes make it difficult for birds to sit down and roost on your roof, eaves, or property. The spikes won’t hurt the birds, but they cause enough discomfort to discourage them from making nests or roosting in areas where you place roosting spikes. Many are clear-colored so that they don’t take away from the overall look of your home. 
    • Set up decoys. Pigeons have some natural predators, such as owls and hawks. Purchase and set up a plastic owl or hawk decoys to scare pigeons away from your property. Please note that you will need to move these decoys around regularly to keep the charade going. Otherwise, the pigeons will eventually realize that these decoys aren’t the real deal and will return to your property. 
    • Place bird netting over your crops. Pigeons love to eat fruits, seeds, and vegetables. If you are an avid gardener, place bird netting over your crops before they sprout to prevent birds from feasting on them. Remember to include an exit route within the netting in case a pigeon gets stuck underneath the netting in its attempts to eat your crops. 
    • Use humane bird traps. If you’re comfortable relocating the bird afterward, a bird trap can be an effective way to get a couple of stubborn pigeons off of your property. Bird traps come in many sizes, so make sure you pick one that is recommended for pigeons. You’ll also need some sort of food to place in the bird trap to lure the pigeons inside. 
    • Use a gel barrier to deter pigeons. Pigeons don’t like the sensation of touching sticky, tacky substances. Use a bird repellent gel barrier on top of common landing areas, like your roof, water fountain, or eaves, to make birds uncomfortable landing on this area. These gels will usually last around three months to a year, depending on the product and the weather. 
    • Set up electric tracks. Electric shock systems can be expensive, but they are considered highly effective because the electric shock will quickly scare birds away. It won’t prevent birds from approaching your home, but they will soon learn that landing on your property is not a safe option. Electric tracks are not lethal either, so this is still considered a humane but effective option to get rid of pigeons. 
    • Install nets in common nesting areas. Many pigeons will look for warm, cozy places to nest, like the eaves of your home, chimneys, or even inside gutters. If you find pigeons in these areas, wait until the bird leaves and install a net over the area so that the pigeon cannot return. 

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    How to Keep Pigeons Away 

    If you’re looking to pigeon-proof your home, here are our top tips: 

    • Modify your home’s habitat. Pigeons are always on the lookout for habitats that suit their needs. For starters, this will include access to food and water, along with a place to roost. If you install spike strips or bird nets, this can limit their ability to use your home as a place to nest or roost. 
    • Remove your bird feeder and water fountain. We know it’s relaxing to watch birds on your property. However, giving pest birds, like pigeons, easy access to food and water is a recipe for disaster. Pigeons will happily stay on your property as long as they can find food and water. By removing water and food sources, you’ll minimize your chances of pest birds making your property their home.
    • Remove food sources from your yard. Don’t leave pet food or human leftovers outside, as this will attract many wildlife pests, including pigeons.  
    • Use nets on your solar panels. Pigeons love solar panels due to the warmth they provide and will frequently nest or roost underneath the solar panels. Use nets underneath your panels to prevent pigeons from taking shelter under your solar panels. 
    • Install a motion-activated sprinkler system. Pigeons don’t like sudden movements or being sprayed with water. Try installing motion-activated sprinklers to discourage pigeons and other pests from staying on your property. Sprinklers will scare them and make them nervous about sticking around. 
    • Set up pinwheels or wind chimes. Pigeons, and many other pests, don’t like sudden movements, so pinwheels and wind chimes can be an effective repellent. The sudden movement will startle them and scare them away from your property. 
    • Seal off all entrances to your home, shed, garage, and barn. Regularly examine your home and outdoor building’s exteriors for cracks, gaps, or crevices that pigeons and other pests may use to enter. Use a caulking product or sealant to fill these holes in to prevent pests from entering your personal space. 
    • Cap your chimney. Chimneys are a favorite roosting and nesting place for pigeons. Start by checking to make sure that no birds are currently in your chimney. If there aren’t any, then place a chimney cap on it to prevent animals from entering. Please note that you will need to regularly clean and check this cap for soot and creosote, which may fill the space when you use your fireplace. 
    • Place wire coils around your balcony railings. Many homeowners are plagued with pigeons hanging out on their balconies. Wrap a wire or stainless steel coiling around your railing to deter pigeons from landing and perching on your railings. 
    • Clean up pigeon droppings and old nests. Pigeons like to return to reuse old nests, so once a bird has left your property, make sure that you quickly clean up and remove the nest so that they cannot return to the same nest again. Pigeon feces will also need to be cleaned up. However, pigeon poop can also transmit various diseases, so you will need to suit up in protective clothing, including a respirator, protective suit, shoe coverings, gloves, and more. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this or have a weakened immune system, we strongly recommend reaching out to a local company to have this performed. 

    Pigeons can carry diseases, such as E. coli and St. Louis encephalitis. Pigeon droppings can also transmit hazardous diseases like histoplasmosis, a dangerous respiratory disease, and salmonellosis, which commonly contaminates our food and causes food poisoning.

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    What Do Pigeons Look Like? 

    Pigeons, also known as Rock Pigeons, are plump birds with gray bodies and black markings on their backs. Their heads are notably smaller than their bodies and are typically a dark gray with a green, reddish, or purple sheen, depending on the species. 

    Male pigeons usually select the nesting site and will coo to attract a mate. Their nesting or roosting areas are generally high up in ledges on cliffs or artificial structures. You may find pigeon nests underneath eaves, overhangs, in stairwells, gutters, or abandoned rooms. Once a female pigeon is attracted to the nest, she will build a nest with nesting materials, like straws, sticks, and other found materials. Most pigeons lay one to three eggs at a time, and they will return to the same nest again if it’s still a safe and viable option. 

    Pigeons are especially difficult to control in the United States because they are not native to this area and have fewer natural predators than native bird species. In the 1600s, pigeons were introduced to the United States from Europe, and they quickly became comfortable living in urban settings due to the easy access to food. Like rodents, pigeons thrive in urban environments and forage for human food. They are not picky eaters and will consume human leftovers, trash, seeds, grains, fruits, and more. Due to this, it can be difficult to limit their food sources on your property. However, this is a critical step in pigeon control that must be taken. 


    How Long Do Pigeons Stay? 

    Pigeons have an incubation period of around 18 days and a nesting period between 25 and 32 days. However, this doesn’t mean that the pigeons will clear out of your property once their babies have hatched. Pigeons are opportunistic foragers who will stick around anywhere that has easy access to food. Since pigeons eat a wide variety of food, ranging from human trash to leftovers, grains, seeds, and fruits, they are hard to discourage and stubborn about sticking around anywhere that they’ve found food. As a result, preventing pigeons from being interested in your property is much easier than scaring off pigeons later on. 

    Unlike many types of birds, pigeons don’t usually migrate and are quite sedentary. They’re most comfortable finding a home and staying with it year-round. They may change roosting sites during colder weather but will often stay on or near the same area. This could mean that they simply change roosting areas on your property and remain on your property throughout the seasons. 


    Final Thoughts 

    Bird control is an essential step in keeping your home safe from dangerous diseases that pigeons carry, along with the severe damage that pigeons can quickly inflict on your home. On top of this, pigeons can cause pest infestations by bringing fleas and mites onto your property, and nobody wants to deal with that. 

    Through bird deterrents and habitat modification, preventing pigeons will always be an easier choice in the first place than dealing with these pesky critters later on. Still, if you’re struggling with a current pigeon problem, we recommend reaching out to your local pest control provider to have your home pigeon-proofed. A professional can safely remove birds from your home, clean up pigeon poop, and install bird deterrents, such as bird spikes and other pigeon deterrents, to keep your home safe from pigeons in the future. 

    Pigeons are rapid breeders and challenging to manage on your own. There is a reason they are called “rats of the sky.” Start using pigeon control methods today to protect your property from these destructive birds. 

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