Controlling Your Pigeon Problem

by Marcus Pickett

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    Pigeons are fun to feed and play with at your local park or while out for a stroll, but when they find their way to your home, it can be an entirely different story. Homeowners know that their home may be susceptible to termites, ants, and other pests, but pigeon infestations often take them by surprise. Like any pest, most homeowners need to resort to hiring a professional to permanently remediate their pigeon problem within environmental regulations and safety standards. Here's a look at what you're facing and what can be done about your pigeon problem.

    The Root of Pigeon Problems
    As deft as pigeons are at finding their home, some inevitably stray or intentionally change their roosting place. Urban areas especially tend to create ample opportunities that match the small, rocky outcroppings of the pigeon's natural habitat. Pigeons may originally roost under a city's bridge, and then their offspring branch out and begin to roost in nearby homes throughout the city. The fact that pigeons rarely have trouble finding food with city folk willing spreading bread crumbs and other tidbits only makes things worse.

    When pigeons get inside your home, you obviously have a problem. Noise problems, droppings, and structural damage from the roost are all dangers your home faces if pigeons do decide to set up shop. Plus, if that wasn't enough, some pigeons are known to carry diseases that are extremely infectious and hard to diagnose. If you have a pigeon problem, immediately starting a pigeon control program is critical to preserving the well-being of your home.

    Pigeon Control and Exclusion
    The best pigeon control is exclusion. If pigeons have roosted inside your home, exclusion is fairly easy. Kicking them out of your attic and placing wire mesh, netting, or porcupine strips on any entry points is usually sufficient to secure your home from these pests. Unfortunately, pigeons can also roost on the exterior of your home and this presents a larger problem. Physically blocking the roosting area with netting or screens still often does the trick although it's a little more complicated. You may also be able to cover your roof with a new material that the pigeons will find inhospitable. In some cases, it may be necessary to trap and/or poison the pigeons. Trapping is effective in reducing the pigeon population near your home, but it's difficult to completely and permanently remove the pigeons with simple live trapping. There are few effective and approved pigeon poisons out there. Avitrol is the most common pigeon poison, and in some states, it's the only legally sanctioned poison.

    Visual and Acoustical Repellents
    There are any number of visual and acoustical repellents designed specifically for pigeons, but they, unfortunately, continue to show only limited success. While they're effective enough when first installed, pigeons usually adapt quickly to these repellents. The best results usually come from changing up these repellents and using different combinations. Often, these repellents are used in conjunction with other pigeon control devices. You may want to temporarily repel pigeons from your home until and while professionals are completing your home exclusion.

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    Pigeon Prevention
    Basic pigeon prevention is simple enough. Like the sign at the zoo says: Don't feed the birds. As you might suspect, not feeding the pigeons you see around your home is hardly enough to ensure the pigeons don't take a liking to your area. Effective pigeon prevention mirrors pigeon control. Hiring a professional to install complete home exclusion is the best way to stop a pigeon problem before it starts. It probably doesn't sound like a worthwhile investment to spend a sizable chunk of change to exclude your home from pigeons that may never come. Indeed, if that was all home exclusion did, you may just as well play the percentages. But, your home is in danger from more than just pesky birds. A good home exclusion will keep any number of kinds of pests from invading your property.

    Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.