When Pigeons Invade: What You Need To Know About Getting Rid Of The Flying Pests

While domesticated pigeons have been useful to humans for over 5,000 years, the birds also have a reputation for being a nuisance to property owners. Unlike some birds that like to nest in eaves, attics, and other areas of a home, pigeons can be aggressive inhabitants that are hard to eradicate once they find a good place to congregate.

Unless you are a pigeon fancier, you do not want to have large numbers of pigeons settling on your property. The birds, also called flying rats by some, can overtake an area quickly. If you discover that you have a pigeon infestation on your property or in your house, the following information can be helpful to your efforts to get rid of the pests.

Signs of an Infestation

Even though pigeons are bold birds that seem to be unafraid of being seen by humans, you may hear them before you see them if they are in your attic or nesting in elevated crawl spaces. Hours on end of prolonged, throaty cooing noises from hard-to-reach areas of your home is a sure sign of a pigeon infestation.

Pigeons also like to hang out on ledges, roofs, fire escapes, and balconies as well. They will also take over large drain pipes and vents. When pigeons nest in chimneys and vents, they can be a fire hazard as their nests prevent the movement of smoke and air. If you notice that native birds are not coming to the bird feeders in your yard anymore, it is possible that aggressive pigeons have scared them away.

Visible signs of the pigeons include layers of excrement, mounds of feathers, and crude nests made from twigs, grass, and debris. When pigeons find an area to congregate, the surface of that area becomes layered in a disgusting crud of droppings and feathers. The longer you wait to eradicate pigeons, the harder it will be to clean up the crud as it hardens over time and begins to damage building materials.

Removing Pigeons

If you only have one or two pigeons to deal with, you may be able to get rid of the pests with commercially available sticky chemicals and by removing food sources such as bird feeders. Some garden stores sell plastic scare owls to intimidate pigeons, but once the pests get used to presence of the decoys, that tactic will no longer work.

Be careful when using poison or weapons to get rid of pigeons. Keep in mind that in some cities, pigeons are not excluded from laws that protect birds.

Getting professional help to exterminate pigeons is the best course of action to make sure that you remove all traces of the animals and prevent future infestations. Pest control experts have access to equipment that can get rid of the birds in a humane manner and efficiently.

After setting traps and one-way funnels to remove the birds, pest control professionals may install spikes or electronic mesh to prevent pigeons from hanging out in eaves or entering small openings that lead to the interior of your home.

Cleaning Up Droppings and Health Concerns

Another way a professional can help you with a pigeon infestation is the removal of droppings that are a health hazard. Pigeons are not just an aesthetic nuisance—they also carry air-borne diseases and insects that can lead to serious health problems in humans.

When pigeons roost in vents, mites that live among the birds can spread to furniture and linens. Pigeon mites are blood-sucking insects that cause skin and scalp infections.

Breathing air contaminated with pigeon droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a respiratory condition that leads to flu-like symptoms and is dangerous to those with compromised immune systems.

Removal of large amounts of pigeon droppings requires special equipment, protective clothing, and appropriate footwear. In addition, after the droppings are removed, the surfaces where pigeons roosted must be decontaminated.