Pigeons can be entertaining to watch to past the time when you’re walking in the park and sit down on a bench to rest. But once they flock around your house and make your roof and verandas their casual meeting place, it’s time to take certain precautions.

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While pigeons are generally harmless, they are able to cause significant property damage. So, the Fantastic Services team is here to help with this bird infestation problem.

Why are pigeons attracted to your house?

In general, pigeons are attracted to places that are comfortable for their way of living. This includes a platform with a good view of their feeding source. The roofs of houses are the perfect location for that. Once they’re comfortable there, they could also make a nest on the roof. Your house gutters are also a comfortable spot for nests, especially if they haven’t been cleaned from leaves and other debris.

While pigeons generally keep away from humans, the truth is, they’re not as afraid of us as other wildlife. Historically, we tamed and used them for carrying messages across the world. Because of that, they’re not afraid to come close. This is why you would often see them resting on your balcony, as well.

Do pigeons pose any danger?

A pigeon won’t attack a human, however, finding bird excrements on your deck, patio, balcony or car is not the best start of your morning. And the bigger the flock, them more of those you would get. Ask any healthcare worker and they’ll tell you that this can cause a potential spread of airborne diseases. There are over 60 diseases that can be transmitted by bird poop and some of them can infect humans and pets. The most common ones are:

  • Histoplasmosis. A respiratory disease that results from a fungus growing in pigeon poop. If left untreated, it may be fatal.
  • Cryptococcosis. A pulmonary disease that also affects the central nervous system. The fungus can spread from the bird excrement, especially in enclosed spaces like the attic.
  • Salmonellosis. Usually caused by ingestion of food, which has been contaminated with the bacteria, present in bird droppings. The disease can be brought in your home though dust, sucked through ventilators and air conditioners.

Besides transmitting disease, pigeons can also carry over 50 types of ectoparasites, most of which are detrimental to people’s health. Those include:

  • Bird mites. Tiny insects found on birds and around bird nests. They suck blood from their host and in some cases, can infest people’s homes in search of blood meals from humans.
  • Bed bugs. Pigeons, sparrows, and starlings are known to carry bed bugs. If they spend a lot of time on your property, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to suffer a bed bug infestation.
  • Yellow mealworms. A parasite that lives in pigeons’ nests. It can be also found in grain and grain products, as well as in breakfast cereals.
Related: How to Prevent Squirrels from Digging up the Lawn

How to get rid of a pigeon infestation

Once you notice that your home has become a target for pigeons, it’s important to act fast and drive them away before they get too many in number.

  • Use a scarecrow. You can purchase one from your local garden store. You can also make your own by crossing two wooden planks, putting an old t-shirt on it and filling it with straw. Place it where you most often see the birds hanging around. It should effectively scare the pigeons away. Just make sure to change its position every few days. Birds are smarter than you think and they can easily get comfortable with new decorations, as long as they stand in one place.
  • Place animal decoys. You can purchase animal decoys from your local garden store and place them strategically in spots, which the pigeons often occupy. Choose animals that are natural bird predators, such as snakes, owls, swans, coyotes. Just like with the scarecrow, change their position, so the birds don’t get too comfortable with them.
  • Try balloons. Balloons can be very effective if the flock of birds mostly gather on the nearby trees. They can be also a good deterrent against crows. Purchase about 50 balloons and tie them up tightly on branches. Every time the wind blows, they will move around and keep the birds away. You could additionally tie up each balloon with a shiny or reflective ribbon. It would additionally make the birds feel uneasy about landing on the tree.
  • Make use of reflective materials. Pigeons and birds, in general, stay away from bright lights and reflective surfaces. You can put your imagination to good use and make your own DIY exterior decoration from old CDs or aluminium foil. Create something that would not only keep the birds away but also enhance the look of your exterior to your neighbours’ envy.
  • Get a dog. Dogs love to chase birds. If the pigeons gather around your deck or patio, there isn’t a better deterrent than man’s best friend. However, if the birds tend to gather on the roof, a dog won’t do much to keep them away.

In many cases, you might have to use more than one of these methods. A combination of all of them would produce the best results. Birds can be quite stubborn when it comes to getting adapted to locations they enjoy. If you find it difficult keeping them away, you can always rely on professional bird control.

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How to prevent another pigeon infestation

The best way to keep birds away and protect yourself and your family from an array of dangerous diseases is not to allow the pigeons getting comfortable around your property. Here is what you can do to prevent a pigeon infestation.

  • Remove food and water sources. Needless to say, things like bird feeders and bird baths are the main culprit in attracting unwanted birds to your property. Additionally, resist the urge to throw any food crumbs to a wandering bird in your yard. They will quickly learn to stalk the location that provides them with an easy feed. To keep away the scavenging birds, make sure to seal tightly your outside rubbish bins.
  • Seal exterior holes. Pigeons don’t generally look for small cramped spaces to make their nests, but starlings do. Take a walk around your property and look for any holes. If you find any, fill them up with steel wool or a piece of copper mesh. It’s not a good idea to use caulk, as the birds can easily peck through it. You can also cover the hole with a wooden or metal patch. It’s a good idea to also seal the gutters and vents with mesh screens.
  • Drape bird netting on bushes. If you discover that your bushes are constantly flocked by birds, you can drape nylon or plastic bird mesh over them. Make sure to scare away the birds that are on the shrub or in its foliage, so you don’t trap any of them inside. Once you drape the mesh, they won’t be tempted to come back near the plant.
  • Install bird spikes. Metal bird spikes, or perch blockers, as they’re sometimes called, are an effective preventative method to keep birds away. Attach them to any potential perching areas, such as your ledge, around your gutters, the edges of the roof and the patio cover. They can be either attached with glue or screws. Once the spikes are on, they make the area very uncomfortable for birds to land on, especially for big birds such as pigeons and crows.

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You can easily keep pigeons and any other types of birds away, as long as you know the proper prevention methods. However, if none of the above works or you don’t want to deal with all this work, you can always call professional bird control and leave the job to them. The Fantastic Services team is always ready to answer your call for help.

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Image source: Shutterstock / By MagMac83

  • Last update: October 17, 2019

Posted in Pest Problems

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