A Permanent and Humane Pigeon Deterrent Solution
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A flock of pigeons can cause a lot of trouble on your property. These birds have a strong sense of direction and homing instinct that keep them coming back to their roosting and nesting sites. With one pair of pigeons having up to four broods each year, an infestation can spiral out of control fairly quickly. Avoid the risk of damage and disease from pigeon waste by choosing an effective pigeon deterrent solution.
There are many ways to manage a pigeon problem, some better than others. A property owner’s first instinct is often to attempt to exterminate the population. While this can drive the birds away for a short time, destroying the pigeon population puts more pressure on them to reproduce. The birds will return in droves, and soon enough you will be back at square one. A far more efficient way to control pigeons is to prevent them from making nests, which can be done even if they have begun to roost.
Hudson Valley Wildlife Solutions are experts at determining appropriate options for deterring pigeons from your property. There are many effective ways to make potential roosting and nesting areas inhospitable. These can include bird netting, spikes, gels, and structural modifications. We were recently hired by our alma mater, SUNY Cobleskill, to set up pigeon deterrents around the property. One of the most effective, and least expensive, solutions we used was a simple installation of narrow cables.
Why Extermination is Ineffective for Pigeon Control
SUNY Cobleskill’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources is one of the most diverse agricultural programs in the United States. The campus is home to a 200-cow dairy barn that supports the school’s Dairy Production and Management and Animal Science programs. The roof of the barn has a long line of skylights down the middle to bring in natural light. These skylights became a popular roosting site for pigeons. The birds were a health hazard to the cows, with droppings getting on the cows and in their food. Over fifty diseases, bacteria, fungus, and ectoparasites are associated with pigeons, so we needed to find a permanent solution for the problem.
Property owners will often try to shoot pigeons away, but this will not remove the population for good. The few pigeons that survive and flee will now have less competition for getting food and will have an easier time reproducing. Since pigeons reproduce at any time of year, they will quickly repopulate and roost in the same areas, bringing the problem right back with them. (Also, in this case, attempting to shoot the pigeons would have led to a lot of holes in the roof!)
How to Choose a Permanent Pigeon Deterrent Solution
Reducing the available nesting areas is the most efficient way to repel pigeons in the long run. There are several effective solutions available, with pros and cons for each. On large stretches of a rooftop, optical gels are a great way to prevent roosting. These multisensory deterrents keep pigeons away from their old perching sites. They only last a few years at a time, though, making them a less effective solution for the dairy barn’s hard-to-reach skylights.
Installing spikes or netting can be a permanent fix, but they come with potentially problematic peculiarities of their own. There are many different types of spikes for different types of birds, so installing one set does not work as a solution for every type of bird. Spikes are also difficult to install and will cause problems if they are not put up correctly. Even when properly installed, they can be unsightly and stand out in visible areas.
A great alternative to spikes is installing a stretch of 1/8-inch wire above ledges on your property. Birds tend to love sitting on ledges for the same reason they perch on telephone wires: it feels like a tree branch. The 1/8-inch wire is too small for any bird to grasp in its talons, so they cannot land on it. Stringing some up above a ledge blocks the birds from perching them anymore. They do not like obstacles around where they will land, and will soon abandon the ledge.
At Hudson Valley Wildlife Solutions, we use stainless steel wires as a deterrent for pigeons and other birds. Because we anchor the wire into the surrounding material, it is a permanent solution. The wire blends in with the surrounding architecture and is less detectable than spikes, not to mention less expensive. Stainless steel wire will hold up to the elements and deter every bird. It’s perfect for covering just about any kind of ledge.
We installed these wires around the skylights in the dairy barn, and when the pigeons tried to land up there, it was like “the force” was repelling them away. By blocking the roosting area, we were able to protect the cows from potential diseases spread by the pigeons. With bird deterrents installed throughout campus, the pigeons will find new roosting areas elsewhere, away from students and livestock. They will most likely find a safe area less than 10 miles away in the surrounding forests. Not only are the pigeons evacuated, but the stainless steel wires will help prevent future bird infestations for years to come.
Read our article on how generally to combat pigeon infestations here.
Do you need help deterring pigeons or other birds from your property? Contact Hudson Valley Wildlife Solutions today so we can discuss your options.