When it comes to getting rid of pigeons, we know that you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. The longer they stick around on your property, the more feces they’re leaving around and the more damage that feces could cause. Nobody likes bird poop all over the place, but it’s just as dangerous as it is unsightly, especially when you take the many disease risks it can carry into consideration, too.
If you want to get rid of pigeons from your property or back yard, here are 12 simple yet effective ways that can help:
It’s an oldie but a goodie, and there is some truth in scarecrows working to get rid of birds. Scarecrows have loose clothing draped over them, and this moves as the window blows through. This movement makes the scarecrow look like a REAL human being, and what happens when a REAL human being approaches birds? They tend to fly away.
You do need to bear in mind that pigeons are much more comfortable around humans than other birds are, so this may only work on a short-term level if at all.
Birds don’t tend to like it when bright lights are flashed at them, so anything that reflects sunlight in the back garden is going to go some way to repelling them. This could be as simple as hanging old CDs from tree branches, or more complex in the form of beautiful garden ornaments. You could even just drape reflective foil pieces around trees, making sure that they are firmly attached and can’t become a litter problem by blowing off in the wind.
Wind chimes not only move, but also tend to make noise. Some make pipe noises as the wind whistles through the different components. Others will tinkle as metallic parts make contact with each other. The noise and the movement combined will work as a great deterrent for wild animals — they mimic the noise and movement of humans. Again, birds are more likely to flap and fly away when humans come around.
Pigeons don’t like cats, dogs or other animals that are likely to chase them, so you can use decoys to try and deter them. Some homeowners have had great success with a plastic cat in the back garden, although it is usually a repellent that works for a brief period of time only. It’s certainly not recommended as the only method — or a long-term method.
You can use steel mesh cages or ‘blankets’ to protect small but delicate areas of your property that are constantly affected by pigeons, and you can also use the stuff to prevent the larger birds getting into places such as bird feeders, windows of historic buildings, around chimney breasts, around pipework on the exterior of the building, at the top of guttering and rainwater collection points, and more. Smaller birds can get through the spaces, so if you have problems with more than one roosting bird species, both big and small, you may find that this approach to bird removal or repellent just doesn't work. For pigeons, however, it can work perfectly, provided everything is safely and properly fixed into place.
If decoys work, perhaps the real thing will work to repel pigeons, too? You’re right in the fact that cats and dogs are likely to chase away pigeons and other birds from the back garden, but we don’t actually recommend that you let your pet take part in any wild animal removal activity. The reason for this is disease.
Birds can carry fleas, ticks, mites and other parasites, all of which come with a great number of disease threats. Some of these can be passed over to your pet and could prove deadly. Some of them might not even affect your pet that much at all, but your pet could then pass it over to you, your kids, or other vulnerable people inside your home or building. If you let your pets come into contact with wild animals in the back garden, you are putting everyone at risk of some pretty nasty diseases
You can buy bird repellents in the form of gels and liquids, but these are more of a deterrent than a repellent. The substance is a sticky one, and makes it very uncomfortable for the birds to land. The substance isn’t sticky like a rodent glue strip, causing the birds to become permanently stuck, but there is some evidence to support the idea that the gels and liquids might not be as humane as first considered. Birds have been known to get covered in the formula, and when it gets on their feathers/wings, they are rendered unable to fly. If the gel or liquid formula can’t be washed from the bird’s feathers, it will likely die.
Hot foot isn’t a repellent for pigeons as such, but more of a “feeling”. There are some gels and liquid bird repellent formulas that contain a hot/spicy ingredient, and when birds land on it, cause them to have hot feet. It’s not painful for the animal, but it is certainly uncomfortable, and with enough repeated attempts could be enough to see the birds eradicated from your property for good.
The problem you’re faced with when you use gels, liquids or other products, is that they can cause problems for other animals, too. There is no guarantee that other animals climbing fences won’t fall prey to the viscous solution, rather than the birds that you’re trying to repel. Again, this formula could negatively affect the animal if it gets into fur.
This isn’t one of the most aesthetically pleasing of bird repellents, but the right kind of bird netting will work to keep pigeons from landing or roosting in certain places. Obviously, if you are trying to cover a very large space, using netting isn't always going to be helpful. Smaller and more compact spaces, however, and bird netting comes in very handy.
This bird removal and repellent approach is commonly taken by local councils looking to protect indoor spaces of buildings, such as bas stations, etc.
This approach to bird deterrent might look lethal, but it's not really. The spikes just stop birds from landing wherever they are placed, and they're handy because they can be cut to size and/or purchased in different thicknesses/sizes to suit.
Another method great for windowsills and ledges, etc., this is not going to be a suitable method of bird removal if you’re trying to remove them from a large area of land. Specific sections of a building can be protected with ease, and the spikes themselves are also easy to install. (Just make sure you read the instructions!)
Another very simple and effective way of keeping pigeons and other birds away, you can install it where you most need it, including window ledges, balcony-edge-tops, and more.
Of course, there is a safety risk to consider when you’re installing wire, especially if you have other animals or young children in the area. The wire can be sharp and cause injury.
At the same time, wire that has been installed along the top of a straight-line structure will prevent larger birds, such as pigeons, landing there. When they can't land there, they'll be less likely to drop their droppings there, and they’ll also be less likely to try and roost there, too. With the right bits n’ pieces, you can actually create DIY wire lines to prevent birds from landing, but they are also bought fairly cheaply in stores and online.
If you have a large enough area of land, you could consider using a pigeon loft to deter the birds away from the buildings they are wreaking havoc on. You will need to ensure that the pigeon loft is installed a fair distance away from the building, right on the outskirts of your land, so that you and the birds can safely live on the same property without issues, particularly safety/health issues. This provides the birds with another place to roost, and when you use deterring methods to get all birds out of the original roosting space, there's a pretty good chance that they will turn to the home you have provided for them. That’s even more so the case if you put food there for them.
If you do not seal up and repair the original space once the pigeons have moved into their new home, they could still return. You MUST make sure you complete this part of the job, and clean up any mess they left there, to increase the chances of keeping them away for good.
Are There Plants That Repel Pigeons?
Pigeons are a nightmare once they move into your property, leaving their corrosive droppings all over the place, riling up your pets, and generally making a great, flappin' nuisance of themselves. How do you get rid of an entire flock of pigeons that has moved in, though? It's not like you can take the same approach that you would take with another pest animal, such as a raccoon or an armadillo. Those animals are relatively easy to track down and trap once you have the right know-how and tools for the job.
When you're dealing with multiple animals, like birds, you're going to need to find an approach that works for all or the majority of them at once, and that gets the job done quickly and safely, too. This doesn't mean just safely for you, but also the birds. You'll find that it is probably an offence to kill, move, or injure birds across most of the United States, and this is even more so the case when those birds are nesting. (With chicks or eggs.)
It seems as though repellents might be a great idea when you're trying to get rid of a large number of animals, and there are a fair number of repellents or deterrents suggested on the internet for birds. Wind chimes, scarecrows, repellent pieces of foil hung from tree branches … Some of them work. Ish. Most of them don't, though. It's often the good, old-fashion methods that have the best results.
Anything that moves is obviously going to repel birds. When you get anywhere close to these animals they usually fly off. Pigeons are perhaps one of the bravest species of bird that you'll find in your back garden, but even they won't stick around to be touched by a human. (Unless that human has food.)
Scarecrows are a great place to start, especially when you want birds to go away from one particular area, such as a fruit or a vegetable patch. Some people have even suggested using specific plants with specific smells to get rid of the birds, and that's what we would like to take a little bit of a closer look at today.
Unless you want to start growing spices in your back yard, there are actually very few plants that repel pigeons. Most plants are food for pigeons. They don't seem to like very hot or spicy foods, so you could consider growing chilli plants in the back yard, but it probably won't be that effective at all. In fact, you’re more likely to have positive results by making a fluid that contains chilli powder and then spraying that all over the plants that you'd like to protect.
While we're on the subject of fluid solutions that you can spray around, there are a lot that you can buy online and in store, but there are a few solutions that you could create at home first. That hot, chilli-pepper spray can work, as can anything cinnamon-based. You could also consider taking cinnamon, black pepper, hot chillis, etc., and drying them. Once dried, place them in small bundles with old stockings or cheesecloth, and place (or secure) to places where pigeons have posed a problem.
Although there are certain smells or tastes that could work to repel pigeons, we personally don't recommend that you put too much of your faith in homemade repellents, or the repellents you can buy commercially. Physical removal/eviction/exclusion of the birds is necessary, along with a thorough cleanup operation, repair mission, and property-secure job. If you don't do the job properly, the problem will just come back. It might not even go away at all.