Except for the polar ice caps, the ubiquitous pigeon (sometimes called rock dove) is just about everywhere on the planet. Feral pigeons live in close association with humans, yet they possess the characteristics of highly adapted wild birds. Pigeons typically feed on seeds but they can easily survive on vegetables, meat and other food discarded by humans. Nests are built by the female using material collected by the male.
If you want to keep pigeons from nesting on your property, you’ll have to eliminate their sources of food, water and shelter. When pigeons are on the lookout for places to nest, they’ll first make sure there’s plenty to eat for themselves and their young. If you own or manage a restaurant, particularly, an outdoor eatery, you’ll need to be ever vigilant about food scraps under tables, benches and chairs. The same holds true of dipsy-dumpsters--keep the lids closed and clean up any food around them. Also eliminate any sources of standing water left by sprinklers and maintenance crews.
In terms of shelter, feral pigeons often build their nests in hard-to-reach places, such as covered crevices along building ledges, in the nooks and crannies of building beams and rafters, or in other hidden-away places. Sometimes they’ll use very little nesting material and lay their eggs on bare ground. Nests are usually hard to find and often used over and over. Loose tiles and broken windows will give pigeons easy access to nesting spots. Pigeons are particularly fond of roof spaces, especially those that have open water tanks. In general, gutters, window air conditioners (in particular, empty air conditioner containment boxes), chimney pots and external ledges serve as ideal nesting sites.
Bird Sonics. No pigeon alive wants to build a nest in the presence of Peregrine falcons—a pigeon’s natural enemy. That’s what Sonic Bird Deterrents rely on to discourage nesting. These bird-proofing devices emit predator and distress sounds that make pigeons very nervous. One sonic system emits distress and predator calls for up to 22 types of birds. You can select the “pigeon mode” and the system will broadcast sounds for 10 minutes, stop for 2 minutes and repeat the cycle.
The sounds emitted by the best sonic systems sound like normal bird sounds to the human ear. Look for systems that come with a built-in speaker and cover up to an acre of land. You should also be able to add speakers to cover larger areas. The best sonic systems use U.V. protected materials and are weatherproof. They can also be programmed to turn on/off at night.
In some locales, you may need to combine bird sonic deterrents with other pigeon control measures, which brings us to the king of bird deterrents.
Bird Spikes. Pigeons just can land in the presence of these spiked strips. They’re easily mounted on rooftops, parapet walls and ledges using glue, nails or screws. Bird spikes come in rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate spikes or high strength, durable stainless steel. The more economical poly spikes are recommended for use around RF or cell phone antennas. These spikes also come in various colors--including white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and crystal clear to blend in with their surroundings. When installing bird spikes, make sure to leave no gaps for birds to squeeze through.
Before installing any bird control device, clean the area thoroughly of bird droppings, feathers and nesting materials. Pigeons are attracted to this debris and will consider the area “friendly.” Use commercial disinfecting cleaning agents to reduce your exposure to any of the 60 known airborne diseases caused by birds. In some cases, it may be necessary to equip cleaning crews with PPE (Proper Protective Equipment) in the form of eye and respiratory protection.