How To Deal With Pigeons On Your Property
Pigeons can be a major pest for homeowners and gardeners. If a large flock decides to next on or near your property then you can have a bit of a problem on your hands. A few pigeons pose little problem (except perhaps to your vegetables and fruit bushes) but when they descend in huge numbers they really can create quite a mess.
The main problem with pigeons is that what goes in must come out! It comes out all right – in vast quantities over your driveway, your car, your patio furniture and perhaps your glass-roofed conservatory. Sometimes, at certain times of day, it can be difficult to evade the bombardment when you leave the sanctuary of your home. Pigeons are social birds and can flock in groups as big as fifty or so. Fifty birds can create quite a mess!
For those with children especially, all that mess can be quite a worry. Children playing out in the garden are not always going to be careful where they play and can easily come into contact with germ-laden faeces. Unfortunately, pigeons can carry a number of diseases that can be communicated to humans, so a big pigeon problem can actually be a health concern.
For gardeners, pigeons can be enemy number one. A flock of pigeons can descend on a vegetable bed or soft fruit bush and strip it bare in a matter of moments. Brassicas such as cabbages, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly tempting to pigeons. They will eat these leafy plants right back to the stem if given the chance. Pigeons also pose a threat to young pea plants, which can also swiftly disappear. Sewing seeds can also be a problem as pigeons can sometimes swoop down and eat the lot before they have a chance to germinate.
Pigeons can also be a problem for those who wish to encourage a good range of bird-life to increase diversity on their land. Feeding garden birds can encourage them to enter your garden and help you to deal with a range of different garden pests. Pigeons, however, will descend on a bird feeder and eat the lot – costly for you in bird feed and costly for the other, smaller birds which miss out on a meal.
How To Deal With Pigeon Problems:
Sometimes, if you have a pigeon problem, you may be tempted to shoot the lot of them. This, however satisfying it may be, will not solve the problem as more pigeons will likely appear before too long to take their place. Pigeons breed up to six times a year. Plus, shooting pigeons yourself is prohibited in many places.
To deal with the root cause of the problem, you need to determine where the birds are nesting and where they like to roost. The best way to effectively deal with a pigeon problem is to prevent them from nesting nearby and encouraging them to move off and find a more suitable home.
Once you have identified where the birds are nesting, and determined that it is not a suitable place, you should do what you can to close off the area so the birds can no longer enter by using netting and sealing holes.
The next step is to discourage the birds from descending onto your property to perch or roost. You can use spikes, wire or other objects to make it impossible for pigeons to balance on windowsills or wall tops. Hot dry spice may also deter them from favoured spots.
These measures should eventually lead pigeons to move away from your property, though there are a few other things you can do to hasten their departure. You can make loud noises, which will cause pigeons to depart – for a while at least. You could also try getting a model of a bird of prey to scare them off. You can net your vegetable beds and fruit bushes and remove as many food sources as possible to avoid attracting the pigeons. (Make sure no one is sneaking crumbs to the pigeons behind your back!)
Sometimes, pigeons will be persistent and work around all your defences and get used to your scare tactics. When you have tried all the simple measures and they have not worked, it is time to call in a wildlife control service and put the problem in the hands of the professionals. Short of hiring your own hawk, there is not much else that you can do and the wildlife control service will be able to make short work of the problem.
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