Birds are the last thing you think of when you hear the word ‘pest’. But it is no secret that they can cause a great nuisance. Not all types of birds are considered pests. Some tend to live in nature and stay away from urban areas or don’t live in flocks. Birds cause problems outside and this makes bird control a difficult job.
Birds used to live in high places in nature but with time they got used to the urbanisation of the land and adapted to being around people. Nesting on the roofs of buildings rather than on trees is not uncommon to them.
If you have troubles with pigeon pest attacking your beloved garden visit the article: How to Keep Pigeons Away from Your Garden
Pigeons can cause a lot of problems with your home or commercial property. You have to learn how to get rid of the pigeons and to keep them from coming back.
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What Attracts Pigeons
- Nesting places – flat and hospitable surfaces are a leading reason they are drawn to your home. They look for places that will be safe in all weather conditions. They need to find a place that will keep the nest and little birds safe from hot and dry weather and from rain and snow. Some birds, like sparrows, tend to build their nests on flat surfaces like walls and roofs. Pigeons and other birds use gutters and rooftops, or under solar panels to build their nests.
- Shelter – Pigeons also seek sheltered places to sleep at. This makes your home the ideal place for them.
- Easy access to food – If your home is offering pigeons and other birds free food and easy access to it, you can be sure that they will come. Pigeons, especially, are used to being amongst people and eating their leftover food.
- Vegetation – If you have a vegetable garden you can be sure that not only pigeons in search of food will arrive but other birds will be stopping by, too.
How do I get rid of pigeons on my roof?
There are a couple of methods to stop pigeons and other birds from using your roof for nesting.
- Gel Repellent – this is a non-permanent solution and is ideal if you are renting the place. The gel wears off after a couple of weeks and you will have to reapply it. The gel works by making the surface slippery or sticky and makes it impossible for the birds to stay on it. There are also special gels that make the surface hot and it keeps birds away.
- Wire or Wrap – Balcony or other rails attract pigeons and other birds. Use wire or slinky toys. Wrapping the rails with them will create a barrier and make them uncomfortable for birds to land on. Thus keeping them off of your property.
- String – Another way to protect your balcony rails is by tieing a string a few centimetres above it so it’s difficult for birds to grasp the rail.
- Spikes – Spikes are another permanent alternative to keeping birds away. They can be installed anywhere. They don’t leave a comfortable place for birds to roost or make a nest. Spikes are a permanent solution for residential and commercial properties. It’s a more expensive solution and the installation takes time but it’s worth it.
Home repairs you can do to keep pigeons and other birds away
If you have the time to dive in the task of fortifying your home against all bird entruders you will find this helpful. Below are listed some methods that need a bit of craftsmanship and DIY experience.
1. Scare Crows
Scare the pigeons off with fake owl or hawk statues – There are plastic birds, flying birds, and statues of owls and hawks that people use to scare off real birds. These can be effective but you will have to change the place so pigeons don’t get used to the statue.You can place the decoy birds on trees, on the roof, on your balcony. Pigeons are afraid of bigger birds that prey on them and can be scared by a predator bird.
2. Structural changes
You can modify specific parts of the roof by installing slants. Make the roof sloping so they can’t land and stay on it. If you do this to their favourite spots they will eventually stop coming to your home.
3. Porcupine wire
What this is is metal base with metal prongs protruding from it making it impossible for birds to land on their favourite roosting spots.
4. Wire Fences
The fence can prevent birds from landing on your rails, roof, or other places on your property. A simple chicken wire can be easily nailed to the building in the places you wish to keep safe from birds. It is a permanent solution and many professional pest exterminators recommend it.
5. Live Traps
Number one choice for some people to deal with birds, however, it is not the most effective one. Problem number one is that it takes time to achieve your goal of catching the birds. The second problem is the fact that by releasing them far away from your property does not guarantee they won’t find their way back. Or that other ones won’t come.
How to set up a live trap for birds
- Spread seeds to their favourite roosting places. Feed them for a couple of days so they know to come back.
- Then place the trap and put seeds inside of it. Do this for a couple more days and after you’ve gained their trust, capture them inside.
- Release them somewhere far from your home.
This is an effective method if it’s combined with home repairs or repellents that will stop birds from coming back.
How to get rid of pigeons under solar panels
Most often it is pigeons that like the place under the solar panels and use them as nesting spots. Without realising that they are causing you a lot of problems and that they are dangerous to your solar panels.
Aside from the noise and filth that they cause by nesting on your roof, there are problems that can affect your solar panels directly and thus your home.
If bird droppings build up, or even a single layer of droppings can block the sunlight going to the solar panel. The solar panels are made from small cells that absorb the light and bird droppings can prevent the cells’ work.
Corrosion is another big issue that pigeons can cause to the solar panels. The uric acid in the birds’ droppings can increase the dangers of corrosion on the aluminium parts of the panels.
Dislocating the wires of the solar panels. Pigeons and their babies moving under your solar panels can meddle with the wiring, causing electrical power issues.
Living in a property infested by pigeons has it’s common downsites. No matter the type of property and the size of infestations, those signs will be visible.
- They carry materials for their nests leaving a trace of garbage around your home.
- When pigeons start building their nest they have to carry mud and sticks which leave traces on the way. You will have to deal with the constant dirt they create.They nest in places that are easier for them to reach and build in. Such are gutters, fan vents, chimney, etc.
- Clogged gutters and/or downspouts cause leakage on your roof and home. The blocked vents can be hazardous to the pigeons and to your electrical system as well.
- Pigeons are wild animals that carry bird bugs, pathogens and parasites which can cause health problems to people.
- Pigeons droppings are a huge problem that is inconvenient in more than one way. Bird droppings, in general, have a strong unpleasant smell. Aside from being unsightly, bird excrements contain uric acid that can damage a variety of materials. Thus cause costly damages to your home or business building.Pigeon droppings can cause slips and falls. This is not the only problem birds can cause. You can get infected with a disease from the high exposure to bird droppings, the pathogens from their feathers and the debris they leave around.
- Noise is a common bird problem. All birds make noise, even one bird can be as annoying as ten.
- Living in a block of flats and having birds issues will raise the maintenance costs.
Transmissible diseases spread by pigeons
- E.coli – there are various ways you can get infected with E.coli from birds. The bacteria is usually found in their faecal matter, so exposure to it can be one of the ways. Dust from the droppings that has entered the ventilation system is another way it gets into your system.Symptoms of E.coli: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea.
- St. Louis Encephalitis – a virus mainly carried by birds. More specifically birds that inhabit urban areas, such as pigeons and house sparrows. How you get infected with this virus is by mosquitoes who have fed on an infected bird before feeding on you.Symptoms of St. Louis Encephalitis: headache, nausea and dizziness, fever.
- Cryptococcosis – a fungal disease that can end fatally. It is found in the droppings of birds but is not limited to them. It is also found in more than 80% of birds nesting sites.There are two forms of this disease. One is caught by inhaling the fungus. It gets into your lungs, then spreads out to other parts of your organism and causes a lot of problems. The other form is in the form of blisters skin ulcers, acne-like, but these are rare cases.If it’s not treated, cryptococcosis can be deadly.
- Histoplasmosis – is a fungus found in dried bird droppings. You can get infected by inhaling dried droppings dust.
- Psittacosis – this is a bacterial pathogen that you can find in the dried bird droppings.
- Bird Mites – parasites that feed on young pigeons but as soon as the nest is abandoned they scatter looking for food in the closest place. This can result in an infestation of your home.
If you don’t think you can protect your home from birds on your own, get professional help.