View Full Version : What will get rid of these frickin' pigeons?

teela brown
08-07-2000, 03:16 PM
Pigeons are nesting (as opposed to just perching) under a niche in our roof. We can hear the fat fledglings clumping and stomping around up there in the middle of the night, and they're keeping us awake.

The first pest control guy we called told us that wire netting is ineffective, as they will just push it out of the way. He's trying to sell us on a pigeon repellant. Pigeons do not seem intelligent or strong enough to me to push wire netting out of the way. Is he trying to sell us a bill of goods? I want the little bastards out of there permanently!

Someone here on the boards, and I'm afraid I can't remember his name, is a pest control person by profession. What's the deal? Is wire netting or repellant the way to go?

don Jaime
08-07-2000, 03:45 PM
The two things I've heard:

A) ONE BIG OL' PLASTIC OWL. They're scared of owls. They're also stupid enough to be scared of an obviously fake one. I hope.

B) TANGLEFOOT. A commercial slime specifically meant to get rid of unwanted birds. They can't get a comfortable grip and leave.

Never heard of commercial pigeon repellant. They seem repellant enough as it is.

08-07-2000, 03:50 PM

08-07-2000, 03:52 PM
DeCon brand rat poison and bird seed? maybe?

08-07-2000, 03:59 PM
uncooked rice

Wonko The Sane
08-07-2000, 04:07 PM
I've heard mothballs repel most animals, and they are cheap...

08-07-2000, 04:12 PM
I think the "uncooked rice" suggestion is a reference to the "don't throw rice at weddings 'cause birds eat it and the rise expands in their tummies and they explode" rumor that was going around (and explained all of the dead birds that you'd see on Saturday evenings around churchs :rolleyes: )

Anyhow. Birds are VERY determined when it's about their nests. We had some SMALL birds (like sparrows) nesting up under the roof - a board had come loose and they were nesting there. I waited until AFTER nesting season had ended and nailed that sucker back up. The following spring? We now have a nice pecked out hole in the front of the roof line so the birds could get back to their favored nest site.

Moral of the story? Al (Hitchcock) was right.....

08-07-2000, 05:17 PM
Number eights. Steel shot if you live on a body of water.

08-07-2000, 05:22 PM
Eliminate what they want (food and water) and eliminate access. If you see them foraging around your area, clean up what they're eating. Prune bushes if necessary. If they are using a birdbath, drain it.

Watch to see how they enter the niche and do what is necessary to deny them access. Replace damaged boards or cover holes with new boards or hardclothe.

Birds can be very persistent (see wring's story), but this means you just need to be more persistent. Board up that hole again.

If you are in the US or Canada, don't use poisons. There is a possibility of killing different species and Fish and Wildlife Service (or Canadian Wildlife Service) will not be happy with violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

08-07-2000, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by pugluvr
I want the little bastards out of there permanently!

Depending on whether you're willing to kill them or not,
a not-so-nice method used occasionally by commercial property maintenance men is to place a small, shallow container of anti-freeze (the toxic stuff) in an area where the parents can take a drink. This will kill them in short order, however, this stuff is exceeding poisonous so keeping it away from other non-harmful animals (including small children) would be the main problem and the risk may not be worth it.

08-07-2000, 05:39 PM
We have some pretty bad problems with pigeons roosting and pooping on people around the office complex where I work. The solution they use is a thick wire mesh around the obvious ventilation holes where they fly in and these prickly plastic needle things that I imagine are extremely uncomfortable for them to sit/ roost on. I got a great laugh one day watching one of these flying rats actually trying to wedge his fat ass in between the 1/2 inch space where the last spike set ended and the inner edge of the ledge. After about five minutes he finally gave up and flew away.

I'm not sure where these plastic spike sets are sold though they are clearly designed to get rid of unwanted birds and I'm sure they must be fairly inexpensive.

08-07-2000, 06:36 PM
Please note that in some jurisdictions it is illegal to poison birds, including pigeons.

Engineer Don
08-07-2000, 06:58 PM
My dad had the pigeon infestation problem, and he tried all sorts of crazy stuff. He started with chicken wire, which the found ways around. He put a plastic owl up and they avoided it for about a week, then they were perching on it. He put rubber snakes on the roof, and they did nothing but crap on them. Finally he got an old induction coil (from the plastic flashing yellow light boxes mounted on the road- block saw-horse like barricade things), hooked it up to a 12 volt battery, hooked the battery up to a battery charger, and then hooked the coil up to some dangling bare wires. He left that on for about a week, and the pigeons haven't come back. He has it on a weekly timer now, and it comes on for about 15 minutes a week. It didn't kill any pigeons, either, but I heard they really left quick when the were shocked.

08-07-2000, 07:24 PM
An Owl? Yeah, they would just poop on it.

Around here they use a pointed wire that is too small for them to stand on. Search the net, the net is sure to have the right stuff.

08-07-2000, 10:18 PM
Pigeon Repellant??? Let me guess, was $19.95 and you get two bottles for the price of one. But wait, there's more! I bet he would throw in a pocket size can of pigeon repellant for free if you order in the next five minutes! What a scammer!!
Cover the holes up. In case any find their way in, leave a treat for them. Get some peanut butter, birdseed and alkeseltzer. Mix them all together and put this Pigeon Poison Paste around where they like to hang out. YUM YUM!! This is assuming you cannot afford a REAL owl.

08-07-2000, 10:21 PM
If you have any cats, turn them loose.
A shotgun works rather well, too.

08-07-2000, 10:40 PM
Get a pet peregrine falcon.

08-08-2000, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by wring
I think the "uncooked rice" suggestion is a reference to the "don't throw rice at weddings 'cause birds eat it and the rise expands in their tummies and they explode" rumor that was going around (and explained all of the dead birds that you'd see on Saturday evenings around churchs :rolleyes: )

Yes, see Cecil's column on exploding birds (https://academicpursuits.us/classics/a5_081.html) about this. One of his best, I think.

08-08-2000, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by mipsman
Get a pet peregrine falcon.

drat - you beat me to it.

08-08-2000, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by mipsman
Get a pet peregrine falcon.

I second this one, and lend him to me when you're done, I can feed him for a few lifetimes yet what with the overwhelming population of Pigeons in Queens.

08-08-2000, 10:40 AM
Assuming you can get reasonably close to the access point, use a garden sprayer to introduce household ammonia into the nesting space. This will dispatch them in short order in a non-lethal way. If the nature of the space does not lent itself to barricading, a few serial applications of this technique will soon give them the idea that there are probably more hospitable places to roost. Pigeons are not THAT dumb! This also works well for bats in belfries and other confined spaces.

teela brown
08-08-2000, 01:37 PM
Bear Nenno: Scammer is right. We got a second guy to come in and give us an estimate. He said he'd put out pigeon repellant and put in the wire netting that will keep them out. Cost: $350. We told him we weren't interested in the repellant, so what would the charge be for just the netting? $120. So when you were joking around about $19.95, that truly WOULD have been a bargain. $230 for some slippery stuff? I don't think so!

Is it the alka seltzer in the pigeon bait that gets them? Makes them explode, I'm assuming. But even if that worked, another pair would come to take their place, and another, and another . . .

I just can't thank enough the brilliant person who originally imported this alien species from Europe to America. They're actually called "rock doves" and are native to the old world, as are starlings and English sparrows. These three species are hideously overpopulated here, and I have no love for any of them.

08-09-2000, 08:38 AM
The Peregrine Falcon is a possibility, however they have a habit of migrating away. Other possible raptorial bird/pigeon control specialist would be a Cooper Hawk. (Fast bird with eyes that'd put the fear o'gawd into ya.) CHs can exist in an urban environment (had to rescue one from the downtown homeless shelter (broken wing)). Not too long ago, our bird feeder at the office was overrun with pigeons (typical day), when there was this horrible screech (not me!) from outside. I looked out the window and there was a Cooper's Hawk with a pigeon in its talons. Not a pretty sight... Didn't have any problems with pigeons for about 3 months. (I saw the CH for about 2 weeks, and it was about 2 months before the pigeons ventured back.) I have tapes of several raptors (Red-shouldered Hawks and Great-Horned Owls), and use them sporadically when they start to venture back. A couple screams or hoots (use one or the other, not both at the same time!) and the pigeons are gone. Also brings in the smaller birds (Blue Jays, Mockers) to investigate and mob the tape player.

The spike wire (can't remember the brand name, but I've seen it referred to as 'porcupine wire') is a possibility, however make sure it is clear of debris - I've seen birds stuff bunches of dried leaves and grasses into the spaces to minimize the discomfort. I've seen this advertized in forestry catalogues.

08-09-2000, 06:58 PM
What you need is are these things:
1) BB gun
2) plane ticket from huntsville Al to your town.
3) rent your own Osip (25 dollars a day plus food, smokes, and a place to sleep on the couch)
3) shovel to dig hole to place dead birds.

gimme a week I can put a dent in the problem!


08-09-2000, 07:55 PM
Actually, Yarster got it right.

Sorry I'm a little late on this one, pug. I'm the Board's hired killer, BTW.

Wire netting could possibly work, but it's hard to put it on seamlessly, and they just might be able to get in somewhere.

Although I've only done one bird job, the research we did showed that the spikey things work well. They don't really hurt the birds, they just poke them in the ass when they try to land. Problem is, you might have to put them on every horizontal surface of the building. But if you've got good coverage, the birds will definitely find another place to roost.

Don't go in for toxins, they really aren't necessary, and they can have bad side effects, such as poisoning a non-target animal, or making the pigeons behave erratically (true story. One avicide caused the birds to go psycho and dive bomb people walking by. Hitchcockian in the extreme!). Plus, who do you think is gonna clean up all them dead birds? Not me, man. Seriously, you could have a health problem with the bird carcasses (and other pest problems, such as flies). And you don't even wanna think about what it would be like to have a dead bird caught in an air vent.

I've been trying to remember what the spikes are called. But I'm drawing a blank on the brand name. Repellants are usually on the order of a caulk-like goo that either causes mild burns on their feet (one product is called Hot-Foot) or else is sticky and gloppy, and they don't like the feel of it. Just remember, it's sticky, and leaves and dirt and debris will probably get stuck in it and eventually render it useless.

Depending on the size of the niche you're talking about, spikes would probably be the way to go. You can trim the base holding the spikes and probably clip the spikes themselves if you need to. And they're not noticeable from the ground.

I'll try a web search and see if I can find some products for you. I don't know if they're available to the general public, but you might insist to the pest control guy that he goes out and gets it.

08-09-2000, 08:18 PM
OK. Go to this site:

http://bird-x.com/index.htm (I really wish I knew how to post links here!! :confused:). Check out the "products" button. You'll find a listing for bird spikes. That's what I was talking about. No wonder I couldn't think of the name. Who would have ever thought of calling them bird spikes!

As you can see, they're not exactly cheap, and you have to measure the footage of the spots you want to cover.

Most likely the pest control guy you contacted didn't handle many bird jobs, and would have had to buy a bulk quantity of spikes, leaving him with a lot of material that he might not be able to unload in a hurry.

You might want to do it yourself, if you're of a mind, in which case I'll be glad to give you any advice you need, if I'm able. Otherwise, find an animal control specialist and make sure he deals with birds on a regular basis. You get what you pay for, you know.

08-09-2000, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by soulsling
Originally posted by mipsman
Get a pet peregrine falcon.

I second this one, and lend him to me when you're done, I can feed him for a few lifetimes yet what with the overwhelming population of Pigeons in Queens.

This is what Harrod's does, only they use a hawk - "Harry the Hawk."

08-10-2000, 02:08 AM
"Nix-a-lite" Clever, huh?

I've been trying to remember what the spikes are called.

08-10-2000, 06:55 AM
"Nix-a-lite" Clever, huh?

That wasn't the brand name we used. Actually, we just called 'em spikes. Maybe not so clever, but descriptive in its own Spartan way.

08-10-2000, 08:21 AM
Yes they use it on the City Square here in Toronto and it appears to work.
What they do is very simple no poisons etc, they have very thin steel wire drapped above the square from one end to the other of course pulled very tightly and spaced at about 10 metres apart.
The birds do not fly under this wire since they feel they will get trapped in some way. Not sure why more public squares do not use this technique, since the bottom line is it works.
The other best answer is stop feeding the birds.

teela brown
08-10-2000, 01:09 PM
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Osip, are you a member of "Varmint Plinkers" of South Dakota?

DAVEWOO71, now I remember your name! The Board's own critter cruncher. I think we'll go for the netting, as it is only one small niche where they can hide and nest. I forwarded your reply to my husband, though, so if he wants to ask for a few additional spikes to discourage them from pushing the netting aside, he can.

screech owl, I like seeing our own birds of prey taking care of the alien bird species problem, and I put out a sign on the roof: "Cooper's Hawks -- Stop and Get a Free Lunch Here! Gas -- Eats (Peregrines Need Not Apply)". I'll let you know if it works.

Frickin' nestlings. Now they sound like they're five pounds each. If they don't fledge before this Monday (the day the exterminator arrives), they're squab.

08-10-2000, 07:06 PM
Pug, you might also want to try to trouble shoot some other areas up there while you're at it. Nothing is worse than taking care of pests in one area only to have them get a toehold in another area. Might as well do what you can while you have a head of steam up.

Oh, and I prefer to be known as a Hired Killer, not a "critter cruncher", thank you. You make it sound like I'm eating the doggone things. :)

Jeep's Phoenix
08-11-2000, 10:20 PM
Definitely some type of firearm. A BB gun would work, so long as it's one of those that you have to pump manually. C02 cannister-powered BB guns aren't powerful enough.

Or buy yourself a shotgun, some bird shot, and a golden retreiver. (You don't really want to touch those birds after you've shot them...)

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