Originally descended from the wild Rock Dove, a cliff-face dweller, feral pigeons are instinctively drawn to find the next best thing in urban areas – a block of flats, some Georgian architecture or a railway arch.
In so doing, they foul buildings and create unwanted “stained-glass” windows and “decorated” architecture. What’s more, all sorts of pests migrate from their nests into buildings and – in the absence of any natural predator – pigeons that fall sick survive to infect healthy birds with diseases such as ornithosis, listeria and e-coli, all of which can be transmitted to humans.
When dry, pigeon droppings can become airborne in small particles, which can lead to respiratory complaints in humans, such as psittacosis. Droppings are acidic and can corrode metals, stonework and brickwork. Nesting materials used by the birds can block chimneys, flues and guttering, causing issues with carbon monoxide and damage to buildings as water overflows from blocked gutters.
Buildings covered in fouling look unpleasant, can smell and project a poor image of a business, potentially damaging an organisation’s reputation. Simply put, if customers spot evidence of a heavy pigeon infestation on a premises, they may not want to do business with you.
Closely linked to pigeon activity are parasites such as mites, ticks, fleas and beetles. So if you have a current or past problem with birds and have done nothing, you may find you’ll suffer from a parasite infestation too.
How to prevent and get rid of birds
Pigeon prevention, proofing and control are highly specialised skills, requiring specialist equipment and tools. Control of pigeons through population reduction techniques is generally both less desirable and less effective than removing their food sources or blocking off sites where they perch or roost. The latter technique, known as proofing, is now used extensively.
Professional pest controllers such as ourselves use proofing methods like barriers, spikes, nets and wire to great effect. More recently, active systems such as shock strips, audible scarers and optical gels have been used to create negative associations in pigeons wishing to land or roost on buildings.
Each of these proofing methods has its merits and some offer a stronger and more lasting deterrent than others. As with any control method, however, they may become less effective over an extended period of time. For a heavy pigeon infestation, your professional contractor may have to employ options such as shooting, trapping or the flying of predatory birds.
Having problems with pigeons?
For any bird work, we strongly recommend contacting a professional pest control company, preferably a member of the IPCA. They are trained in bird control and will have access to a range of professional use products and tools which are not available to the public.
If you’ve a problem with nesting pigeons or other problem birds, contact us on (01) 200 5900 without delay. It could save you significantly in the long run.