Feral pigeons create a nuisance with their continual scavenging for food and their unsightly droppings, which can be extremely damaging to stone, brick and wood. They also carry a variety of parasites and diseases, some of which can be harmful to humans.
If you have a Pigeon Pest Control problem, knowing when and how the birds breed will help you to find a solution.
Like so many of the other pests that live in London, feral pigeons are capable of breeding all year round. Captive bred pigeons can lay a new batch of eggs every month, but their feral cousins typically produce between two and four broods a year.
Pigeon pest control by preventing nesting
While pigeons can lay their eggs at any time of year, they are more likely to nest during the spring and summer months, when the weather is warmer. Making it impossible for the birds to nest at this time of year is an important step in a pigeon removal strategy.
Feral pigeons usually build their nests on ledges outside or inside buildings. Being descended from Rock Doves, who live wild around coastal cliffs or in mountainous areas, they have learned to exploit the nooks and crevices in tall city constructions. It’s this ability to build nests in urban areas that has led to a pigeon pest control problem in London and other towns and cities.
Roof spaces are a particular favourite, being high, and full of beams and other flat surfaces. Here the birds can lay their eggs, undisturbed and usually sheltered from extreme weather. The eggs hatch within three weeks of being laid and the squabs, or baby pigeons, are able to fly within a month.
Within six months, they join the breeding population, creating a new generation of pigeon pests.
How to stop feral pigeons building nests
Where pigeons are nesting inside roof voids and other spaces, this can be stopped by the use of deterrents, or completely preventing access.
A variety of devices are available which discourage feral pigeons and other bird pests from taking up residence, including plastic bird spikes, brightly-coloured bird-scarers or even inflatable models of predators. Where specific access points are identified, such as broken windows, these can be repaired or covered by netting.
Pigeon spikes and bird-repellent gel can also be used on the outside of buildings. Spikes make it impossible to land, or uncomfortable to roost, while pigeons don’t like the feel of tacky bird-repellent gel. This ensures they won’t want to stay around long enough to build a nest or lay eggs.
While you can take some pigeon pest control measures yourself, using a professional pest controller brings the added benefit of years of experience. As with all pests, feral pigeons have particular habits and preferences and an expert will be able to supply the most cost-effective, and long-lasting, solution to your pigeon problem.