In the history of getting rid of pigeons, the most common methods are either to eliminate them or make their current location so undesirable that they leave of their own volition. Physically excluding them and using repellents or deterrents are more humane ways to get rid of them than shooting, trapping or poisoning them. The specific site and the circumstances will determine the pros and cons of using a specific method. Is there one method that stands out? Here is some information that can help you to decide.
Reducing pigeon reproduction
Destroying individual nests may work in a small area where bird netting will then exclude future access. Otherwise, destroying nests is completely ineffective as nesting pairs will simply build new nests. Other than destroying nests and replacing eggs, there was no method to reduce pigeon reproduction prior to a contraception method for pigeons. One of the most effective pigeon removal methods by OvoControl works by reducing pigeon reproduction. An automatic feeder releases pellets containing a compound called nicarbazin that prevents eggs from hatching. When the female constantly eats the pellets, she will still mate but her eggs won’t hatch.
Pros and cons: This pigeon reproduction control method gradually and predictably reduces large pigeon populations. A con is that it takes longer to work than some other methods and in the first year it can be expected to reduce the population by about 50%.
Culling pigeons involves shooting them, using traps and euthanizing them, or even using raptors as their natural predators. As the pigeon has an innate ability to reproduce rapidly, killing them is a short-term measure.
Trapping usually involves setting up one-way cages that attract the pigeons. If they are just let go, they will return to the location from which they came so they are euthanized instead.
Pros and cons: Culling has an immediate effect but shooting and killing birds is unacceptable to many people. As pigeons reproduce quickly, killing birds doesn’t sort out the problem for good. Pigeons can also become “trap shy” and avoid traps after a while.
Spikes can be easily installed on perching areas so pigeons can’t find a comfortable place to roost and will move on. Installing bird slides on narrow perching areas can also be effective. A shock track system that emits a mild shock can keep birds off landing and perching areas. A wire coil or stainless-steel wire can deter pigeons from perching on rails.
Bird netting is one of the best ways to physically exclude pigeons from small and large areas and building structures. Professional installation of bird netting is recommended.
Pros and cons: Physical exclusion has an immediate effect and, in certain circumstances, may be enough to deal with a pigeon problem. Using a method like spikes can work in a small area but in a large area like a college campus, they wouldn’t be that effective. A large exclusion program can be very costly but in a small area, it is affordable.
Ultrasonic emitters are often used in large areas where physical exclusion is not practical. They emit sounds that only birds can hear due to their sensitive hearing and these sounds irritate them.
Reflected and direct light sources can visually disturb pigeons and deter them. These light sources can be homemade (CDs, mirrors, aluminum strips) or more expensive industrial laser lights.
Decoy predators like owls or snakes can deter pigeons for a short period. If they move around or move parts of their bodies like their heads, the deterrent effect may last for longer.
Pros and cons: Physical deterrents can be effective over the short or long term depending upon the circumstances. For example, a reflective light source can be effective over the long term, whereas effigies are usually effective only for a short while.
Physical repellents consist of gels, pastes, vapors and fogs. Gels and pastes are used on perching areas and vapors and fogs in large indoor areas. Some repellents are quite effective and others are less so. Sticky, transparent gels are normally applied to ledges or other areas where pigeons are not welcome.
Pros and cons: They are inexpensive to use but the action of products like vapors and fogs can be inconsistent. Sticky gels and pastes will work but they need to be reapplied because they can get covered with dust and debris. Smaller birds can also get stuck in the gel and not manage to get away.
To wrap it up, the invention of birth control for pigeons provides a long-term, cost-effective way to reduce reproduction. Using it in conjunction with some other methods can provide an effective immediate deterrent and a suitable, predictable way to address a pigeon population problem.
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