Wild or feral pigeons are considered the greatest bird pest in the United States and are sometimes even viewed as vermin as they can spread disease. While pigeons rarely spread disease to humans, the birds can carry other pests like ticks, lice, and fleas. A single pigeon can produce 25 pounds of guano per year which damages property. Pigeon guano is highly corrosive and it has been found to accelerate the deterioration of buildings and statues. Pigeon droppings can also harbor harmful fungus. Pigeons are perfectly adapted to living among people in cities as our buildings offer great roosts that mimic the cliffs on which pigeons naturally build their nests.
Pigeons or Rock Doves are one of the most common birds in the United States. A pigeon can be up to 11 inches tall and weigh around 13 ounces. These birds are usually gray in color with a whitish rear and two black bars on the wings with a black band on the tail.
Pigeons are monogamous birds that are generally dependent upon humans to provide food and nesting sites. Pigeons may be found in agricultural areas as well as urban areas, parks, bridges, and warehouses. Pigeons roost and nest on ledges that resemble their native habitat: cliffs.
Pigeons reproduce whenever there is enough food, which is year-round in cities. Pigeons can lay eggs up to six times per year. It’s common to find pigeons in pairs during breeding season, but the birds usually live in flocks of up to 200. Both parents participate in egg incubation. If you watch closely, you can often watch courtship rituals between pigeons. As the male courts the female, he will approach quickly while bowing and turning.
Pigeons are not the average pest. Controlling a pigeon population requires innovation and expertise as there is no simple solution to get rid of a pigeon problem. There are a few pigeon control strategies that may be effective.
- Live pigeon traps. Live bob traps are a recommended control strategy. With a bob trap, pigeons are lured through a one-way door with bait like wheat. Most homeowners and business owners prefer to have a pest control professional handle the live traps as the pigeons, if released, will quickly return. If you would like more
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- Pigeon-proofing. Exclusion methods can keep pigeons from roosting on your property. Pigeon spikes, bird wires, and netting can all deter pigeons and deny them access to your gutters and ledges.
- Chemical bait. Chemical bait is a solution for large pigeon problems often faced by large property owners. This type of bait will render pigeon eggs non-viable so the birds will stop reproducing. While it can take up to 8 months to see results, chemical bait is effective in the long run.
There are a few methods that do not work, however. Noisemakers and fake owls, for example, offer only a temporary solution as the pigeons will quickly become accustomed to the noise or sight and realize it’s not a real threat. Shooting pigeons, while possible in some areas, is also ineffective. One thing with pigeons is a guarantee: they can easily reproduce faster than you can kill them!
If you’re dealing with a pigeon problem at your home or business, it’s best to work with a professional. Pigeon pest control is a specialty field of pest control in El Paso TX that requires specialized tools and experience. Contact Pest Defense Solutions today to learn more about effective pigeon control for your property.