Getting Rid of Pigeons

Pigeons have been known be be called "flying rats." These birds can be pests if they have chosen to hang out near your home or office. Here you will find tips for humane ways to deter pigeons. This is a guide about getting rid of pigeons.

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I live in a flat above some shops and they're everywhere. The problem is if we open our windows they sit on them and poop inside and out. They even came into my daughter's room. What can I do? Please help.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Many humane options are available, Lisa. Your city hall may have some advice on the matter.

    You can of course contact an extermintor. You can purchase cages to trap them then transport them elsewhere before releasing and hope they don't come back. My personal favourite? Buy water guns. You know the kind kids use in swimming pools? The ones that hold a lot of water? Smack 'em a few times with a strong stream of water and they'll start avoiding your place. Works great for magpies, too!

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    Please help me get rid of pigeons on a my balcony. I have tied foil pie plates, wind chimes, and colored plastic bags to try to deter them and nothing is working. I live in an apartment building so am not allowed to put up any kind of netting or permanent structures.


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    I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex and have a balcony garden. The balcony has wide grills. The pigeon menace was crazy, with them dirtying my balcony and most of all destroying my plants!

    Considering I live in a rented place, I did not want to spend too much money on netting, so tried the scarecrow, hung CDs, stuck aluminium foil flags in the pots and none of them worked for more than a week. I finally decided to mimic the netted mesh balconies using a ball of twine and a cut up mosquito net and it has worked wonders! Its been a month and my balcony has been pigeon free.

    Here is how I did it:

    The top 3 quarters of the balcony grill has horizontal metal bars running parallel to each other at a distance of about 1ft with parallel vertical bars at a distance of 1ft. The lower part of the balcony grill has only horizontal bars parallel to each other. So this would allow the pigeons to freely move in and out and pretty much destroy all my plants.

    So I started with my ball of twine at one end of the balcony and criss-crossed the twine across the grills. For the lower part I bought a cheap light coloured mosquito net (so that light would not be blocked) and cut it up to open into one long piece which I then tied across the lower part of the balcony.

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    Please help me get rid of them. I hose them on a daily basis, but they still return.

    By WJR from Essendon, Melbourne, Vic.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Just found another trick to keep the pigeons away and off my window sills. I cut pieces of plastic carpet runner and glue down with the spike side up so they wont land on it because it hurts their feet. Its working great.

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    They love my balcony. They nest there and are there constantly. No fences can be built because of the structure of the balcony. I've tried everything! Where do I get the spikes? Maybe I can line the balcony ledge.

    By Teri

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    You can buy a very affordable product that wards off pigeons. Go to a hardware store and ask for Pigeon Off or a similar product. You paint it on the surface that they land on and when they land it starts to burn their feet. End of problem they don't like it of course.

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    I live in a apartment with my 2 year old boy. We have two pigeons who are trying to build a nest in the corner of my balcony. Now for the last 2 weeks it has been a battle, they bring twigs and branches every two minutes and I sweep it all away every two hours. I can't very well be using chemicals with my kid around so I am at my wits end. I need help! Please how do I stop them from building a nest in the corner of my balcony?

    By Heather

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    They hate getting any sort of stickiness on their feet and won't land on it so try putting any kind of lotion or gel where you are having the problem. I live in an apartment and they are always trying to roast on the window sills. Ever since I put suntan lotion down they haven't been around

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    I've been on holiday for two weeks and now have pigeons on my veranda every morning. How can I get rid of them?

    By Elinor m from Glasgow

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    Get several foil pie plates, the really shiny ones, punch a hole in each one, near the edge. Tie various lengths of string to them and hang them up where the pigeons are. The wind blowing them around scares the pigeons away.

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    I have a small commercial office building in northern California. The tenants complain of pigeons on the roof, foul droppings, and noise. I want to rid the place of the "flying rats" in the most humane way possible. This is a health hazard, but I have not found a good solution to the problem. In addition, I am on the east coast and rely on the building management who have been no help, as of yet.

    By TheOldLadyoftheVillage from outside Philadelphia

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Spray were the roost with WD-40. They will not return. They were trying to build a nest in my friends rain gutters. She sprayed it with WD-40 and they didn't return.

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    I live in an apartment complex where there is a bunch of pigeons and no nest but lots of droppings. I noticed there is an owl statue on the roof and the pigeons must have realized its fake because they are still coming back. What can I do? Also, I've read that their droppings can cause diseases and it has collected in the dirt by my front door. How do I safely rid the soil of their droppings so I can plant things?

    Shell from CA



    You're right. Pigeon droppings can pose human health risks, primarily by inhaling spores from a soil-borne fungus that grows where droppings accumulate. Because spores are inhaled when airborne, wet (fresh) droppings do not support the growth of this fungus. If a significant amount of droppings have accumulated, removal is best left to the professionals. The safest advice I can give you is to contact your local public health department for information on proper clean up and disposal guidelines. Because the droppings are located right out your front door, ask about your rights as a tenant to request that your landlord minimize your exposure to this health risk. I'm not suggesting you become involved in a conflict with your landlord, but rather that there may be local resources available to help both you and your landlord deal with the problem.

    Pigeons are difficult to control, especially in urban environments where they have an easier time locating food sources. The most effective methods usually include physically modifying the surface of the structure they prefer to roost on. Wire screens, netting, sheet metal or other materials can be constructed in such a way as to deter them (think vertical prongs or prickling fences). Pigeons prefer resting on relatively flat surfaces, so modifications should be created to make angles of 60 degrees or more. There are also non-toxic sticky substances designed as tactile bird repellants that may be applied directly to perching areas. Less radical (and less effective) methods suited to urban environments include using combinations of visual and auditory devices like shiny strips of Mylar tape, helium filled eyespot balloons, decoys (like the owl) or wind chimes.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    March 12, 2009

    I have just moved into a beautiful brand new apartment building and I'm on the top floor. The only thing that wasn't beautiful was the balcony. It was totally covered with pigeons and their poop. A friend told me to spray straight javex bleach on the railing or wrap the railing in plastic and generously spray with bleach. It worked! All in one day like a miracle! She told me to do this everyday for 7 days. After working so well after just the first day; I didn't need to repeat .

    Keep the little ones and pets away for at least a week. It's better to disallow anyone on the balcony during this time. Take caution bleach is poisonous it can also discolour. Use plastic gloves and mask while using. Good luck! Lee

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    I have a problem with pigeons in my garden. Can some one give me some advice on how to get rid of them?

    Many thanks.


    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    I just read a forum on this subject at One person recommends a fake owl statue on the roof. Another recommends squirting them with the garden hose just as they are falling asleep in the evening. After a couple of days of this, they will leave. (10/08/2003)

    By ThriftyFun

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    I hang old empty pie pans in my garden to keep the birds out. They don't like the shiny metal I guess. I don't know, but it works. I've also read that you can hang old cds (scratched or the ones you get in the mail) and the birds will stay out.

    This Christmas my husband bought me a silver bird feeder and the birds acted like they were scared of it. They wouldn't eat out of it until I painted it. Now they love it so I think it has something to do with the silver or they see their reflection in it and think its another bird.

    You could give the pie pans or the cds a try and see if it works for you. (06/06/2005)

    By luv2craft

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    If you can get to the spot the pigeons are roosting, spray it with WD-40. Pigeons invaded the back door over-hang at my house and I tried this tip. They landed up on it once or twice and promptly flew away. I think it's the odor they dislike. You may have to repeat the application, but pigeons are re-trained easily and soon they will move on to another more appropriate area. (06/17/2005)

    By BarbMoore

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    Cut long strings of light weight ribbon. Then, thumb tack or staple to the wall, roof, edging where ever. The ribbon "floats" in the air and distracts the bird's depth perception. They won't land because they can't "judge" the spacial area. By the way, you can pick up a baby bird and place it back into it's nest. Your human smells will not cause the mama bird to fly off. It's an old myth and a bad on at at. (04/20/2007)

    By et

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    I have a mom and dad pigeon in my car port and now I have a baby. I tried a fake owl right in the middle of the eves of my car port and they have not shown any signs of being afraid of it. In fact they now tend to sit in the middle, right next to the plastic owl.

    Thanks for all the other ideas, but I would not recommend spending the money on a fake owl, I have not found any truth in this method. (09/03/2007)

    By Whitney

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    I hired a falconer for 60 dollars (in Denver). Not only did I not have a pigeon problem, but it was amazing to watch. (09/15/2007)

    By Interesting

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    No need to check local laws, I just read in another article, and verified at that pigeons (this is surprising) are protected under federal law. It's illegal to harm or kill them (all non-game birds actually). I guess a falconer can do it, since it's another bird doing the work.
    I've heard that hanging fake eyes under eaves sometimes works. Slightly cheaper than the full owl, and a good way to creep out a neighbor who likes to peek over fences. (04/27/2008)

    By EZ

    Getting Rid of Pigeons

    This article talks about a lot of different ways to solve this problem around your house. I think no matter which method you try, you have to keep at it. There's no one-time, easy answer that instantly fixes the problem here. In other words, be persistent and you will prevail! (02/09/2009)

    By Eric

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    Home and Garden Pest Control BirdsSeptember 23, 2011
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