How To Get Rid Of Pigeons

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Pigeons are usually classified as a pest species because they are filthy gutter birds that inhabit cities, roost everywhere, and crap all over everything. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Pigeons roosting on building
  • Pigeons nesting INSIDE buildings
  • Pigeon poo all over everything
For these reasons, many people wish to have nuisance pigeon trapped and removed, or more commonly, excluded and kept away with a variety of techniques discussed below.

Need professional help? Click here for my Nationwide List of Pigeon Removal Experts. Professional bird control can be very costly, because it usually involves the installation of a large amount of physical barriers like netting, spikes, or shock track. It is serious property modification work. Read more about How Much Does Pigeon Removal Cost?

How To Get Rid Of Pigeons On A Roof
If the pigeons are in a roof there are a few things that you can do. You may not think that they will do much harm, but if they are close to your home then they will defecate in the area. They will also make noise when you are trying to sleep as well as leave signs of bird life everywhere. So how do you get those uninvited guests from the roof? You can make the roof not a great place to land. The best way to start is to install bird spikes, but that is not the only thing that will make the roof inhospitable. You can also install a bird repellent. These repellents are not always the most effective way to get the birds away at the beginning, but if you keep applying the pigeons will understand that your roof is not a good place to be and will not even bother to land there. In some cases, to get a scarecrow is also a good idea. It does not have to be a big straw man, just something that the pigeons will see from above before landing.

How To Get Rid Of Pigeons In Your Attic
If pigeons have gotten into your attic, then the first thing you have to figure out is where the pigeons have come in from. If they are in your attic then most likely they did not come in through the front door. Check the sides of your home for any location where the pigeons may have found a way in. When you find the hole that the pigeons have used then you should proceed to plug it so that they cannot use it in the future. If the pigeon is still in your attic then you should know the right way to get it out. You can do so by encouraging it to go to an exit by getting on the other side of the area and herding it out. If that does not work then get a sheet or blanket and throw it on top of the bird so to not hurt it. Once the bird is under the sheet pick it up and let it go outside. It is easy to do this process without injuring yourself or the bird and even if you were not using a sheet you will not be likely to suffer an injury; however it is always good to take every precaution. Read more about this on the how to get pigeons out of the attic page.

How To Get Rid Of Pigeons In a Building
Getting rid of pigeons in a building can be very easy depending on where in the building the pigeons are. If they are in a particular room then open the windows and use a towel to encourage them out. Make sure that all windows are open to prevent a pigeon trying to escape through a closed window. If the room has no windows then you can do the same by opening the door and trying to lead it outside. Once a pigeon is out of a room close the door behind you to make sure it cannot go right back in. keep doing that until you are able to lead it outside. You can also try the sheet/blanket method described to get them out of the attic. The difference is that both you and the pigeon will have a lot more room to move so catching the pigeon can be easier or more difficult. Catching a pigeon can be difficult because they can fly pretty fast, but if you know where it came from you can keep it outside next time. Also plan the way you want the pigeon to exit and you will make it a lot easier on yourself.

How To Get Rid Of Pigeons In A Barn
Though some have trouble seeing pigeons as a pest, a bird that can spread fleas, dirty your home or eat food intended for other animals can quickly become a pest. Although they can be some of the greatest animals to watch and in some cases even raise, they do not feel like that for those who discover their negative effects. If you have pigeons in your barn for example you should know how to get them out. First you should remove the things that attract the pigeons to your barn. The first among those things is water. Standing water is a pigeon magnet that along with food sources can make your barn a very attractive home to the pigeons. If you do see nests inside the barn then you should disturb them so that the pigeons find a new place to nest, hopefully far from the barn. You should keep an eye for nests and destroy them the moment you see them. You can also install bird spikes and even bird netting. If the pigeons still refuse to leave then it may be time to install some traps, and get them out of there yourself. As a method of last resort, you can kill pigeons. You can do this through shooting, most commonly. Poison is a bad idea. You can read more about how to kill pigeons here and Is it Legal to Trap A Pigeon?.

As commonly domesticated as pigeons are, they still come tops among those bird species that people seek for ways to get rid of. This happens no thanks to their invidious habits of depositing fecal material in unwanted places, their annoying cooing sounds, and their tendency to carry some fungal and bacterial infections. Many methods have been devised to get rid of these birds, some of which involve outright killing of the pigeons while others do not terminate them. It is however better and more humane to employ the non-killing methods.

Prevention via Home Repairs

Fences are made to block all points of entry into the areas where the pigeons usually perch. The fence should be made from rust-proof material like the galvanized chicken wire; this can be nailed to any wooden part of the building. The fences can either be electric fences or made from wire. The advantage of electric fences over wire fencing is that electric fences are hardly visible, so they do not cause any structural change in the building, unlike wire fences. Electric fences are durable, permanent, harmless and can be used anywhere.

You can also prevent pigeons from perching by making minor structural changes to your building structure, like removing or blocking their favorite spots. For instance where pigeons love to perch on your roof, you may modify the roof by making it slant and sloping, knowing the birds would not be able to perch on a slanting surface. When deprived of their perching spot, pigeons will in most cases, leave your property graciously.

Likewise, you may install porcupine wires to the areas where the pigeons love to roost. These consist of a solid base with sharp metal prongs sticking out at all angles. With this in place, the birds are prevented from landing.

Live trapping

  1. Start out by getting some seed bait and spreading it out for the birds in a particular location. Repeat this over a couple of days so this eating pattern can be established for them.
  2. The pigeons will start returning to this spot everyday once the feeding is regular. Once this is established, get your cage ready.
  3. Introduce the cage trap to the location and put the seed inside it. Let them feast for another few days to gain their trust in the cage
  4. Set the trap to catch as many of them as possible.

As humane as live trapping is, it is not always the best way to get rid of pigeons because after trapping and transporting them away from your abode, they are able to return to where they were captured on their own. This can however be forestalled by home repairs that prevent them from landing once they return. For this reason, some people prefer to kill the birds after they’ve been trapped. A humane way to achieve this is to confine the bird and introduce poisonous gas, or to break its neck with a specially made pliers.

Killing of pigeons

Killing can be done in several ways, and is a permanent measure so to speak.

Poisoning - Poisons like alphachloralose, avitrol, antifreeze, thallium etc. are commonly used to get rid of pigeons. Avitrol works by causing epileptic reactions, followed by falling and flapping in pigeons. Alphachloralose is a poison fed to pigeons in form of treated grains and when consumed makes them feel stupor-like and they later die. Thallium, which can be thrown into water, causes vomiting, nausea and pain to pigeons.

As potent as these poisons are, they are not always the suitable choice when trying to kill pigeons. The birds are going to endure severe and inhumane pain before dying, probably in unwanted places, like where scavenging wildlife or domestic animals will feed on the carcass and get poisoned too.

Shooting - Shooting is an old and conventional method of killing pigeons. It has been practised since the days when people used to hunt and kill pigeons for food. Nevertheless, people still use it today in getting rid of these flying creatures. An air rifle can be useful in this regard, but it requires great marksmanship to record any much success. The best time to hunt pigeons is at night when they are usually inactive.

Use of lethal traps - these usually come as cages with a constricting or snapping mechanism that does the killing. Exercise utmost care when using a lethal trap, read and understand the instructions in the manual well so as to set it correctly and not get injured while at it. You may also call in an animal control professional to do the job.


Repellents are meant for sending pigeons away, nevertheless they rarely work because pigeons are intelligent enough to find a way around the repellents. Popular repellents are pigeon spikes, fake owl, gel repellents, sound emitters etc. Read the guide Can You Scare A Pigeon Away With A Plastic Owl?.

Finally, even though outright killing may look like the only permanent solution to your pigeon problem, a more humane alternative is to combine live trapping and relocation with home repairs that will prevent the birds from settling down whenever they return.

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