Pigeons proliferate in urban centres, where their droppings can deface buildings, clog drainpipes, kill lawns and vegetation, and attract fleas, ticks, and mites. They nest on ledges, sills, balconies, or under roof overhangs. Food tossed away by passersby (popcorn, bread crusts, and so on) can make a meal for this adaptable species, and keep them hanging around for more.
To keep these ubiquitous birds away, try the following strategies:
• First and foremost, do not feed them! Ask your neighbours for their cooperation as well.
• Keep your garbage tightly covered.
• Be scrupulous about cleaning up litter in your area, especially food scraps or crumbs.
• Pigeon-proof your home. Make sure there are no broken windows, screens, or other holes that could allow them to enter attics. Before you make repairs, ensure that no birds remain inside the building.
• Cover ledges and overhangs with wire mesh or nylon bird netting.
• Place "porcupine wire" on narrow surfaces like window ledges where pigeons frequently land. These stainless steel strips won't harm birds.
• Wire strung about 6 cm above landing surfaces will also discourage perching. The wires should be set about 6 cm apart.
• Commercially available compounds also work well. When applied to perching surfaces, these substances are either sticky or give off heat - pigeons do not enjoy either sensation.
• A dummy predator, such as a plastic owl, can also do the job. Move the owl often and place it partially out of sight so pigeons don't get used to it.