by Alex A. Kecskes

Not long ago, feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square became an offense with violators being fined. In one city, pest birds had learned to associate a school's lunch bell with feeding time and would aggressively pester children for food. The fact is, "get rid of pigeons" has become the battle cry in many cities, towns and parks throughout the world. Especially as city health officials become increasingly aware of the many diseases carried by pigeon droppings.

The truth is, pigeons can create a number of serious problems. Gathering in flocks on buildings, pigeons can constitute a threat to human health and safety. The mess and droppings left by pigeons can negatively impact the appearance of a business. Often, the sheer weight of bird droppings can lead to structural collapse, particularly ceilings. It can also have a negative impact on a business's workforce. This includes the slip-and-trip hazards bird droppings leave on walkways, steps and entrances. It's no wonder more property owners seek ways to get rid of pigeons.

Clean-up costs can be prohibitively expensive. Removing nesting materials and accumulated droppings can be difficult, sometimes requiring specialists in "moon suits" to protect them from disease-carrying droppings that are aerated during removal by sand blasters. 

Through bird egg removal, birth-control pills and food deprivation, problem pigeons can be driven out of most areas in three to five years. While these methods may be humane, they are too time-consuming to appeal to most property owners and municipalities.  Fortunately, there are far more efficient and expedient ways to get rid of pigeons.

Bird Spikes…they Only Look Painful

Time and again, Bird Spikes have helped get rid of pigeons in buildings and structures around the world. The spikes work because pigeons can't negotiate a landing around them. It's just simple physics. The spiked strips come in rigid U.V.-resistant unbreakable polycarbonate, or longer-lasting, slightly more expensive stainless steel. And lo and behold, bird spikes now come in a variety of colors--including white, tan, gray, black, brown, brick red and crystal clear. The spikes are easily glued or screwed to any surface. You can also get a Girder Spike for keeping pigeons off girders or I-beams (they come with adjustable “C-clamps” to fit any size girder). There's also a Gutter Spike, which prevents pigeons from cluttering up rain gutters. The best bird spikes are blunted, GSA approved, and safe for birds and maintenance crews.

Bird Slopes Blend in to the Architecture

Bird Slopes are angled, slippery PVC panels that pigeons can't seem to get a solid footing on. Ideal for all those 90-degree nooks and crannies, the panels come in a variety of colors to blend in with a building's aesthetics. Better panels are made of U.V.-stabilized polycarbonate panels, since these can last longer in tough outdoor weather.

Bird Wire Systems Keep Pigeons off Balance

Pigeons hate to land on these unstable wires. They'll boogie and dance to no avail as they slip on and off trying to land. After a few seconds, they just leave. Pigeons, like most birds, prefer a solid footing. Bird wire systems with their post-and-spring-wire set-ups get rid of pigeons by denying them stability. Ideal for railings, rooftops and similar extensions where pigeons prefer to land, the systems are easily installed and frequently employed by Federal and State government buildings. The best bird wire systems feature nylon coated stainless steel wire for lasting durability.

Pigeon Netting Excludes Pigeons

Easily cut and shaped to fit in most any tight area, Bird Netting keeps pigeons out of the corners and recesses where they often roost and nest. High quality netting is made from ISO 1806 mesh test polyethylene fabric. The best netting is U.V.-stabilized, flame-resistant and rot- and water-proof. Bird netting comes in several different colors--like white, stone and black, making it an aesthetic way to get rid of pigeons.

Pigeon Scare Devices…Hang 'em High

Pigeons get nervous around things they view as a threat. And when they get nervous, they leave. This is where bird scare devices come in. They're economical, effective and humane. They're also easy to install. They include Flash Tape, which crackles in the wind, Banners that flap in the breeze, and Balloons covered with huge predator eyes that bob and weave in the air. They work best if you swap them out occasionally. After all, pigeons are among the smartest birds in the world.

Sonic Repellers Give Pigeons an Earful

Would you pitch a tent near the sound of a rattlesnake?  Or within the sound of howling wolves?  Well, pigeons aren't dummies either, which is why they won't nest or roost near the sound of peregrine falcons (a pigeon's dreaded enemy) defending their territory. The point is, threatening sounds can deter pigeons and keep them from coming back. Pest pigeons become very nervous and frightened when they hear the sounds broadcast by Sonic Repellers. Especially, if the sounds are repeated regularly.  Keep in mind these sounds are not annoying to humans, which makes them an ideal way to get rid of pigeons.

Bird Gels Give Pigeons that Fly on Flypaper Feeling

No bird likes walking on a sticky surface. It makes them feel trapped and really uncomfortable. Bird Gels are easy to apply using a standard caulking gun. The chemical skins over, but takes up to six months to dry, staying tacky all the while.

Hawk Decoys Look Real Enough to Pigeons

Use these bad boys in tandem with some of the other deterrents previously mentioned and you're sure to get rid of pigeons. These realistic looking predators will make pigeons think twice before landing. Easy to mount and display, these hawks are made of heavy duty plastic and are weather- and water-resistant. They can be hung from rafters or overhangs, or positioned strategically on building rooftops and other flat surfaces. For added stability, you can open the bottom tab of the hawk and fill it with sand.

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