Because they are so ubiquitous, the Columba Livia Pigeon has become an integral part of any urban space. They have successfully settled everywhere: on farms and farming equipment, in the parks and on city squares, construction zones and in gardens, and especially near domestic bird feeders. Some compare pigeons with flying rats and even the most peaceful citizens have considered poisoning these pests when they are surprised to see their new car covered in bird poo. You may ask yourself, as millions around the world have, “Can anything take down this common enemy?”. Maybe there is…
In this review, we will explain how to get rid of pigeons permanently, what the scientists recommend and whether toxicants are really worth using. We will then cover the best pigeon deterrents: netting, spikes, an electric powered fences, a motion activated water sprinklers, and chemical gel repellents, all while discussing professional opinions and customers’ feedback.
Top-8 Pigeon Deterrents
Taking into account the specialists’ opinions, we’ve listed a variety of products to choose from for your particular situation: netting, spikes, an electric powered fence, a motion activated water sprinkler and chemical repellents.
BirdBlock Bird Netting Reusable Mesh Netting Bird Protection
Sometimes, simple but tested devices are way more effective than novelties. The StopPestInfo Editorial Research Team notes that many homeowners and businesses have been able to remove pigeons from balconies with the help of netting mounted with metal clamps. Black polypropylene net is ultraviolet-resistant and will last for several years. Fruit trees and plantings can also be covered with this versatile material as long as you fix the edges so that the birds do not get trapped. The net is sold in a roll; the larger it is, the higher the price. Cut it to size and save the rest for another project.
BirdBlock Bird Netting, 28 feet x 28 feet: Check current price
As we discussed, physical barriers are the best urban protection from pigeons and easy installation makes them the most popular choice. For instance, simply glue plastic spikes to the cornice. Polycarbonate and stainless steel spikes by Bird-X are very popular. The price depends on the material and length of spikes, varying from 10 to 100 feet. Plastic spikes create a denser fence, but they are more fragile so you’d better use metal ones against these audacious pests. Metal spikes can be attached even to irregular surfaces due to their flexibility. Invest in a set of spiked polypropylene strips 10×48.8 cm in size to protect fences and gates.
Plastic Polycarbonate Spikes: Check the current price
Stainless Steel Spikes: Check current price
Bird Spikes – Set of 10 x 48.8 Cm Anti-climbing Security: Check current price
Fi-Shock EAC10A-FS Super 525 Energizer, 10-Acre
Above, we mentioned electric shock bird control systems among the products recommended by the scientists. This device creates an electric fence against small pets, such as rabbits or chickens. Judging by the comments, it can be adjusted for deterring pigeons from the lot. The StopPestInfo Staff would like to note that this method could be used in the country for foxes, the suburbs for squirrels, and the city for pigeons! However, the manufacturer does not directly confirm the effectiveness of the device against pigeons. You will have to buy shock tape of appropriate length separately.
Fi-Shock EAC10A-FS Super 525 Energizer, 10-Acre: Check the current price
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler with Day and Night Detection Modes
One can hardly invent anything better than a motion activated water sprinkler for lawn and open pool protection. The sprinkler has a 120-degree motion sensor that works even at night and repels both birds and small to medium sized animals. Should the intruder approach closer than 35 feet, the sprinkler will release a jet of water. The device can also be set to a thirty-minute watering mode. The sprinkler requires four batteries and has barely any quality claims. The SPI Team recommends this product for a variety of pests. It is a great tool for your “tool box” and can be moved around the yard seasonally for maximum effectiveness. It works on the neighbor kids trying to get to the strawberry patch too!
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler: Check current price
Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel Repellent
If you don’t want to spoil the view out of the window with metal spikes on the cornice, opt for “liquid nails”. In theory, this gel can be used anywhere but handrails or pool rails as their surface will become too sticky. A downside in a dusty area is this transparent repellent darkens from dirt and dust so it can be hardly called invisible. Nevertheless, the gel is non-toxic and can be washed or wiped off relatively easy. A set of three tubes will be sufficient for a thirty feet long gel strip. Judging by the description, it’s enough to apply the gel once in 1.5 years given that you live in a moderate climate (6 months in extremely dusty climates).
Bird-X Bird-Proof Gel Repellent: (3-pack) Check the current price
Bird-X Bird Stop Liquid Deterrent
Methyl anthranilate, a safe component of essential oils and cosmetics, is the base of this repellent. Bird Stop is a concentrate of this substance and it therefore has a sharp smell and unpleasant taste. According to the manual, the repellent is to be dissolved in water and then sprayed over an open territory, such as garden, lawn, roof, over the siding or near vegetable plantings. The manufacturer assures that Bird Stop deters all of the common bird species, including pigeons. (Plenty of negativity is expressed claiming that the spray is useless against geese – good thing we are talking about pigeons here…) If the volume of the pack (one gallon) is a disadvantage, share the cost with neighbors with similar issues. Nevertheless, Bird Stop can be recommended for use in rural areas where there are fewer pigeons than other pest birds. This is a humane alternative to toxicants.
Bird-X Bird Stop Liquid Bird Deterrent: Check current price
Best Pigeon Deterrents Comparative Chart
Should Pigeon Poison Be Used?
Physical destruction must be the most radical measure of pest control. However, before you act, clarify both the legal and sanitary aspects. Although pigeons are not on the list of protected species, check your state legislation. If there is not a ban on killing pigeons, think how to do it safely.
One of the options is to access exterminators as they are the only ones who have access to registered pigeon control toxicants. For instance, only USDA APHIS-Wildlife Services employees and contractors are permitted to use DRC-1339. Avitrol is one of the most effective pesticides; its use is also limited.
University of Florida’s William H. Kern explains that in order to get an Avitrol permit, you must adequately describe in your application how you will protect non-target birds from accidental poisoning. Be ready to scare away all non-target birds that come to the feeding station, even if it means scaring away pigeons. Protecting non-target birds is your responsibility. When Avitrol or any other avicide is used, have crews patrolling the area to collect downed birds quickly.
When looking for pigeon poison pellets, bear in mind that pets can become innocent victims of this poison, so it is rational to only use them away from residential areas, e.g. on farming and agricultural areas.
The University of Missouri scientists Robert A. Pierce and Kevin McGrath warn that a bird-control program using repellents and toxicants requires careful attention to detail. Be sure to follow all product label instructions when using repellents or toxicants. Do not take shortcuts, as they may be dangerous or cause the program to fail.
This innovative idea is definitely worth your attention. In order to adjust the cornice’s angle and make it impossible for a bird to nest, BirdBarrier’s polycarbonate inclined plate can be used. It is available in beige and gray. The plate’s base is glued to or screwed to any L-shaped projection, be it a cornice, a beam or a piece of decoration. The lack of an even surface will make the birds search for a new home. The price for this barrier depends on the length and width of the plate and ranges from ~$22.50 to ~$218.30.