How to Keep Pigeons Away with Natural Methods

Tips & tricks to keep these annoying birds away from balconies, roofs, gardens and windowsills

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By Alex

How to keep pigeons away

How to keep pigeons away with natural methods from your roof, balcony or garden? Today humans regard these birds as undesirable. Despite efforts to relocate them from urban and rural areas, they persist in nesting and roosting in our gardens, on roofs, balconies, and windowsills. Regrettably, the uric acid in their droppings poses significant harm and deteriorates the surfaces they touch.

These birds pose a potential threat due to the numerous diseases they may harbor. Instead of relying on chemicals, why not employ natural methods to deter them from our surroundings? Moreover, resorting to pesticides or other toxins not only harms the birds but also poses risks to our own well-being. Let’s explore natural remedies to keep pigeons and other birds at bay, beginning with balcony spaces.

How to keep pigeons away from your balcony

Pigeons are naturally frightened of birds of prey, such as owls and hawks. However, city dwellers may find the traditional scarecrow approach impractical.

Instead, consider these alternative tricks:

  • Utilize decorated balloons resembling owls, hawks, or bird-of-prey eyes. Ensure to change their placement regularly to prevent pigeons from becoming accustomed to their presence and losing fear.
  • Place vibrant pinwheels or maxi toothpicks strategically in plant pots.
  • Hang aluminum leaflets or trays on a wire; the noise generated by this material is disliked by pigeons, prompting them to move away.
  • Install a taut wire if pigeons frequently land on your balcony or windowsills. This simple and inconspicuous metal wire is effective in destabilizing birds attempting to land, providing a practical solution.

How to keep pigeons away

Another effective method is to utilize reflective objects to discourage pigeons:

  • Hang Reflective CDs: Paste two CDs together and suspend them on your terrace or balcony. The light reflections from the CDs have a frightening effect on pigeons, prompting them to stay away.
  • Scatter CDs in the Garden: Place old CDs among the fruits or plants in your vegetable garden. This will redirect the birds’ attention and bewilder them with reflective flashes, encouraging them to seek alternative locations.

How to keep pigeons away from your roof

Pigeons have a penchant for perching not only on window ledges, railings, and cornices but also on eaves and rooftops. Rooftops, being ideal nesting spots, provide them a vantage point to observe their surroundings. Unfortunately, their droppings hasten the deterioration of roofing materials, leaving marks on tiles and causing potential damage.

Moreover, roofs, gutters, holes in dovecotes, attics, and various crevices become potential nesting sites for various bird species.

To deter pigeons, doves, and gulls from these surfaces, consider the following measures:

  • Metal Wires with Spikes: Install metal wires equipped with spikes, stretched across various surfaces, including both flat and inclined areas.
  • Metal Netting: Use metal netting to seal off access to open compartments, chimneys, and small spaces where birds might nest.
  • Cementing Cracks and Holes: Fill in cracks and small holes in roofs to eliminate potential nesting spots.
  • Professional Pest Control: Consult a specialized pest control company and contact your municipality to inquire about any existing prevention plans.

How to ward off pigeons with electrical and mechanical devices

Electrified bollards release a small electric shock to the pigeon, which is prompted to move away quickly.

This method, which is more expensive than the previous one, is of course contraindicated if pets or children are in these spaces.

How to keep pigeons away with natural methods

Deterrents for Pigeon Control

A variety of remedies have long been employed to discourage pigeons from occupying terraces, ledges, and gutters. These deterrents fall into three categories: mechanical, electric, and ultrasonic.

  • Needle Wires and Nets: Among mechanical deterrents, classic needle wires are highly popular. Rather than harming the bird, these wires prevent pigeons from resting, encouraging them to seek alternative roosting spots. Other mechanical options include nets and steel wires, both of which deny pigeons a stable perch, prompting them to vacate the area swiftly. Nets can create barriers to prevent pigeons from entering balconies or attics through openings, while stretched wires across windowsills or balconies offer an unstable surface, encouraging pigeons to leave.
  • Ultrasounds: A more recent innovation is ultrasonic devices designed to emit sound waves at frequencies imperceptible to humans but discomforting to animals. These devices claim to irritate small rodents, birds, and certain insects like cockroaches. While this solution has no known contraindications, its effectiveness is uncertain despite manufacturers’ claims. Additionally, ultrasonic deterrents tend to be more expensive compared to other options.

How to keep pigeons away from the garden

Are you finding pigeons to be unwelcome visitors in your garden? Fortunately, there are effective methods to discourage their presence.

  • Don’t feed them! Avoid providing direct or indirect food to pigeons. Additionally, minimize the use of grass seed, as birds have a keen memory and tend to return to places where they find food.
  • Uninviting Garden Spaces: Discourage pigeons from feeling comfortable in your garden by eliminating potential nesting and resting locations. Use bird nets on fruit trees, and consider installing sharp bollards in areas where pigeons typically settle, particularly during nesting season in spring.
  • Scare Tactics: Employ scare tactics in the form of light-reflecting objects (such as old CDs or aluminum), moving objects like windmills, or plastic raptors that pigeons find intimidating. It’s advisable to rotate these objects regularly to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Odor Deterrents: Pigeons dislike certain scents, and you can apply these substances to windowsills:
    • Pepper: Use strong-smelling pepper powders that deter pigeons upon contact.
    • Naphthalene: Hang cloth bags containing naphthalene in balcony pots or on windowsills to repel pigeons. Replace them periodically, especially after rain.
    • Camphor: Place bags of camphor with impregnated pellets on your terrace to deter pigeons with its unpleasant smell.

The Best Natural Pigeon Repellent: White Vinegar

Pigeons do not like the smell of white vinegar. To create an effective natural pigeon repellent, you can dilute it with water and eucalyptus essential oil and spray it. With this remedy, you will quickly ward all pigeons on your terrace.

Health and Hygiene Concerns

Feral pigeons, such as Columba livia, are not only unsightly but also pose hygiene risks. Their corrosive droppings can damage surfaces and create fouling issues. Pigeons may carry pests and transmit diseases through their feces, which can harbor microbes, fleas, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Inhaling dried pigeon droppings can lead to respiratory infections and other health problems.

It’s crucial to address pigeon-related issues promptly to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

How to Clean and Disinfect Pigeon Droppings

The answer is very simple: utilize ammonia for excellent results.

To prevent complications, prompt cleanup of pigeon guano is essential, employing various methods based on the affected surface. Always wear gloves during the cleaning process, followed by thorough disinfection with ammonia.

Let’s explore specific cases:

On Wood:

  • Scrape off excess droppings.
  • Create a mixture of turpentine and sepiolite or Sommières earth.
  • Apply the mixture to the stain, let it dry briefly, and then dust.

On Concrete:

  • Prepare a solution of warm water and soda crystals (one cup per liter).
  • Clean the stain with a sponge soaked in this solution.

On Tiles:

  • Use a sponge soaked in household alcohol or a microfiber cloth with soapy water and a few drops of vinegar.

On Stone:

  • Dust the stain with baking soda.
  • Scrub the material with a brush soaked in warm water and vinegar.

On Terracotta:

  • Wipe the terracotta with a cloth soaked in soapy water; add a little alcohol if needed.

On Metal Parts:

  • Impregnate a sponge with baking soda diluted in warm water and wipe off droppings. For copper, try hot vinegar.

On Fabrics:

  • Dilute ammonia in water, soak a cloth, and wipe after thoroughly scratching off the excrement.
  • Alternatively, create a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, apply to the stain, blot with a lemon-soaked cloth, and rinse. White vinegar is also an effective natural alternative.

Additionally:

  • Using Bleach: Apply bleach as a disinfectant after cleaning pigeon guano stains. Note that bleach does not have repellant properties.
  • Using Vinegar: While not a repellant, vinegar serves to sanitize a surface cleaned of droppings.

More on this topic

For further tips on deterring unwanted insects and animals, explore other effective methods.