Pigeon removal suggestions?
January 5, 2004 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Pideon removal suggestions? (more inside)

Our roof has eaves and there is one opening where the pidgeons have entered and, I believe, formed an entire pidgeon society.

If I seal up the roof, the pidgeons will be entombed there and will die and will eventually, smell. If I leave the pidgeons in the rafters they will drive me insane. Any idea how to drive them out of the eaves so that I can seal it up?
posted by answergrape to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
You could try a commercial repellant. This one seems espcially suitable. Once you have replled most of them, block access for 48 hours and then give any holdouts a few hours to escape.
posted by ahimsakid at 1:59 PM on January 5, 2004

The sell fake plastic owls that supposed scare away flocking birds. Some are wind activated, or try one that's remote controlled. You might also try placing rubber snakes up there. Or get a live cat.
posted by piskycritter at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2004

I had a huge problem with pigeons on the balcony roof of an apartment I rented that had been vacant for a period of time, and the superintendent used Tanglefoot to get rid of them. It was 100% effective.
posted by taz at 2:47 PM on January 5, 2004

What piskycritter said. The house I live in was plagued with all kinds of birds in the eaves and my landlord struggled with the problem for years. Some days it was like a scene from the Hitchcock flick. The first day that the landlord put a fake owl on the roof was the last day we had a bird problem - it worked amazingly well.

We have a static one, but this one looks effective.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2004

Response by poster: I've tried the owl, but when I came home and saw them perched on it, I knew it wasn't working. Apparently the advanced pidgeon society on the roof has passed down "owl lore." God I hate them. I'm going to try the tanglefoot. Thanks!
posted by answergrape at 3:49 PM on January 5, 2004

Natural Remedy: Roses.

Apparently, pigeons hate the smell of roses. No idea why but roses keep them away.

Man-made Remedy: Fishing Line.

You need to set the fishing line horizontally (on posts about 5 to 7 cm high) to prevent them from landing on or near the roof*. Apparently, in addition to "owl lore" the advanced pigeon society also passed down the wisdom that they must land on the roof first and check out the area before entering a building or balcony. If pigeons have no place to land and check out the building, they will find another building.

*Be careful when working on the roof, though. Years ago a family very close to us lost a husband and father when he fell from the roof while trying to fix an antenna.


Talk to the superintendent about setting up fishing line around the roof - it should solve the problem for the whole building, not just one balcony.
posted by cup at 5:35 PM on January 5, 2004

You might want to try to find out who nearby is feeding them, and see what you can do to stop it. Believe it or not, there are people who actually throw seed out for these vile creatures, keeping them fed and allowing them to breed. If they have an obvious food source nearby, you might be able to either politely dissuade the feeder or invoke (or threaten to invoke) any local ordinances against the feeding of pests.
posted by majick at 5:36 PM on January 5, 2004

We used to have this problem; it can be fixed with PVC piping.

Get a nice wide piece of PVC, then cut it lengthwise, in such a way that you get two long, arch-shaped pieces. Then set these pieces up in your eaves where the pigeons like to sit. They'll slide right off (it's pretty hilarious, actually), and pretty soon they don't come around anymore.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 5:58 PM on January 5, 2004

Tanglefoot or something similar worked well for my parents, about ten years ago. So did a .17 air pistol, but Dad didn't really have the stomach to follow through on that one.
posted by cortex at 6:04 PM on January 5, 2004


There is probably very little one can do to stop people from feeding these creatures.

The fact that these people are feeding pests is a good indication that they probably do not have the mental faculties to be rationally reasoned with in the first place.

In addition to pigeons, I also had a problem with stray cats. I keep a motorcycle in an underground parking lot and some tenants in our building were feeding stray cats at the expense of said motorcycle. Talking to them did absolutely nothing - they just became more sneaky about how they fed the cats. Anti-cat measures that exploited cat tendencies, however, were very effective.

It would probably be easier and more productive to focus on pigeon tendencies. Pigeon behavior is a lot more logical than the behavior of people who feed pests. :)
posted by cup at 6:19 PM on January 5, 2004

Rat traps. They do the trick.
posted by interrobang at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2004

Managing Conflicts With Wildlife: Pigeons

Problems with pigeons can be reduced or avoided with several methods. Pigeons can be excluded from buildings by placing 1/2 to 1 inch hardware cloth or plastic netting over eaves, vents, windows, doors and other openings. The angle of roosting ledges should be altered to 45o or more with sheet metal or wood. Porcupine wires (Nixalite or Cat Claw) can be placed on ledges and ridges of buildings to prevent roosting. Two or more strands of steel wire can be stretched above and in front of ledges to deter landings. Various sticky substances such as Roost-No-More and Bird Tanglefoot can be placed on ledges to temporarily discourage pigeons.

Noisemaking devices including ultrasonic sound, revolving lights and rubber snakes usually have little permanent effect for frightening pigeons from roosting areas.

Olfactory repellents are ineffective in outdoor areas.

Avitrol, a chemical frightening agent, is available as a whole corn bait for pigeon control. It is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Birds that consume sufficient amounts of the treated bait will die but they first display distress symptoms which frighten other members of the flock away. In urban areas, this chemical should be used cautiously because high mortality can cause adverse public reactions.

posted by y2karl at 8:39 PM on January 5, 2004

« Older Vegetarian No More!   |   Choosing a Therapist Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.