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Pigeon Control

Feral pigeons are actually domesticated rock doves that have returned to wild or semi-wild conditions. Often referred to as 'rats with wings', feral pigeons have become just as much of a problem in towns and cities as rats are.
Pigeons have been known to carry diseases such as Chiamdiosis, a virus similar to influenza, and Psittacosis, similar to pneumonia. Spores from the droppings can be inhaled as dust and carried on the wind. It can cause a flu like illness in healthy people, but poses more serious problems to those with low immunity.
In the course of a single year, a feral pigeon can eat its way through 64 pounds of food. With an estimated 18 million feral pigeons in Britain, this can pose a serious problem. Control is best by cage trapping; deterrent by spikes, gels or 'spiders'.

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  • In almost all situations pigeon control is a job for specialist bird control operatives.
  • There are occasions where an individual can easily deter pigeons from perching or nesting on window ledges through the use of spikes applied from within the room, but in most cases access equipment is required in order to work safely at height.

If you need to catch and dispatch particular problem pigeons then the use of a Live Capture Cage Trap is the most humane method.

How to catch pigeons in a live catch trap:

  • Feed the problem pigeons onto a specific area each day for a few days.
  • Grain or bread are good baits to feed.
  • Place the Live Capture Cage Trap at the centre of feeding activity and feed in the cage with a little scattered around the outside.
  • Ensure the trap is level and sitting firmly on the ground. Birds will not enter an unstable trap.
  • You will not catch all the birds at the first attempt and may have to continue the trapping exercise for several days.
  • It is important to check the trap at least twice per day, release any non-target birds and dispatch any target birds.
  • You should provide the captured birds with fresh water to drink, especially in warm weather
  • Obviously the birds will have to be humanely dispatched. A sharp tap on the head with a blunt instrument will effect a swift and humane kill.

The Feral Pigeon is widespread throughout Britain and is associated with towns and cities.

Description:

  • Common city dwelling bird.
  • Frequently showing dark bars across its wing plumage, they can have a wide range of colour mixes from greys, browns, white and piebald.
  • Larger than a collared dove but smaller than a woodpigeon.
  • Length of about 30-34cm and a wingspan of about 60-70cm.
  • Weight of about 230-370g.

Life cycle:

  • Breeds from March through to September, or earlier and later in mild weather.
  • Nest made of twigs and built on any suitable ledge on or in buildings.
  • Has 2-3 clutches per year.
  • Usually lays 2 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation period of 17-19 days.
  • Young fledge between 20 and 28 days.

Associated with towns and cities where feral pigeons spend most of their time feeding, roosting and breeding.

Feral pigeon are a major problem in some situations because their droppings accumulate and become a health hazard. In addition, the droppings are acidic and cause damage to the stonework of buildings and paint on cars.

There are three approaches to modern pigeon exclusion:

  1. Netting to exclude birds from accessing specific areas and roosting ledges.
  2. Spikes to discourage birds from settling on specific ledges.
  3. Electric shock strips are a new alternative to spikes.

In a DIY situation, bird spikes are the most appropriate method of preventing access to window ledges, gutters and other potential perches. These spikes are easy to cut to size and even easier to glue to the surface to be protected.

All other methods require professional input.