4 Tips for Effective Pigeon Control


Pigeons are lovely looking, and many people love to feed pigeons and enjoy the attention of these rather large and sometimes entertaining birds. After all, what other birds are so bold that they will practically sit on your lap to get food.

In a 2018 article written for Mari Claire magazine, author Cady Drell recounts any number of reasons why pigeons are or have been useful for humans.

Ms. Drell notes that pigeons have a lovely, coloring sound, have been used extensively for carrying essential messages during wartime, are perfect examples of an ideal relationship as they mate for life, lovingly take care of their young, and are so smart that they remember people who are nice to you and avoid people who are mean to them.


That said, essentially, pigeons, which are sometimes called “rats with wings.” are essentially feral birds that produce a huge problem, and that problem is pigeon guano.

According to OvoControl.com, a single flock of just 100 pigeons can produce up to 4,8000 pounds of pigeon guano per year. 

But if a lot of pigeon do-do just produces a messy situation, the problem with pigeons would not be so bad. Unfortunately, all that do-do produces a number of problems for


For example, BirdBegone, a company that specializes in providing Pigeon and other bird deterrent products, Pigeon guano waste may contain up to 60 different diseases transmittable to humans and other animals. The most serious being histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis.


For food sellers, the presence of pigeons can be a huge red flag in health inspections, and a restaurant with a pigeon problem may well be shut down entirely until they are able to come to grips with the problem.

However, pigeons are not exactly easy to control. A business owner’s first inclination may be to buy a high-powered BB gun to hunt them down. Either that or poison.

In the United States, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does allow the killing, trapping or poisoning of pigeons without any limits, however, local and state laws vary, and essentially, the pigeons must be dispatched in a humane manner.

Unfortunately, one municipality’s definition of humane is another municipality’s definition of cruelty, and even if it is technically legal to hunt, drown, or poison pigeons, the environmentally-conscious public has a totally different opinion.

A restaurant with outdoor dining, for example, may be perfectly within its right to

kill or poison pigeons, or have them trapped for removal, but let word get you to the public that your restaurant is a pigeon killer, and then picture how quickly your restaurant survives.

Homeowner pigeon problems

It’s not only commercial establishments that have pigeon problems, but also the local homeowners.

Pigeon guana not only contains waste that is harmful to humans and animals, but pigeon doo-doo is extremely acidic and corrosive.

Paint, metal, plastic, wood, and even stone and concrete can be very corrosive if not cleaned up promptly, but what homeowner has the time to be on full-time pigeon control?

And pigeon droppings are not the only problem. Pigeons tend to peck at eaves, walls, and windowsills, leaving unsightly holes.

Finally, there are the unsightly nests.

Pigeons collect all manner of twigs and debris and make nests using their dung to solidify the entire thing. These nests are very unsightly, and in addition, in most cases, it may be illegal to disturb pigeon nests.

So what's the solution?

Be proactive, and as much as possible, get ahead of a small pigeon problem before it

turns into a nearly uncontrollable nest.

Most people will call an exterminator like us in Surprise, AZ, to get ahead of the game.

Possible solutions used to control pigeons

The first may be defined as scare tactics.

Pigeons are very scared of red-tailed hawks and coyotes, both of which are natural enemies.

No, a pest control company will not bring in actual red-tailed hawks or coyotes to rid your area of pigeons. But decoys are very effective. When pigeons see the decoys, they tend to flee.

And these decoys may not need to be taxidermist quality decoys either. Sometimes even flags with a printed predator eye will do.

Other scare tactics may include:

Holographic flash tape, which reflects light as the wind blows and scares the birds

Mirrors, which are quite effective in deflecting pigeons

Laser beams, which are not only seen as a threat but tend to be a product that pigeons do not get used to

Even simple wind chimes can be effective for a short period of time.

There is one more scare tactic that tends to be more effective, and that is a sonic bird mimicker that broadcasts periodic bird calls by hawks or other predator birds.

Using touch and smell to deter pigeons

Scare control is just one method, and the only problem is that pigeons are plenty smart, and sometimes they catch on quickly to the scare game.

There are sticky substances, which come in both discs and tubes, which when stepped on, sticks to the pigeon’s toes.

This is very irritating for the birds, and although the substance does not harm the bird in any way, a sticky substance tends to be a great discouragement for pigeons.

They just don’t like it, and only the most persistent birds will remain.

There is also, a substance that acts like pepper spray for bears and humans, called

Methyl Anthranilate.

Methyl Anthranilate is made from grape seeds, and it irritates the heck out of a pigeon’s eyes, nose, and throat.

The great thing about Methyl Anthranilate is that for humans, and other animals such as cats, dogs, and farm animals, Methyl Anthranilate doesn’t affect them at all. As a result, combining the use of a sticky substance together with Methyl Anthranilate may be the ideal solution to keep pigeons at bay.

Controlling where pigeons roost

Pigeons like to roost in small flocks, and controlling and making the areas where they are likely to roost uninviting, tends to keep them at bay.

The first, and probably the cheapest solution is plastic or aluminum bird spikes.

Placed on surfaces where you do not want the birds to roost, bird spikes make it very difficult for pigeons to land on the surface comfortably, and even if they do, they can’t all congeal in one happy little bundle of pigeons.

The second method of pigeon control is using a mild, electronic shock generator.

Don’t worry, these electronic shock tracks will not harm the pigeons, but they will certainly educate them that this surface is not a place to roost.

Electric shock tracks are more expensive, but they are extremely efficient in clearing an area of pigeons.

The third method is known as exclusion.

Using bird slopes to make it very difficult for pigeons to call an area home, and by using bird netting, a homeowner or business can absolutely keep pesky pigeons at bay.

Calling in a professional

As alluded to earlier, most homeowners and businesses call in a professional like ourselves.

A professional exterminator with experience in pigeon control (note that most exterminators do not deal with bird pests) has the experience and the tools to make your pigeon problem a thing of the past, and they can do it without harming the birds or causing alarm from the public as to what a mean homeowner or business you are.

When necessary, have a professional control your visiting pigeons before they get to be a serious problem. But once pigeons have reached epic proportions, then it’s time to pull out all the stops to eradicate the problem once and for all.

There are many ways of doing this, and a professional will offer you many different options for deterring the birds once and for all humanely.

Leave the pigeons for the city parks who have a cleaning crew at the ready a couple of times a week to remove unpleasant pigeon droppings.