Did you know that pigeons are the no. 1 pest in the entire world? They breed all year round, they can produce 15 offspring a year and most of all, they nest, breed and feed in urban areas, where they are predominantly unwanted.
For commercial, retail and industrial companies, pigeons can be a nightmare. For pest controllers, however, pigeon management can mean big bucks and huge profits for your business.
Common Pigeon Problems
There are a variety of problems that pigeons often create for any commercial operation. They can:
· Damage roofs with droppings (e.g. roofs of hospitals, shopping centres, commercial buildings)
· Damage vehicles with droppings (this is a key problem in car yards, parking lots etc.)
· Damage machinery (e.g. in manufacturing plants)
· Cause damage and contamination to food or food products (e.g. in businesses that focus on wholesale, retail, B2B, B2C)
· Build nests that either start fires or contribute to fire risks and hazards
· Block ventilation systems with their roosts or nests
· Create OHS problems for any type of business
· Spread diseases to humans, including gistoplasmosis, salmonellosis, E. coli
Types of Pigeon Infestations
If you’ve never had to face a flock of pigeons before, there are various control methods you can utilise.
As with all pest operations, you will need to conduct a thorough inspection of the pigeon problem first. The control method you choose will depend on (a) the location and size of the infestation and (b) what is called bird pressure.
There are 3 types of pressure levels:
1. Low/Light Pressure: Birds will sit at the site briefly during the day, however no food sources or sheltered areas exist nearby
2. Medium Pressure: Birds will feed or rest at the site during the day, but do not nest or roost there
3. High/Heavy Pressure: Birds are nesting or roosting at the site and food/water sources exist nearby
Once you’ve determined the level of bird pressure in relation to your pigeon job, you can then decide how to best control the infestation.
Netting is used to rectify heavy/high pressure pigeon problems. It involves covering certain roosting/nesting areas with netting, to eliminate the location as a roosting site for the birds. It can be used on ledges, canopies, signs and other sheltering spots.
2. Spikes, Coils and Post/Wire Systems
These systems are ideal if your infestation is of medium-low pressure and are best for treating pigeon and gull problems. Spikes, coils and wire systems will mean creating unstable landing platforms for the birds, thereby reducing their ability to rest or feed.
3. Electric Track Systems
An electric track system is also ideal if your pressure is medium-low. It can be used to control all types of bird pests, including pigeons, by using high voltage, low amp shocks that deter birds away from the site. Electric systems are most commonly used as ledge deterrents.
4.Trapping, Baiting and Habitat Modification
These control methods can be used to treat all pressures of pigeon infestations.
· Trapping – This requires setting cage traps that lock the birds inside; you’ll then need to remove the birds later on
· Baiting – We recommend the use of Scatterbird and Alphachloralose. The uptake of bait can vary, and you’ll need to take measures to ensure the bait does not affect non-targeted species/other animals
· Habitat Modification – This involves dismantling or removing nests and roosts so that the birds are forced to move elsewhere; this can be employed in conjunction with other baits, systems or netting services
Have you got a pigeon question?
Contact our bird expert Michael Harband on 02 9647 2111 or [email protected] and he will help you manage your pigeon problems and talk to you about the best control methods for your job/operation.
Common Name: Feral Pigeon
Scientific Name: Columba Livia
Status: Not Protected
Background: Introduced from Europe
Average Size: 28-40cm
Average Lifespan: 3-5 years
Mating/Clutch Size: 2; pigeons are monogamous and mate for life
Avg. young per year: 15