In this article, we answer a question that we’re asked often: How to stop pigeons nesting?
In our answer, we discuss how to prevent them from coming back.
It is estimated there are 18 million feral pigeons in the UK, many of which live and nest in urban areas. For residential, commercial and industrial sites, these pest birds can pose a real risk to human health. Read on to find out more…
How to stop pigeons nesting
Pigeons always nest in areas where they have access to a source of food, water and a safe place to shelter. The key to stopping them from nesting is to remove access to these key requirements and create an inhospitable environment.
Any food sources, whether from bird feeders or open bins, must be sealed or removed to deny access. Pigeons tend to knock food on the ground to feed, so ensuring this is not possible will make your property less inviting.
Sealing off areas where pigeons can find shelter is key, whether it means closing entrances, fixing broken doors or windows, or preventing access to chimneys, roofs or other areas that are ideal for nesting.
This step may require one of our bird proofing solutions.
Where do pigeons nest?
Pigeons can be found nesting on roofs, in loft spaces, empty buildings, rain gutters, chimneys, stairwells – basically any nook and cranny they can fit into.
Any safe and sheltered area they can get into is a potential nesting spot because they will travel in and out with twigs, feathers, rubbish and other debris to build their nest.
When do pigeons nest?
While other wild birds primarily breed between February and August, feral pigeons do so year-round.
They are able to lay two eggs, two to four times a year, with their chicks leaving the nests in less than 40 days.
How to get rid of a pigeon nest
Removing pigeon nests can be difficult because they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
This law protects birds, eggs and nests, but only if the nest is still active, which means there are ways to safely and legally remove a pigeon nest.
We always recommend calling on the expertise of the team at Urban Hawks. They can assist you in removing a nest in the right way.
Although you may think a nest is no longer in use, it is important to remember pigeons can have more than one brood in the same nest.
How to get rid of pigeons nesting in a roof
Roofs are a common space where pigeons seek shelter and build nests. These high-up locations are safe from predators and have cover from the elements, but the nests can be problematic for property owners.
We always advise finding ways to deter pigeons from your roof by denying them access as much as you can.
This can include surveying the property to check for holes and gaps that would appeal to birds and clearing out gutters to remove nesting materials.
However, if a pigeon is already nesting in your roof, we recommend speaking to professionals that can advise on the best course of action.
As mentioned above, removing wild birds from your property can be dangerous and possibly result in legal trouble, which is why speaking to an expert is best.
How to deter pigeons from nesting
According to research from the British Trust for Ornithology, the pigeon population is continuing to grow in the UK, but there are steps that can be taken to deter them from nesting on your property.
As previously discussed, pigeons will nest in urban areas that provide them with food and water sources.
So, when trying to deter pigeons from an area, you will need to ensure there is no access to food. This can include modifying bins to be less accessible, picking up littered food from the ground and removing bird feeders in residential properties.
You can also take more robust measures, like physical alterations in the form of bird netting or bird wires. Both of these preventative measures can be effective in stopping pigeons from nesting on roofs because they create a secure barrier along the roof, eaves and gutters.
Falconry disruption and dispersal. Falcons and Hawks can be very effective at detering birds from an area. This method may be an option on a large site or when proofing isn’t an option.
Audio and visual deterrents are another frequently used method of deterring pigeons from congregating in an area.
Devices such as lasers and motion detection sound systems can help to frighten the birds and discourage them from returning. Our team regularly installs these systems, which act as quick and effective bird scarers alongside other pigeon deterrents.
While the deterrents mentioned are incredibly effective in dissuading pigeons from nesting in an area, they aren’t completely foolproof.
We always advise speaking to our team, who can assist and advise you on the best course of action to remove and deter pigeons from your site.
Get in touch for more info on how to stop pigeons nesting
If you have concerns about nesting pigeons or pigeons congregating on your site, don’t hesitate to get in touch and take friendly advice on how to get rid of pigeons. Our bird control experts can help you every step of the way.
Urban Hawks has helped a long list of customers across the UK devise a bird control solution that protects their site and removes pest birds from the area.