Pigeons are a common sight in towns, cities and other urban settings across the UK.

These pest birds are often found nesting on buildings where they cause a wide range of problems from damaging properties, causing public health hazards, and even spreading droppings and other unsightly debris.

If you are dealing with a pigeon infestation on your property, or are concerned about a pest bird species, it is essential to find effective methods of deterring them from nesting.

The team at Urban Hawks team regularly assists customers across the North West and throughout the UK with bird control solutions, so we have an deep understanding of how to effectively manage any number of pigeons.

In this article, we explore the top five pigeon repellents used in the UK and discuss their benefits and drawbacks.

Whether you are a property manager, business owner, or a residential homeowner, using the right repellent can help reclaim your property and deter pigeons from returning.

Why might pigeons be nesting on your property?

Before we identify the best pigeon repellents, it is important to understand why pigeons are drawn to your property to begin with.

Over the years, we have found there are several motivations why pigeons are attracted to sites and why they end up staying long term.

They are:

Food sources

Urban areas are an ideal place for pigeons to scavenge for food, and you’ll have noticed that it only takes one accidentally dropped sandwich for the pigeons to swarm in a public place. Naturally, your location is no different, and if your property has accessible food sources like as open-topped bins, leftover food or even bird feeders, pigeons are more likely to visit and eventually stay. Put simply, if there is a regular food source available, pigeons will quickly start to nest.


Unlike other bird species, pigeons are not well adapted to cold weather and, therefore, will seek out shelter where possible. If pigeons come across buildings that allow them access to a roof space or inside the property itself, they are more likely to nest. If they find open spaces, ledges, gaps or secure elevated areas on your property’s roof that can protect them from predators and the elements, they will stay. Equally, we have seen properties that have broken windows or automatic doors fall victim to nesting pigeons as they are essentially being invited in.

Water sources

The ideal nesting place for pigeons will have a regular water source for them to drink and bathe. If  your property has open water sources such as a pool, birdbath, fountains or even areas where water pools on the roof, it is likely to attract pigeons.

Lack of deterrents

Pigeons are not only incredibly social creatures, causing them to flock together, but also ones of habit.

This means if your property is lacking in necessary pigeon deterrents, these birds will continue to nest, and their presence and numbers will grow over time.

What are the top five pigeon repellents in the UK?

It is important to first understand that pigeons are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This law protects birds, eggs and nests, so you must be mindful of the steps you take to remove pigeons, but thankfully there are legal methods to deter them.

They include:

Bird spikes

Bird spikes are a popular and widely-used solution for deterring pigeons from roosting and nesting on buildings. The spikes act as a physical barrier, made from a durable material like stainless steel, and can be produced in a range of sizes to suit your property needs. Bird spikes create an unwelcoming and uncomfortable surface that will keep pigeons away from your site in the long run.

What are the benefits?

  • They are easy to install on roofs, ledges, window sills and other elevated areas that appeal to birds.
  • They are incredibly durable, will last many years and are weather resistant
  • They are harmless to pigeons and other birds

What are the drawbacks?

  • This method may not work for all pigeons as some will adapt and find other places to perch.
  • It may require professional installation in harder-to-reach areas of your property.

Bird netting

Bird netting is another popular pigeon repellent that acts as a physical barrier to prevent birds from accessing vulnerable areas of your property. The netting consists of a lightweight and durable mesh that permits airflow without allowing access.

What are the benefits?

  • Bird netting is effective in blocking access to specific areas of your property
  • It is long lasting and resistant to weather and UV rays
  • Very versatile and can be used in a range of ways to protect your property

What are the drawbacks?

  • It can require periodic maintenance to ensure the netting remains intact
  • Installation may require a professional and can take time, particularly when working with a large site

Bird gel

Bird gel is a sticky substance that creates an unappealing surface for pigeons to land on.

Birds see in the ultra violet spectrum, so like using a UV light, when birds see bird repellent gel, to them it appears as little balls of fire. When placed in small pots, birds avoid the flames they see from the gel and move to a safer location. Bird gel is mainly applied to window sills, ledges and other areas where pigeons tend to land.

What are the benefits?

  • Bird gel is easy to apply and long lasting, so your property is protected for long periods
  • It is non-toxic and safe for humans, birds and other wildlife

What are the drawbacks?

  • Bird gel often requires regular cleaning and reapplication to maintain an effective repellent
  • It is not as effective in extreme weather conditions like snow or heavy rain

Audio visual repellents

There is a range of audio deterrents, such as ultrasonic devices, that emit high-frequency sound waves that can only be heard by pigeons. This sound is unpleasant enough to scare them away from your property and seek alternative shelter.

What are the benefits?

  • AV repellents won’t change the look of your property or disturb the public
  • They are a non-intrusive and eco-friendly option
  • They are ideal for use in large properties as they cover a wide area
  • They can be used in conjunction with other repellents

What are the drawbacks?

  • Some pigeons may be less affected by the sound and stay on your property
  • Different devices have different ranges or effectiveness

Falconry dispersal and desruption

Falcons and hawks are the natural predators for most pest birds, including pigeons.

Falconry is one of the most effective methods of scaring pigeons away from an area and discouraging them from returning.

These birds create an immediate sense of danger and encourage them to seek safer locations.

What are the benefits?

  • Creates a genuine threat to the pigeons that helps to deter them
  • Incredibly effective when using a professional falconry deterrent service
  • Effective when used alongside other repellents

What are the drawbacks?

  • You may have to have multiple visits using a falconry deterrent, depending on the number of pigeons on your site

Habitat modifications

As previously discussed, pigeons are attracted to urban areas providing food, water and shelter.

By removing these provisions, you will make your property less appealing.

This may include cleaning the property, replacing open bins with closed lids, eliminating other food sources, repairing leaks and more.

What are the benefits?

These simple modifications can provide lasting results and keep pigeons away in the long term

  • It is a cost-effective method compared to other solutions

What are the drawbacks?

  • It can have limited effectiveness where there are large pigeon populations
  • It can be time consuming to keep up with these changes

What is the quickest way to get rid of pigeons?

The repellents we have mentioned can be incredibly effective in deterring pigeons in the long term, but in some instances you may require a more immediate solution to dealing with a pigeon infestation.

In those circumstances, we always recommend seeking professional advice and assistance from our expert bird control team at Urban Hawks.

We pride ourselves on offering a service with quick and effective solutions tailored to your needs.

Our team can be on site within 24 hours to assess the infestation and recommend a combination of intensive bird control solutions that will quickly solve the problem.

How can Urban Hawks help with getting rid of pigeons?

When it comes to swiftly and effectively removing pigeons from your property, hiring professional help is always the best course of action.

For more than 25 years, we have provided bird control solutions for commercial and domestic clients throughout the UK and the North West.

Our highly trained staff are experts in resolving all manner of bird problems and reclaiming properties from these urbanised pests through a strategic plan of action.

Site inspection and assessment

We begin the process by carrying out a thorough site inspection and assessment. That includes identifying the extent of the infestation, determining what is contributing to the problem and assessing vulnerabilities that require attention. Once we have completed a detailed evaluation, we can create a bespoke plan of action.

Bespoke bird control solutions

Informed by what we find at your property, we then develop a bespoke bird control solution that suits your needs. We understand that every location is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not always effective for managing pest birds. Whether you require bird gels, spikes, netting or a combination of deterrents, we will design a strategy that targets the areas where pigeons are nesting and causing damage.

Professional services

Once a bird control plan is in place, our team actions all appropriate procedures, installing the necessary deterrents correctly. We attach importance to attention to detail, and believe proper installation is crucial for maximising the repellent’s efficiency and durability.

Maintenance and monitoring

To ensure an effective pigeon control service, we always offer ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

Pigeons are persistent creatures, and new pigeons may try to settle on your property over time. So, to combat this, our Urban Hawks team can provide regular maintenance to ensure installed deterrents are in good condition and remain effective. Through routine inspections, carrying out repairs and making adjustments, we can ensure that future pigeon infestations are prevented.

Advice and support

We understand that dealing with a bird infestation can be stressful, particularly if they are causing damage and wreaking havoc on your property which is why our team will always be on hand to provide valuable advice and support.

We count on our in-depth knowledge of pigeon behaviour, nesting patterns and, most importantly, implementing effective deterrents.

If you have any questions about our bird control solutions or maintenance of the repellents, our team is on hand to guide you and offer practical solutions.

Get in touch today!

We hope this article has helped you better understand what causes pigeons to nest on your property and the range of practical solutions available to help deter these unwanted visitors.

If you have any questions and want to learn more about our Pest Bird Control services, don’t hesitate to contact us today on 0151 345 6854 or email us at info@urbanhawks.co.uk.