The Pigeon

The common pigeon was introduced into the United States as a domesticated bird, but many escaped and formed feral populations. The pigeon is now the most common bird pest associated with people. Pigeons inhabit lofts, steeples, attics, caves, and ornate architectural features of buildings where openings allow for roosting, loafing, and nest building. Nests consist of sticks, twigs, and grasses clumped together to form a crude platform.

Pigeons typically have a gray body with a whitish rump, two black bars on the secondary wing feathers, a broad black band on the tail, and red feet. Body color can vary from gray to white, tan, and black. When pigeons take off, their wing tips touch, making a characteristic clicking sound. When they glide, their wings are raised at an angle.

Pigeons are highly dependent on humans to provide them with food and sites for roosting, loafing, and nesting. They are commonly found around farm yards, grain elevators, feed mills, parks, city buildings, bridges, and other structures. Pigeons are primarily grain and seed eaters and will subsist on spilled or improperly stored grain. They also will feed on garbage, livestock manure, insects, or other food materials provided for them intentionally or unintentionally by people. In fact, in some urban areas the feeding of pigeons is considered a form of recreation.

Pigeon droppings deface and accelerate the deterioration of buildings and increase the cost of maintenance. Large amounts of droppings may kill vegetation and produce an objectionable odor. Pigeon manure deposited on park benches, statues, cars, and unwary pedestrians is aesthetically displeasing. Around grain handling facilities, pigeons consume and contaminate large quantities of food destined for human or livestock consumption.

Pigeon Related Diseases

Pigeons may carry and spread diseases to people and livestock through their droppings. They are known to carry or transmit pigeon ornithosis, encephalitis, Newcastle disease, cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, salmonella food poisoning, and several other diseases. Additionally, under the right conditions pigeon manure may harbor airborne spores of the causal agent of histoplasmosis, a systemic fungus disease that can infect humans. The ectoparasites of pigeons include various species of fleas, lice, mites, ticks, and other biting insects, some of which readily bite people.

Remedies for removing Pigeons

Nuisance Wildlife Control can effectively control pigeons by capturing them in traps placed near their roosting, loafing, or feeding sites. Some traps are over six feet tall, while low-profile traps measure only 9 inches high. Generally, the larger the population of birds to be trapped, the larger the trap should be. Although larger traps hold many birds, they can be cumbersome in situations such as rooftop trapping programs. In these instances, it may be more convenient to use several low-profile traps that are more portable and easier to deploy.

Pigeon Exclusion

Nuisance Wildlife Control can assist you in excluding pigeons from buildings by blocking access to indoor roosts and masonry, rustproofed wire mesh, or bird netting.

Elimination of feeding, watering, roosting, and nesting sites is also important in long-term pigeon control.

Roosting on ledges can be discouraged by changing the ledge angle to 45 degrees or more. Nuisance Wildlife Control can recommend solutions using sheet metal, wood, styrofoam blocks, stone, and other materials which can be formed and fastened to ledges to accomplish the desired angle.

Nuisance Wildlife Control recommends the use of "Bird-X" brand bird control devices. Bird-X solutions consist of sonic, ultrasonic and laser technology and are used in conjunction with bird netting, bird spikes, coyote replicas, non-toxic gels, predator owls and other decoy repellants to create the most comprehensive approach to eliminate pest birds and other pest animals. Bird-X products are used in a wide variety of markets to prevent the spread of disease and create the cleanest and safest environment possible. Nuisance Wildlife Control can assist you in the purchase and installation of a customized bird control solution.

For more information, including recommendations on removal and exclusion of Wildlife common to the Northern Illinois region, click on any of the links below: