By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Pigeons are fun, for a while, at least until they become regular visitors to your balcony. Pigeons really enjoy living amongst humans and love to clean up after us, oftentimes joining us on picnics and balcony parties. In urban areas, pigeons feed on human food scraps and are not picky about what they eat. Pigeon pest control has become a popular topic of discussion in urban areas where these feathered friends are getting a little too close for comfort.
Why Control Pigeons?
Controlling pigeons is important unless you are fond of pigeon manure being left all over your balcony furniture and railings. Pigeons have also been found to carry several diseases including encephalitis and salmonella (common with food poisoning).
Pigeons can also transport, fleas, ticks and mites, which are prone to biting humans and will catch a ride on your dogs and cats.
How to Stop Pigeons on My Balcony
Depending on where you live and how severe of a pigeon problem you are having, there are several pigeon balcony deterrent options available.
Electric wires that run on solar power are popular on balcony ledges where pigeons like to congregate. These low-voltage wires emit a mild shock that makes it clear to the pigeons that they need to move on.
Non-toxic sprays are available in paste or liquid form and feel uncomfortable to pigeon’s feet when they land on them. In most cases, one application will keep pigeons away for up to one year.
Toxic baits are rarely used due to their dangerous nature and should only be handled by a professional. In addition, this is not the most humane way to deal with the pigeon problem and is offensive to many people.
In very serious infestations of pigeons, trapping is used.
Homemade Pigeon Deterrents
Keeping your balcony clean and free of food or garbage will help tremendously with pigeon control.
Leaving your dog on the balcony will also act as a pigeon balcony deterrent.
Leaving little to no room for roosting on your balcony is also an option. You can accomplish this by attaching small stakes to flat surfaces, including railings or awnings. This leaves very little room for pigeons to gather. They will get the point soon enough that they are not welcome.