How to Get Rid of Pigeons
Hello and welcome to DIY Gardening’s guide to getting rid of pigeons from your roof, balcony or garden.
Pigeons can be an absolute nuisance when they set up home on a property:
- They are the most disliked birds in the UK.
- Pigeons are big eaters and will steal food from bird feeders, giving them the nickname “bully bird”.
- They make more mess than almost any other bird in the country, and their poop can block gutters, fill drains, stain car paintwork and splatter conservatory roofs.
- They can introduce diseases.
- They’re noisy and not in a good way.
In this guide, we’ll list products and ideas for you to try. We’re confident that with only a little effort and small cost, you’ll be able to get rid of pigeons and stop them from coming back.
1) Roof Spikes
Despite being called roof spikes, this product can be used in dozens of locations:
- Balcony handrails.
- Roof edges.
- Bird tables.
- Garden walls.
- Trees branches.
They are easy to fit and can be secured with screws, and if attached to plastic, super glue will suffice.
By reducing the number of perching places the pigeons use, you’ll be one step closer to eliminating them from your garden altogether.
- The most effective pigeon spikes you can buy, you’ve probably seen these before.
- Easy to install.
- Can be used just about anywhere.
- They don’t look attractive as the spikes are very long and stand out.
- These spikes only come in one colour, so they won’t blend in with fences, brickwork, etc.
I Analysed over 1000 Online Reviews – Here’s What I Discovered:
These bird spikes are extremely popular, and there are hundreds of reviews and ratings online.
In 2022 I conducted a meta-study of over 1000 reviews and found that:
87% of customers rated this product 4 or 5 stars out of 5, which indicates that it works very well at keeping pigeons off ledges and roofs.
Only 5% of reviewers gave it 1 or 2 stars out of 5.
Plenty of reviewers commented that they found the product versatile as it could be easily cut to size and either screwed or glued to dozens of different surfaces, including plastic, wood, metal and concrete etc.
Why This Product Stands Out Compared to The Competition
Several similar products on the market look nearly identical, but they have a gap between the spikes, which allows birds to walk through unimpeded.
The product I recommend has spikes on the edges and also in the centre:
Recommended: The vertical centre spikes stop the pigeons from walking or sitting in the middle of the product
2) Fence and Wall Spikes
Fence and wall spikes are manufactured in strips around half a metre in length.
Each strip can be scared down onto the top of fence panels, brick walls and other narrow ledges where pigeons stand on.
These spikes also prevent cats and other animals from climbing up and may also provide a limited security benefit too.
- Very effective and will prevent pigeons from standing on the ledge.
- Long-lasting; these strips will last decades.
- Discreet; the strips are available in several colours including brown that will match fence panels.
- Easy to install to fence panels with screws while brickwork will need to be drilled and plugged first.
- Sharp tips.
- These strips stop all birds from standing on the surface, not just pigeons.
- Will stop other animals, including cats, which could be an issue if you have a pet cat.
I Analysed over 350 Online Reviews – Here’s What I Discovered:
As part of my research into pigeon deterrents, I analysed over 350 reviews of these wall spikes that past customers had posted to Amazon, eBay and other retailers.
I found that 80% of reviewers gave these spikes a rating of 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
Only 12% gave it a rating of 1 or 2 stars.
Positive reviewers commented that they liked how the spikes were discreet and blended in with the fence.
The effectiveness of this product is somewhat mixed with some buyers claiming that it stopped pigeons completely while some reported that the pigeons walked on top of the spikes without any problems.
In my opinion, these aren’t effective as the roof spikes, which can also be screwed to the top of walls and fences.
3) Pigeon Proof Bird Feeders
If you regularly leave out bird feed or bread, you’ll attract larger bully birds such as pigeons.
Pigeon-proof bird feeders are available and are often marketed as “squirrel-proof“. They both work on the same principles and only allow smaller birds access to the seeds and food.
While Analysing Online Reviews, I Found That:
The Squirrel-Buster works very well at stopping both squirrels and some large birds such as pigeons, but it didn’t stop crafty birds such as crows who knocked the feeder, which caused some of the seeds to spill out.
88% of reviewers found that it was effective and rated it 4 or 5 stars out of 5, which is very good.
Only 6% of customers gave it a 1 or 2 stars rating.
In addition to using a pigeon-proof bird feeder, consider using smaller seeds and feed as pigeons are big eaters and will be attracted to larger grains and bread etc.
4) Pigeon Chimney Deterrent
The chimney is the ultimate vantage point for pigeons, where they can sit and monitor the gardens beneath them for scavenging opportunities.
They also poop on whatever is beneath the chimney, whether that be roof tiles, a conservatory or a patio.
Fortunately, several products can stop pigeons and other birds from perching on the chimney.
This one is the most popular and is easy to install; it uses a clip wrapped around the chimney’s neck and tightened to secure it in place.
This product is so versatile, it will fit round and square chimneys of various sizes:
4 Products I Don’t Recommend
There are plenty of bird deterrent products, contraptions and techniques; here are three that I don’t recommend:
Bird Deterrent Glue
Bird glue is an adhesive that one can apply to window sills, ledges, roof tiles and anywhere birds sit or walk.
The adhesive is weather resistant and won’t wash away in the rain or degrade quickly.
The idea is simple; the birds dislike the overly sticky gel, and once they land in it, they will fly off and never return.
The problem with bird glue is that it works too well, and smaller birds will get stuck to the adhesive and remain trapped until they die or are picked off by a predator.
I don’t recommend bird glue or anything similar that could potentially trap birds.
Sonic Bird Deterrents
There are hundreds of sonic pest deterrents on sale in the UK, and they all work on the same principle; when movement is detected, the device produces a noise that humans can’t hear, but the birds can. This is usually enough to startle them, so they fly off.
The problem with sonic pest control devices is that they can’t differentiate between birds and will deter all birds, including rare birds nesting nearby.
The noise emitted from these devices could also harm younger birds and cause them to leave the nest early.
I can’t recommend sonic devices for these reasons, although they may prove effective for some limited commercial situations.
Scare tape is a reflective material that’s attached to tape which you can tie to railings, pergolas and gutters etc.
In theory, the reflective tape should scare off the pigeons but in reality, they get used to the tape and ignore it.
Electric Shock Pigeon Deterrent Products
To prevent birds from landing on ledges, trees and other objects, specially created cables with positively and negatively charged wires can be placed on or just above the surface.
When the bird lands on the cable, it receives a mild shock and flies off. Within a short period of time, the bird will learn not to land on this surface.
Unfortunately, these products can’t differentiate between specific birds, so they will affect all birds and not just pigeons. Other animals will also be affected by the electric shock, so I don’t recommend it for domestic uses but on tall city buildings and commercial settings, it could be suitable.
Explore Bird Shock if you think this product might suit your needs.
Get a Professional In
In 2022 I contacted 42 pest control experts from various locations around the UK and asked them for suggestions on controlling pigeons.
The responses I received confirmed what I already knew, that there were dozens of methods available and which ones would work best would be determined after first carrying out a detailed survey of the property.
Tap the button below and fill in the form with details of your pest control project; you’ll get prices from local experts who can help you:
More From Daniel Woodley:
This guide to the best pigeon deterrents was created by Daniel Woodley here at DIY Gardening and was last updated on the 29th of May, 2022.
Daniel spent 17 years working in the construction and home renovation industries. He’s a keen amateur gardener who also manages a large residential landscape in addition to his own mid-size garden.
He also enjoys growing vegetables and fruits as well as his herbaceous border and container garden.
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