Carrier pigeons, or more accurately, homing pigeons have been used for centuries to carry messages from one place to another because they can accurately find their way home over vast distances, up to 400 miles or more.
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Identification of Pigeons
Pigeons and doves are often mistaken for each other but pigeons are larger, around 13-inches long with a rounded tail and weighing nearly 9-13 ounces.
The most common variety is rock pigeons. They’re usually light gray on their upper body and belly, with a darker gray on their head and breast. Their most distinctive identifying coloration is iridescent purple and green color on their breast and neck.
The following video is all about the most beautiful pigeon breeds in the world.
The males are usually larger than the females and stand taller. They have larger beaks, with eye ceres (a fleshy growth around the eyes), round heads and thick napes. Females are shorter with smaller beaks and ceres. They have flatter heads and larger breasts than the males.
Pigeons like to nest on building ledges, rooftops, girders, and the rafters of warehouses. Factories have problems with pigeons nesting in the rafters of warehouses or the upper stories of an onsite power plant.
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It doesn’t take long before their population expands to the point where they become a genuine nuisance.
Their droppings contain acid that discolors machinery, stairways, railings, pallets, crates, and anything unfortunate enough to be under when they “let go.” It has a pungent, unpleasant odor.
What Are The Different Types of Pigeon Deterrents?
There are several types of pigeon deterrents on the market; electric shock, spikes, burning gels, and nets. The most effective deterrents are the ones based on physical contact such as electric shocks, steel or plastic spikes, and gels that burn or irritate their feet when they land on it.
Nets, appropriately sized and stretched, will deter pigeons from landing on anything covered by them. Sticky boards or glue traps, although they involve physical contact are more along the lines of traps and other extermination methods, so they won’t be considered here.
Electric shock deterrents, as you might imagine, rely on pigeons landing on an electrified surface or track, which then delivers a painful but non-lethal shock.
It surprises and hurts them, driving them away as soon as they touch it. These are by far the most effective and reliable methods available, as well as being the most expensive.
These are thin spikes with sharp points on them. The best ones are made of stainless steel and will last for years. Cheaper ones are made of plastic and don’t last for nearly as long.
The spikes are thin enough to be difficult to see from a distance. When pigeons try to land, they run into the spikes that either poke their feet or their body.
It’s painful enough to immediately drive them away. The steel spikes are less expensive than electric shock equipment, but will still cost much more than the other methods. They’re very effective though.
For the cost-conscious out there, plastic bird spikes are also available. They’re not as durable but they have their place among possible deterrents.
Gels create a tacky, sticky feeling when pigeons land on them. They make the pigeons and other birds extremely uncomfortable, so they quickly leave the area.
These gels are the cheapest of the physical contact methods. The gels will typically last for about from 3-4 months up to a year or so depending weather and temperature, then they will have to be reapplied.
The length of time will vary by location and it requires you to monitor it on a regular basis. In order to apply the gel, you’ll need to get a caulk gun.
Large nets can be stretched over a garden, deck, swimming pool, or other areas where you don’t want pigeons congregating and causing a mess. There is quite a bit of work involved in putting up nets, but properly done, they can be quite effective.
Top 4 Best Pigeon Deterrents
Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about each pigeon deterrent.
- Avishock electric Track (a permanent solution that works)
- Steel Bird Spikes (a cheaper option)
- Aspectek Polycarbonate Bird Spikes
- 50ft X 50ft Black Anti-Bird Net
Avishock Electric Track
This electrical shock track system from Bird-X keeps pigeons from nesting or roosting on your house. It comes in four different colors, making it suitable for use on any building style or décor.
The rugged material is tough and weatherproof. Very little maintenance is required, just brush it off now and then. It comes with a handy voltage meter to check for shorts or breaks in the line.
Once installed, the Avishock track is virtually invisible from the ground. It’s intended to be a permanent solution, and it is. It won’t keep birds from approaching your house, but it will keep them from landing, perching, nesting, or roosting on it.
Steel Bird Spikes
These bird spikes are long and thin, made of heavy-duty stainless steel. They’re attached to a UV-protected polycarbonate base which has pre-drilled holes in it for mounting.
It can also be glued in place with a special adhesive that comes with it. They’re very effective at stopping larger birds such as pigeons.
The base itself is very flexible so it can be mounted on all sorts of surfaces, from fences to tree branches to rain gutters and more. Each package contains 10-feet of spikes.
Second only to the electric shock system above in cost, it would take about $600-$700 to purchase enough spikes to completely encircle the average house, and the installation process itself is lengthy.
Be prepared for that.
Nonetheless, if pigeons try to land, the spikes simply won’t permit it. Plus, the spikes are so thin they’re almost invisible to anyone who isn’t looking for them. They don’t require much in the way of maintenance, except to occasionally brush away leaves and other debris that gets stuck on them.
Aspectek Polycarbonate Bird Spikes
These bird spikes are identical in design and function to the stainless steel spike above but are about $10/foot cheaper because they’re made from a high-grade plastic instead of steel.
They can also be attached with nails, screws, or special adhesive glue to whatever surface you’re mounting them on. Despite the different material, they’re still quite effective at deterring pigeons from landing or roosting on your house or business.
They require quite a bit of time and energy to mount them in place and have the same low maintenance (mainly brushing away occasional leaves) as the steel spikes.
However, plastic, no matter how advanced, will never be as rugged as steel, therefore these spikes won’t last as long. They’re classified as a permanent solution, but due to the material in them, we think of them as a semi-permanent solution.
Due to their lower price, you can completely encircle the perimeter of an average house for about $400, significantly less than the cost of the steel spikes. If you want the effectiveness of spikes but at a cost savings, these will be the way to go.
50ft X 50ft Black Anti-Bird Net
Made of a very high quality polyethylene that is UV resistant, this net is perfect for outdoor use because it won’t deteriorate or lose strength through exposure to the sun or elements.
The knots on the netting won’t break and the net overall has a very high tensile strength.
The mesh size is small enough, not much larger than a quarter, to keep out pigeons and many other similar sized birds.
However it still permits free movement of air through the mesh if you’re putting it over a garden, rose bed, patio, or recreation area.
This netting is strong enough and stiff enough to prevent pigeons from getting through it without getting tangled up in it. It prevents (deters) them from landing instead of trying to catch them.
It’s a simple, straightforward barrier with a proven track record over the centuries – literally.
Installing it will require a considerable amount of time and energy if you need to build a framework to stretch it over. If you’re simply stretching around a patio and anchoring to existing pillars or columns, then it won’t take as much work to set up. It’s not as expensive as the options above, but it only comes in one color – black.
Finally, it’s not really practical for deterring pigeons from landing or roosting on the rain gutters on your house or office. For those, you’ll have to turn to other methods.
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