8 Methods for Getting Rid of Pigeons Naturally 

pigeon eating seeds off ground
© iStock.com/Ivan Murauyou

Written by Sharon Parry

Published: April 25, 2024

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Pigeons may seem like harmless birds but when they gather in numbers on and around your property, that can be a problem. Some people even call them the ‘rats of the sky’! Yet many people would rather not resort to inhumane and harmful methods to get rid of them. Here, we detail 8 methods for getting rid of pigeons naturally.

Unfortunately, pigeons can present a lot of problems for householders. Their droppings are unsightly and can cause a slip hazard. Pigeon droppings are corrosive and can damage metal, stonework, and brickwork. They can block gutters and large numbers of them can be noisy. You can catch cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, and psittacosis by breathing in dust from their droppings.

Remove Their Food Sources

Keep garbage in sealed trash cans.

©James Andrews/ via Getty Images

The general rule for discouraging any unwanted animal visitors to your property is to make it unattractive. If there is no available food, pigeons are less likely to visit. Make sure that there is no human or pet food left around your garden and keep your garbage in trash cans with well-fitting lids. Pigeons also like to visit birdfeeders so buy a pigeon-proof version. If you have fruit or berry trees, pick these up as soon as they ripen and fall on the ground.

Set Up Sloped Sheathing On Ledges

Pigeons under bridge

Sloped ledges are less appealing for pigeons.

©An Emsley/iStock via Getty Images

Pigeons like to perch! Many methods for getting rid of pigeons naturally involve depriving them of perches. Many people have problems on their property because pigeons have adopted ledges (such as eaves and window sills) as perching spots. You can make it almost impossible for the birds to perch on ledges if you install an angled sheath. These are triangular fittings that rest on the ledge creating a 40-60 degree angle. They are made of metal, plastic or wood and the pigeons slide off!

Hang Taught String

Pigeons sit on the windowsill by the window

String will keep pigeons off window sills.

©Gold Picture/Shutterstock.com

If you are not able to source or fit a sloped sheath on ledges, try some taught string instead. If you can position it around an inch above the perch’s surface, it will put most pigeons off. A single length of string will work on most small ledges such as window sills. Fishing line will do the same job and may also be more durable. An alternative, but more drastic and expensive, option is a row of metal spikes.

Hang Up Reflective Objects

Blank CDs Hanging on a Bamboo Pole to Scare Birds from Eating Home Grown Organic Beetroot Plants on an Allotment in a Vegetable Garden in Rural Devon, England, UK

Pigeons hate reflected light.

©Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock.com

Pigeons do not like mirrors or any kind of reflective surface – it interferes with their eyesight. You can use this to your advantage but it does not have to be high-tech or expensive. Simply, hang up some old CDs or DVDs. Concentrate them in the areas where pigeons tend to congregate such as balcony railings and trees. You can also stick waterproof reflective tape to rooftops and window ledges.

Set Up Netting/Mesh In Nesting Areas

Two pigeons behind a protective net on a window or balcony, indoor cropped shot
Stop access to nesting sites with netting.

Mesh or netting is natural, unobtrusive, and highly effective at deterring pigeons from nesting around your property. You simply drape it over surfaces where the birds are perching or nesting. It stops them from being able to get onto the surfaces in the first place. Make sure that you secure the netting securely with hooks or staples – it will have to withstand the elements. You will also need to check on on from time to time as pigeons may pull on it and dislodge it!

Fake Birds And Predators

Bird decoys

Replica birds will scare off pigeons.

©Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock.com

Luckily, pigeons are remarkably easy to fool! You can purchase decoy or fake animals that scare them away from a perching or nesting place. You will need to set it up very near the spot that you want to scare them away from. Pigeons will be put off by fake owls, eagles (or other raptors), other pigeons, or snakes! But make sure that you move them around. Pigeons will soon get wise if your raptor never moves!

Spray Smells They Hate

Pigeons hate cinnamon.

©Derkien/ via Getty Images

There is quite a long list of odors that pigeons do not like and you can use these to repel them. Get a spray can and spray a mixture of cinnamon and water where they usually roost. You can do the same thing with white vinegar or diluted peppermint oil. Pigeons also hate citronella, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and many other spices! This is totally natural and uses things that you probably already have in your kitchen.

Hire A Falcon

A Peregrine Falcon

Pigeons flee from falcons.

©Harry Collins Photography/Shutterstock.com

It’s no surprise that pigeons are scared of falcons but did you know that you can hire these birds of prey. To be more accurate, you hire a falcon and a falcon trainer who patrol the area where pigeons are a problem. Once the pigeons spot the bird predator they will soon leave. However, you have to repeat this every now and again because they come back.


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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