Pigeons are urban animals, and they very frequently roost and nest on, amongst, and in buildings. I often deal with cases of pigeons in the attic of a house or commercial building. They
can take advantage of fairly small openings to get in and out, and they like the warm, safe, space. The best approach is to install one-way exclusion doors that allow the birds to get
out but not back in. Smaller flightless pigeons and eggs need to be removed by hand. Some pigeons are stubborn, and might have to be shot in the attic. If you need professional pigeon
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A photo of some pigeons roosting in an attic
Pigeons generally thrive in urban areas, living with humans; and they love to live inside the protected areas in buildings. Hence, it is very common for them to go from being the pretty birds out in the yard, to constituting a nuisance in the attics of people’s houses. They mostly enter the attics through the points where the roof pitches meet and where one roof overhangs another.
As commonly domesticated as pigeons are, they still come tops among those bird species that people seek for ways to get rid of. This happens no thanks to their invidious habits of depositing faecal material in unwanted places like the attic, their annoying cooing sounds, and their tendency to carry some fungal and bacterial infections.
If you already have a pigeon infestation up in your attic, it’s going to take you going through several important stages and some expertise to get them out. The best way though, is to prevent the pesky birds from entering.
The best way to not have pigeons
in your attic is to keep them out in the first instance. Proof your house and attic against the persistent birds and don’t allow them any chance to enter at all. These points are also useful if you have just cleared a pigeon infestation, so you can prevent another infestation from happening.
1. Make minor structural changes to your building structure, like removing or blocking their favourite spots. For instance where pigeons love to perch on your roof, you may modify the roof by making it slant and sloping, knowing the birds would not be able to perch on a slanting surface. When deprived of their perching spot, pigeons will in most cases, leave your property graciously.
2. Likewise, you may install porcupine wires to the areas where the pigeons love to roost. These consist of a solid base with sharp metal prongs sticking out at all angles. With this in place, the birds are prevented from landing.
3. Use bird netting on the roofs, eaves, and overhangs; you will need a UV-resistant, high-density, polyurethane net with ¾-inch squares.
4. Install electrified tracking on your roofs and ledges to discourage them from roosting.
Where the pigeons are already lodged and cozy in your attic, it would be a good idea to call in an animal control practitioner to do a thorough job as it does require some expertise. Be sure to wear protective gear (like thick rubber gloves, coveralls, and a nose mask) while this is on as pigeons are capable of transferring several diseases from contact with their bodies, feces, or even abandoned nests.
1. Remove the birds from the attic with specialized one-way exclusion devices. You may also have to physically remove birds
2. Identify all the entry points by which they got in there and do some house repairs to seal them up completely so that no animal can gain entry into your attic again
3. Pigeons make nasty messes and by this time, your attic must be terribly messed up with nesting material, pigeon feathers, and especially the abundant droppings. There will also be a mix of parasites in that mess – mites and ticks. All of that needs to be cleaned up or there could be serious health consequences for the house’s inhabitants.
4. Decontaminate the attic with a strong, enzyme-based formula to remove all the biodegradable wastes left in it. A product like Bac-Azap, applied with an atomizing sprayer, is the best approach.
A photo of pigeon feces in an attic. This requires extensive cleaning.
Another alternative is to kill off the pigeons up in your attic by poisoning. Poisons like alphachloralose, avitrol, antifreeze, thallium etc. are commonly used to get rid of pigeons. Avitrol works by causing epileptic reactions, followed by falling and flapping in pigeons. Alphachloralose is a poison fed to pigeons in form of treated grains and when consumed makes them feel stupor-like and they later die. Thallium, which can be thrown into water, causes vomiting, nausea and pain to pigeons.
Aside from being inhumane to kill pigeons this way, poisoning is definitely not the way to go when the pigeons are up in your attic. They will in all probability die right there inside the attic and then you’ll be saddled with the task of getting the dead birds out, disposing of the carcasses appropriately, and dealing with a terrible stink.
Repellents are meant for sending pigeons away, nevertheless they rarely work because pigeons are intelligent enough to find a way around the repellents. Popular repellents are pigeon spikes, fake owl, gel repellents, sound emitters etc.
For more info, go back to my main Pigeon Removal
How To Get Pigeons Out Of The Attic - Pigeons are one of the biggest pest animals that homeowners can encounter, and because they can fly it makes it all the more difficult to deal with the animals effectively. Many homes will have issues with pigeons landing on the roof or chimney of a property, but in some cases the pigeons will find their way into the attic itself, and this is a particularly challenging situation. It is important to bear in mind that pigeons can carry diseases, which means protective equipment may be required to prevent contact or inhalation with any diseases or parasites that the birds have brought into the attic.
Exclusion Using One-Way Funnels
This is one way that you can use to get rid of pigeons if they are located within a confined space such as an attic. Pigeons will usually have a small number, maybe two or three access points, and the first step is to find these holes and then to seal all but one or two of them. You can then install funnels over the remaining holes, and the pigeons will then be able to leave the attic, but won't be able to get back in.
How To Use One-Way Exclusion Funnels To Remove Pigeons
Trapping And Removing The Pigeons
Cage traps can be used to catch pigeons, but this is a more time consuming approach than using exclusion funnels as the traps will have to be checked several times a day, and then it is difficult to make sure you catch all of the pigeons, which is likely as they are a species that lives in groups. Once captured though, you can take the birds well away from your property.
Can You Use Repellents To Get Rid Of The Birds?
One of the biggest marketing successes in the field of pest animal management in the last thirty years is the repellent market, but in reality these products are a minor deterrent at most to pigeons, and are usually ineffective. Whether you use the gel, liquid, granule or audio types of repellent, each one is unlikely to deliver the results you are looking for.
Repairs And Disinfecting The Area
Once you have evicted the flying pests from your attic, it is very important that you seal any holes that the birds were using to get in, as they are known for their homing instincts, and even if those pigeons don't return, others may find their way in. It is also worth using a disinfectant spray or fumigant to make sure that any invisible parasites or germs are killed after cleaning out any mess left by the pigeons.
If it's a different species of bird, read How To Get Rid Of Birds In The Attic