How to control the pigeon population?

gray pigeons flying under blue sky

Over time, various methods have been employed to control and/or get rid of pigeons from different places and it became evident that there is no universal method available. One way or another, these birds come back and continue troubling us. However, that does not mean that you should just give up on getting rid of birds like these. In most cases, you might not even need to eradicate their population completely, all you might need to do is not allow them to roost in a particular area and that should get the job done. Below we have compiled a few methods that can be applied for getting rid of birds like this according to your environment and need.

gray flying pigeon in bokeh photography

Major Techniques to Get Rid of Pigeons

Bird contraceptive

A relatively new method, this method is used when you want a more permanent solution to your pigeon problem. Factories and refineries use this humane method to completely get rid of their pigeon problem as they cannot cover everything in nets or spikes. The contraceptive is added to feed and is placed where the pigeons have easy access to it. The product affects their eggs in such a way that they don’t hatch, slowly eliminating the pigeon population.

Physical exclusion

Now if you don’t need to completely end pigeon population, this one is for you. Humans have used many forms of physical exclusion over the decades. These are great if you don’t want these birds to roost somewhere specific, like an opening that makes a great place for them to set up a nest, or openings for HVAC systems, etc. That can be blocked or aren’t easy to clean. Here are a few techniques you can use.

grey pigeon on grey metal rod

Anti-roosting spike strips

These can be installed anywhere where you don’t want the bird to roost, fairly easy to install and very effective. They can be used in places where you want to preserve the professional look of a building.

Steel mesh cover

Places that are not even enough for spike strips, such as the insides of chimneys and outer units on air conditioning systems can be sealed off by the use of wire mesh covers. These look pleasing to the eye and are effective when it comes to keeping the birds from roosting or nesting in these areas.

Net covers

When there’s a huge area to be sealed, spike strips and steel meshes might end up being expensive and impractical, that’s where net covers come into place. Used in places like grain storages and refineries, these can be effective in keeping the birds from feeding and contaminating anything. 

flock of pigeons on gray surface

Use of Repellents and deterrents

There are only so many places that you can cover with spikes and nets. They work great in terms of keeping pigeons away from a certain place but pigeons will still find a place to roost. This is where repellents and deterrents come in, they are sold in the form of sprays and can be used in places that are hard to reach. This not a permanent solution but gets the job done. For a more permanent solution, refer to the next point.

Why are pigeons a problem?

One pigeon might not be that big of a problem but Pigeons are social birds and are mostly found in flocks, that’s where the problem starts. Together these birds can spread diseases, cause a mess, and pose other risks to the human population. Apart from being an inconvenience, their feces being corrosive can damage steel and even concrete. Here are the three main reasons why you might want to get rid of pigeons.

photo of flying bird near pavement and wall


Pigeons are known to carry quite a few diseases. They can be infected by deadly diseases like bird flu. There are three other main diseases associated with pigeon dropping. Histoplasmosis and Cryptococcosis are fungal diseases that affect the lungs, the fungus grows in pigeon dropping and exposure to their spores can cause these diseases. Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever is also something that can affect these birds. Places where there are huge HVAC systems and where any form of infection is dangerous, such as hospitals need to take special precautions to control the pigeon population around the building.

Structure damage

Pigeon droppings are acidic and prolonged contact with it can deform most metals and other surfaces. As pigeons are mostly in flocks, they can produce a large number of feces which if not cleaned regularly can cause permanent damage to the surfaces. 

birds on roof shingle

Odor and pollution

Pigeons are well known for all the mess they cause wherever they roost, many professional buildings suffer from this problem. Pigeon normally roost in places that are not easy to access which can make cleaning them hard, if left uncleaned, these dropping can smell bad and can ruin the look of a structure. Not to mention all the health concerns relating to their dropping.