They fly, they nest, and they leave their mark on EVERYTHING….Pigeons.
Did you know that some birds can actually be a nuisance for home owners and businesses? The main culprit behind many bird control problems is the feral pigeon. The pigeon is actually not a native to the US, but are descendants of domesticated pigeons that were released in the wild. Now, they are found in almost every major city throughout the country and many other parts in the world.
Pigeons, and other pest birds like sparrows and starlings, are attracted to places with food and shelter. They prefer to roost in places where they can hide such as the letters in a building sign or on ledges below awnings and even AC Units. However, the number one thing that attracts birds is food, especially bird feeders or even New Orleans beignets. They have a varied diet that makes urban living especially attractive.
Pigeon Identification & Information
Many pigeons are actually quite beautiful with a blue-grey overall coloring with iridescent feathers on the head and neck. Some have markings in the black, white or brown on the wings and neck. They have short necks and a small head with short legs, hind toes and level front allow for both easy perching on pipes and ledges or walking on flat surfaces.
Pigeons are not migratory. Their natural instinct is to stay near their birth site. This trait gives the pigeon a very determined personality when it comes to roosting at a particular site. This means that once a pigeon has found a home, s/he is a difficult guest to get rid of.
Damage Caused by Pigeon Problems
Feral pigeons are the number one urban pest bird because they create a mess and cause damages wherever they roost. Pigeon control is extremely important because in a relatively short amount of time they can create a lot of havoc. The uric acid in pigeon feces is highly corrosive and can cause extensive damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for long periods. Debris from flocks of problem pigeons often build up, backing up gutters and drains which can cause flooding and roof damage. Nesting materials and even pigeon eggs can damage roofs, ledges and even AC Units and filters. Pigeon droppings and debris not only present a slippery problem on sidewalks and paths but also are unhealthy. The bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in pigeon droppings are responsible for a host of serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more.