The Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Pigeons on Rooftops

The Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Pigeons on Rooftops

As a homeowner, I know how frustrating dealing with a pigeon infestation can be. The noise, mess, and health concerns caused by these birds nesting and roosting on your roof can make enjoying your outdoor space difficult.

After dealing with a severe pigeon problem on my own roof, I wanted to share the most effective methods I found for removing pigeons and keeping them away for good. While it may seem like an impossible task, there are several proven techniques you can use to reclaim your roof and yard.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about deterring pigeons humanely and safely. Y

ou’ll learn the root causes of pigeons flocking to rooftops in the first place and how to stop attracting them. I’ll also provide step-by-step instructions for implementing natural pigeon control solutions, from repellents to exclusion methods.

Key Takeaways: Your Pigeon Removal Action Plan

  • Identify pigeon activity areas and access points.
  • Remove food sources and nesting materials from the roof area.
  • Install bird-repellent gels in active roosting spots.
  • Place ultrasonic deterrents around the roof perimeter.
  • Add reflective items near potential landing areas.
  • Mount anti-roosting spikes along the roof edge.
  • Cover especially problematic zones with bird netting.
  • Scare off any pigeons attempting to land on the roof.
  • Ensure roof access points are sealed and pigeon-proof.
  • Combine multiple deterrents for maximum effectiveness.
  • Be diligent and patient – it may take time for pigeons to fully leave.

Why Do Pigeons Nest on Rooftops?

To stop pigeons from roosting on your roof, Let’s understand what draws them there in the first place. Pigeons are highly adaptable birds that have learned to thrive living near humans in urban areas.

There are a few key reasons rooftops make ideal spots for pigeons:

  • Shelter – The nooks, crannies, and overhangs on rooftops provide shelter for nesting and protection from predators. Pigeons prefer enclosed spaces.
  • Food source – Accessible food waste and bird feeders near houses supply pigeons with plenty of food. They don’t have to fly far to find their next meal.
  • Safe roosting spots – Pigeons roost communally, and once a group finds a good location, they will continue gathering there. Rooftops offer wide open spaces for large flocks to land.
  • Warmth – Dark-colored shingles absorb heat from the sun, creating warm areas that pigeons love to nest against.

By understanding what attracts pigeons to your roof, you can start removing these incentives and persuade them to look elsewhere.

How to Identify Pigeon Roosting Areas?

Before implementing any pigeon deterrents, take time to observe when and where pigeons tend to gather on your roof. Their preferred spots will be key areas to target.

Here are some of the most common pigeon roosting areas to check:

  • Gutters
  • Along the roof edge
  • Solar panels or vents
  • Decorative roof elements like shingles or trim
  • Near any food sources like bird feeders
  • Enclosed areas like overhangs or alcoves

Look for signs of pigeon activity like droppings, molted feathers, and nesting materials. Also observe the roof at dawn and dusk when pigeons are most active.

If you have a large or complex roof, consider laying out a grid to map all the areas pigeons frequent. This will ensure you don’t miss any problem spots when applying deterrents.

6 Proven Methods to Get Rid of Pigeons on Rooftops

Methods to Get Rid of Pigeons on Rooftops

Once you’ve identified where pigeons are gathering, it’s time to take action. Here are the most effective solutions for safely removing pigeons from rooftops and keeping them away in the future:

1. Apply Bird Repellent Gels

Bird repellent gels use smells and tastes unpleasant to pigeons to condition them to avoid treated areas. The gels also contain a UV reflective agent that gives off a “visual cue” warning the birds away.

Look for gels containing methyl anthranilate, the active ingredient that irritates birds’ trigeminal systems. Apply dabs of gel every 8-10 inches along problem areas. Reapply after rain or snow. For best results, pair gel repellents with exclusion methods.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Easy application
  • Harmless to birds

Cons

  • Rain can wash away
  • Needs frequent reapplication
  • Limited to small areas

2. Install Ultrasonic Pigeon Deterrents

Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sound waves that annoy and distress pigeons, conditioning them to avoid the area. The sounds are inaudible to humans.

For deterrents to work, proper positioning is important. Place ultrasonic devices directly in or near pigeons’ roosting spots. Units are available with sticky backings to attach to vents, gutters, etc.

Look for weatherproof models designed specifically for outdoor use. Effective range is 20-50 feet. Combine multiples to cover large roof spaces.

Pros

  • Set and forget solution
  • No smell or noise for humans
  • Covers a wider area

Cons

  • Can be tricky to install in high roof areas
  • Requires electricity
  • Birds may eventually adapt

3. Install Reflective Deterrents

Pigeons avoid landing on reflective, moving, or mirrored surfaces. Take advantage of this instinct by adding shiny deterrents like old CDs, tin foil, mirrored objects, or holographic strips to roosting areas.

The light reflection and motion disturb pigeons and prevent them from landing. Hang items near gutters, vents, and other problem areas. Or adhere reflective tape in strips along the roof edge.

For best results, move deterrents occasionally so pigeons don’t adapt. Avoid coverings that could trap heat on the roof.

Pros

  • Inexpensive DIY option
  • Can be used in many roof areas
  • Easy to install and move around

Cons

  • Less effective long-term as pigeons adapt
  • Can look unsightly
  • Needs frequent maintenance

4. Install Anti-Roosting Spikes

Anti-roosting spikes are a humane way to prevent pigeons from landing and nesting on rooftops. The spikes remove safe footing space, annoying birds that attempt to land.

Professional installation is recommended, especially for high or angled roofs. Spikes should be spaced 2-4 inches apart to allow proper drainage while deterring pigeons.

Stainless steel spike strips hold up best to weathering and shedding. Expect spikes to last 5-10 years with proper installation. Combine with netting for immediate results.

Pros

  • Provides long-term rooftop protection
  • Deters nest building and roosting
  • Durable and low-maintenance

Cons

  • High upfront cost
  • May not deter initial landing
  • Professional installation required

5. Install Bird Netting

For a fast solution across large areas, bird exclusion netting creates an impenetrable barrier to keep pigeons off the entire roof.

The durable polyethylene netting easily conforms to any roof shape. Install above problem spots with several inches of clearance so birds don’t get trapped.

For best results, hire professional installers to properly tension and secure netting. This ensures maximum coverage and netting that won’t sag over time.

Pros

  • Immediate and effective results
  • Low maintenance protection
  • Deters all birds from roosting

Cons

  • High installation cost
  • Alters roof aesthetics
  • Can catch debris over time

6. Remove Food Sources and Improve Sanitation

Eliminating food sources near the roof is one of the most important deterrent steps. This may include removing bird feeders or fixing outside trash cans with secure lids.

Also improve sanitation by cleaning up any nests, droppings, or nesting materials. Wear protective equipment when handling pigeon waste.

Sealing off indoor food waste areas like vents from restaurants can also discourage pigeon activity. Eliminating food and nesting sites helps make the area inhospitable.

Natural Pigeon Repellents and Home Remedies

In addition to the methods above, there are some DIY options homeowners can test using natural ingredients and simple devices:

  • Strong-smelling sprays – Mix cayenne pepper, garlic, or cinnamon oil with water and vinegar. Apply to problem areas. Reapply after rain.
  • Noise deterrents – Hang wind chimes near roosting spots. Their movement and noise can annoy pigeons.
  • Predator decoys – Set up fake owl or hawk decoys. Move them occasionally to look real. The perceived threat will frighten pigeons away.
  • Nesting material removal – Dispose of any nesting materials like twigs and straw. Removing resources pigeons need for nests deters roosting.

These solutions may discourage mild pigeon problems, but severe infestations often require more intensive methods. You can always contact a professional pest control company for guaranteed results.

Tips for Deterring Pigeons Long-Term

Getting rid of pigeons takes persistence. Here are some important tips for sustained, long-term results:

  • Be patient. It can take weeks or months for pigeons to fully vacate a longtime roost.
  • Combine multiple deterrents like gels, spikes, and netting to drive the message home.
  • Ensure proper setup and maintenance of any devices or physical barriers.
  • Seal off indoor entry points so new pigeons can’t gain roof access.
  • Remove food waste and nesting materials promptly and regularly.
  • Scare off any pigeons that do land immediately so they don’t re-roost.
  • Seek professional help for severe infestations or difficult access roofs.

Following these steps will help you reclaim your roof from destructive, annoying pigeons and prevent future infestations. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional pest control company if you need extra help removing a severe pigeon population.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for pigeons to leave after deterrents are installed?

It depends on the severity of the infestation, but allow 2-4 weeks for pigeons to fully abandon the roosting site after deterrents are applied. Using multiple methods speeds up the process.

Are ultrasonic repellents safe for other birds and pets?

Yes, ultrasonic pigeon deterrents have no effect on chickens, songbirds or mammals like cats and dogs. The sounds annoy pigeons specifically. Always read product safety information.

Do I need professional installation for bird spikes or netting?

Professional installation is highly recommended for these solutions, especially for high, angled, or fragile roofing. This ensures proper placement and security.

How close do I need to place decoys or repellents to roosts?

Effectiveness decreases the further away devices are placed. Install within 5-10 feet of problem areas for best results. For ultrasonic units, follow manufacturer distance guidelines.

How often do I need to replace pigeon deterrents?

Depending on the product, plan on replacing gels every 2-3 months, spikes every 5-10 years, ultrasonic units every 3-5 years, and netting every 10-15 years.

Conclusion

Getting rid of pigeons on your roof for good takes some effort, but it can be done. By understanding what draws pigeons to roost in the first place and implementing targeted deterrents, you can reclaim your outdoor space and prevent future infestations.

Be diligent in using multiple methods and remain patient – with the proper knowledge and tools, you can achieve a pigeon-free roof again.

Don’t live with the noise, mess and health hazards these birds can bring. Take control with the proven techniques outlined above. Your home will be cleaner, quieter, and free of disruptive pigeons in no time.

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