The feral pigeon (Columba livia var) and its by-products are very familiar to those involved in building surveying and maintenance, especially to those working in city centres.
These birds are very persistent and any effective control technique needs to be tuned specifically to that situation.
The feral pigeon (Columba livia var) is descended from the wild rock dove which inhabits both inland and sea cliffs around the Mediterranean and along the West Coast of Europe. The feral pigeon stocks are derived from many different strains of escaped ornamental, racing and domestic stocks but tend to revert to a wild type of colouring and conformation. These birds are well adapted to survive in a modern city environment where the tall buildings provide habitats very similar to the cliff homes of their ancestors.
Their natural diet is one of seeds and grains but they easily learn to exploit a large range of processed vegetable and animal products.
Given an adequate food supply the pigeon can breed throughout the year and a stable pair bond is formed.
Preferred nesting sites are dark enclosed areas simulating a cave or a crevice.
Two eggs are usually produced and incubation is shared. Three broods may be produced by a pair each breeding season and individuals may live as long as thirty years.
This activity can allow significant water penetration into the building and subsequent decay. More seriously, they block rainwater drainage systems with their faeces(guano), feathers and other detritus.
This can cause massive water penetration and severe decay problems.
Nesting activity is particularly dangerous in this respect as pigeons frequently nest in hopperheads and parapet gutters causing complete blockage in a very short time
Pigeon detritus and especially pigeon faeces represent both an aesthetic and a public health problem. Pigeon droppings quickly deface finishes both to the inside and outside of buildings.
The presence of feral pigeons and most especially their faeces represents a potential health hazard to employees and to the general public.
They are commonly carriers of a number of serious human diseases including salmonellosis, psittacosis and pseudo-tuberculosis. Their faeces provide an ideal environment for the growth of the organisms causing such diseases as histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, cryptococcis and listeriosis.
Dealing with such accumulations can be expensive and time consuming because of the protective equipment and procedures that may be required. Health and safety problems are also caused by the build up of faeces due to the slippery and unsafe footing it provides on walkways and ledges hindering proper maintenance.
Many techniques have been used for controlling pigeons and include Food reduction, Poisons and narcotic baits, Trapping, Birth control and removal of nest sites, Shooting, Bird scarers, installation of netting, sprung wires, Spikes & Repellent gels.
If you have a suspected problem with pigeons, ask us how we can help…
I wish I had employed PPM Pest Control years ago, they do a superb job in controlling pests on our site - nothing is too much trouble.
We had a Halls of Residence that had an infestation of Pharaohs Ants. PPM were quick to identify the problem, which is important, because the wrong type of treatment worsens the problem. They put together a treatment plan, informed all of the students, and implemented the riddance program perfectly.