On more than one occasion, I’m sure you’ve heard the term urban, so what does it mean? The definition of urban says “relating to, or characteristic of a city or town” So now I want to present an idea to you, the readers. One that you may be unfamiliar with. Urban Wildlife. Maybe you’ve heard this term before, maybe you haven’t. But I’m here to talk a little about what urban wildlife is, and how it affects you. Urban wildlife can be found anywhere that supports human life. Just in case you aren’t sure what some good examples are, raccoons, rats, pigeons, mice, and squirrels could all be considered urban wildlife. Think about how often you’ve seen raccoons digging through the dumpster in a back alley, or a squirrel snitching some food off of the ground in front of a trendy food truck. Many people wouldn’t consider this wildlife, in fact, to many people they are simply vermin. You even see animals like deer attempting to cross a busy road, so now I’ve got you thinking, what has this got to do with me? Well, pal, I’ve got news for you, you play a major part in this whole urban wildlife mess.
An increase in the number of wildlife encounters you have could come from a number of factors. A few of those reasons could be habitat loss, noise or light pollution, pollution, or invasive species. This could mean you run into more less than friendly faces while you’re out and about during the day. Fortunately, there are ways you can help minimize the damage this might cause. You can start by locking all of your outdoor garbage cans. This might not seem like a large thing, but having a source for food could draw more unwanted pests. You should also regularly dispose of fallen fruit, use spill-proof birdfeeders, and keep your pets indoors at night. This will do a lot to protect your property. Remember, most of these animals have adapted to be able to handle human encounters, so don’t be afraid to call for extra back up from trained professionals if things get out of hand.
There are pigeons nesting on my solar panels, and I can’t stop them. Imagine this: you have spent years working to build a greener lifestyle for yourself, you drive a Prius, you recycle, and you work and save for 3 years to buy yourself a $15,000 Solar Panel system that you’ve been dreaming of since you were 16 when you wrote a report on the development of cleaner energy. Then, one day, after a trip home to your parent’s house, you come home to find 23 pigeons happily roosting, crapping, and tarnishing your beautiful and expensive solar panels. Would you be distressed, angry, or sad? OR WOULD YOU BE ALL OF THE ABOVE BECAUSE I AM!
Two weeks ago, these stupid flying rats began to roost on my solar panels, defecating all over them and building their nests underneath them. I couldn’t believe it! I trying installing small bird spikes along the edges of the solar panels but that didn’t deter them one bit, and the reflective tape I put up there didn’t do jack-squat either. I’m not sure that loud music or anything like that will do any permanent damage but that’s my next move. I know that trapping would be the most obvious solution, but my problem is that I don’t know what to do with them once I’ve got them trapped. I’m all about the environment, so I don’t think I would be able to shoot them, but I know releasing them would mean they just returned?
The best thing to do is call in a professional, and I know that whatever price there is to pay won’t for pigeon control wouldn’t even compare to the bill I would get if I had to do serious repairs to the solar panels. The problem is that I’d prefer to solve this on my own and save all my money all together (which is implausible, I know). But you know what they say, if wishes were horses beggars would ride. I’ll eventually have to man up and call in the professionals, and probably sooner rather than later; personally I think the world would be better off without pigeons and their pointless pigeon problems.
There are pigeons in my barn, and it is getting out of control. Living on a farm I am pretty darn used to seeing animals around, and outside of my personal livestock of horses, pigs, a few head of cattle, I’ve also got chickens, turkeys, barn cats, and a couple of dogs running around. I get along well with animals and respect the positive way they can impact my land by helping with insect and rodent control and keep food from going to waste. When I first saw the pigeons in the barn, I figured that they’d help with just about the same things as the rest of the animals do so I let them nest in the upper level. Obviously, I was wrong.
When it started out, I found about 3 or 4 pigeons in the barn, just casually roosting on the roof. Later that evening is when I discovered that they were nesting in the hay storage at the top of the barn, but I figured they would help control any ticks and mites that would get into the hay. What I didn’t realize, was that pigeons can actually have bird mites in their nests!! They got everywhere, all of the animals were itching and scratching, it was a nightmare. After that I tried to shoo the birds away and left poison pellets out for them to eat. But my plan failed.
A year-and-a-half later, I’m still here with the same pigeon problem, only now it has more than quintupled in size! My original 4 birds has now grown to nearly 30. Having a few pigeons in the barn was annoying, but this is absolutely mad. The cats will kill a few now and again but not nearly enough; that’s what I get for teaching them to leave the chickens alone I guess. Even worse, the pigeons have learned not to eat the pellets I set out and I’m too slow of a shot to kill them all. I need some help, please!
We have had a pigeon problem for the last two years now, and it’s only getting worse. It started off with just one or two that would occasionally land on the roof and hang out; eventually we noticed a small nest tucked into the side of the chimney. As the months went on we started to hear the small chirps of baby birds and in time saw the small birds leave the nest, but of course they came back in the end. The cycle continued, we would see new birds roosting, then we would notice either a new nest, or an addition to the original, and then baby birds would start to come out. It was an endless loop we couldn’t get out of.
Last year we started to try to get rid of the pigeons. We set up spikes along the slope of our roof, we would spray water at the pigeons that were simply roosting, and anything else we could think of. No matter what we did it seemed like they always came back with twice the number of birds as there were before. Our pigeon problem was escalating to the point of complete chaos! In the mornings you would hear them chirping and squawking, and their poop was covering EVERYTHING!! I was slowly losing my mind.
This year, we took a different approach to our pigeon problem, we checked the nests for any eggs or baby birds AND THEN WE KNOCKED THEM DOWN! Every single nest we could find went into the dumpster and out to the curb. Then, knowing they would inevitably come back, we installed mesh netting along all of the niches and nooks that a nest could be built. We were very proud of our work, but I’ll be damned if the birds didn’t come back anyway. Instead of nesting, they stood and pecked at the netting and roosted on the netting and still, pooped, EVERYWHERE. Every single day I was spraying pigeon crap off of my deck and siding and roof until I just couldn’t take it anymore. I called in a professional and he’s setting up a huge pigeon trap on my roof. It might not be the cheapest solution, but it is the most guaranteed solution of any I’ve seen or tried. At this point, I would try anything short of black magic to take care of my pigeon problem.
You know that feeling when you find the perfect house, fully furnished and no problems? Yeah, neither do I; but I almost knew what that felt like, I came really, really close. My husband and I were shopping for our first house together between the things we wanted and our budget, it was hard to do. So, when we found a house that had practically everything on our wish list, we were all in! The thing is, we didn’t realize that we were buying a pigeon problem along with it.
We called the realtor to tell her we were interested then asked if the house had already been inspected, she said the house had been on the market for a while and would probably need to have a new one done. So, we called an inspector and had him go look at the house. Everything looked good to him; well ALMOST everything, if you don’t count the 79 dead pigeons and poop that covered the attic from wall to wall! When he called and told us I was in absolute disbelief, not to mention how disgusted I was at the idea of such an extreme pigeon problem! I wanted to blame the owner but considering that it was a widowed man that had been moved into an assisted living facility that seemed a like a little much.
The problem is that we still love the house. It’s just outside of our preferred neighborhood, it’s not far from either my husband or my job, and it is a great looking house. The problem is, I don’t know if we can afford the down payment AND a clean-up service, especially because I know it will be a big project that will push back our move in date – which means another month’s rent we don’t have. So like I said, I almost experienced that wonderful feeling of everything going right, but not quite. I’ll let you know after we deal with this pigeon problem, though.
I have a pigeon problem, thanks to my overly generous, grandmotherly neighbor. Now I’m not saying that she isn’t sweet or caring, I’m just saying that she puts animals over people frequently. If you ask her to feed your cat over the weekend while you go on a business trip, she will skip with joy; but, if you ask to borrow some sugar or eggs, she will not do so happily. Needless to say, my needs and comfort are far from her mind when it comes to these birds. As a spinster with no husband and no children (or at least none that I’ve ever seen), she has adopted these pigeons as her God-given kids.
This wasn’t that big of a deal at first, mostly because it didn’t start with pigeons; she just kept a small bird feeder in her backyard for the small birds that came and went. Over the years she’s collected more and more, and it was just three months ago that the pigeon problem started. You know how in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone all of the owls surround the Dursley’s house trying to get Harry his letter? Well, take the letters out of the scene and BINGO that is what her house looked like after a month or so. She fed one and they just kept coming! And before I knew it they were starting to roost on my roof and make an awful mess!
I’ve tried talking to her and asking her to stop feeding the birds to see if just maybe they’ll leave, but like I said these are her kids and it doesn’t seem like there’s any way to get her to agree to that one. I believe her exact words when I asked if she would be willing to stop feeding the birds were, “you selfish little woman, can’t you just put your own needs aside for one minute to appreciate what’s happening here?” I’m not joking, that’s almost verbatim for what she said. I know I can’t force her to stop feeding them and I can’t hire someone to get them off her property, but if someone could help me control the birds on my property I’d be very grateful!
Having pigeons on your roof is a hassle no doubt about it, but I thought getting rid of them would have happened a completely different way. Pigeons have always been a problem in Utah (surprise! I’m not from NYC) which you wouldn’t think of as a problem animal here but it is. I’m the landlord for an apartment building here in Sandy and I have more complaints about pigeons than I do about wolf spiders! Well finally I decided I had to do something more because the bird spikes didn’t seem to be affecting the pigeon population at all! So I took to the internet to find help.
I typed ‘Pigeon problems in UT’ into the search bar and the second thing to pop up was AllstateAnimalControl.com and, after confirming the job, I was contacted by a technician. I told him about the pigeons on the roof and all the troubles they caused and I must have gotten excited because I do recall saying something along the lines of “You can shoot them for all I care!” Well my 13 year old son must have heard that because he took it very literally. I received more calls that day than any other and I couldn’t believe what they were calling about.
A month earlier my husband took Josh to get his hunting license, last week they went dove shooting and I heard Josh was quite the shot. It turns out that he was just as good as he said he was. After hearing my comment about the pigeons, he decided that he would take care of the pigeons on the roof himself and save me money (or at least I hope that’s what he was thinking). Do you see where this is going? He and his best friend took their small .22 caliber rifles across the street to a gas station, and proceeded to pick off every pigeon one by one. Well they only got through about 12 before I got a call from both the cops and just about every tenant in the building telling me what was going on. Oh I was livid! Not only did I have to pay a fine for them shooting a gun in public, but I still had to pay to get the pigeons off the roof! My advice is this: if you have pigeon problems, don’t let your son hear about it!
Living in the country like I do, I see all sorts of birds in the neighborhood: bald eagles, golden eagles, and even hawks; but pigeons on the roof? I thought that was just a New Yorker thing! Magpies and Robbins are one thing, but pigeons are another, they like to live in their little flocks and they make quite a mess. The worst part is, I work at a care facility and they have just the thing you DON’T want pigeons near. Large HVAC Systems. You know, the ones that bird poop likes to get collected in?
As I said, I work in a care facility, and elderly people are sick enough without having to breathe in poop tainted air. Besides just those already dealing with sickness, other workers like me are very exposed to illnesses like Histoplasmosis and E-Coli, both should be no brainers that they aren’t very good to be sick with. Not to mention to clean ALL of the vents that we have would cost upward of $2,000 and that is not something this company needs, elderly homes aren’t exactly million dollar businesses after all.
So the question was, how to get the pigeons OFF the roof; since we didn’t exactly have the funds to continually clean the HVAC, and we definitely didn’t want the pigeons back, we decided to call in those with a lot more experience than our maintenance men had. Within a few minutes of our call, SWAT busted down the doors, guns in hand. Not really, but it felt like that when we had inspectors there within a week and the birds gone and vents cleaned in just over a month. Admitting defeat and calling the pros was the best solution we could find for dealing with the pigeons on the roof.
Here at Allstate Animal Control, we’re well aware of how clever and interesting pigeons are, but we also know of the various dangers of pigeons. Pigeons bring in disease-carrying bugs, create messy nests and roosts in the eaves and roofs of buildings, destroy attic insulation, attract mice, rats and bugs, leave pigeon droppings all over the sides of buildings and anything below. The high content of uric acid in their droppings is so caustic that it weakens wooden joists, concrete and other building material. Pigeons have been to blame for bridges weakening to the point of collapse. Paul Gascoigne, known as Gazza, described another danger of pigeons. The former England international footballer and football manager, dubbed as the “most naturally gifted English midfielder of his generation”, once begged out of training because of an incident with a pigeon. He’d arrived at the stadium early and offered to help a ground staff employee get rid of a pigeon off the White Hart Lane roof. He climbed up onto the roof and successfully chased the pigeon away, but then fell 30 feet from the roof. He was lucky, ending up with no broken bones, but a wicked large bruise down the side of his body. Animal trappers are definitely used to the risks of getting rid of animals from unusual or high places. Gazza was lucky, but it’s a good thing he wasn’t facing an angry raccoon mama on top of that roof. Pigeons are dangerous enough, apparently.
75 gallons of pigeon droppings? Yep. Twice a year, some unlucky parking garage employee in a Fairbanks, Alaska garage gets the job of cleaning up after the pigeons that roost in and around the garage. The hazmat suit is donned, special hazardous waste material bags are used, and about 75 gallons of pigeon poop is scooped up. According to some government reports, one pigeon produces up to 25 pounds of poop every year. Now, multiply that by however many pigeons are roosting in and around your business, garage, office building, apartments, home or outbuilding! And, it’s not just gross to look at. It’s corrosive! Pigeon droppings are acidic enough that it eats through concrete, wood or metal joists, weakening a structure, defacing buildings, and ruining property. So, not only does it weaken the structure of a building, but it’s heavy enough to weigh it down and cause serious damage. When you weigh the pros and cons of ways of dealing with a pigeon problem, you need to also consider the cost of repairing joists, re-facing the building, re-pouring concrete. A professional bird remover will not only get rid of the roosting pigeons, but will clean up pigeon droppings and sanitize the area, as well as install materials that will keep pigeons out of your building. It’s well worth it to have an expert take care of the pigeon problem once and for all instead of dealing with the problem year after year after year.