Hawks are seen as the pigeon prevention method for a mansion awaiting reconstruction in Ewell, United Kingdom. City officials worry about pigeons roosting in the building that was damaged by fire in December 2013. Pigeon droppings will damage the plaster and pose a health and safety risk to the crews scheduled to start the restoration work after Christmas. The temporary solution? Fly hawks over the mansion at dusk each night in hopes of scaring off any pigeons, preventing them from roosting there. If that doesn’t work, they will need to consider more permanent solutions to keep the pigeons out.
As an interior designer working in the city, I don’t consider pigeon removal as my area of expertise. I specialize in transforming apartments to really reflect the resident’s personalities. Most of my clients love living in the city, even though it means paying a lot of money to live in a small, cramped space with no view. So, I try to make an oasis out of the space they have. After I’m done, they can still enjoy the passions of city life and have a relaxing haven to call home.
Of course, when I first arrive at most clients’ apartments, it’s immediately obvious they need a professional designer and decorator. Some people’s attempts (or lack thereof) of decorating are just abominable. I knew one lady who only owned a bed out of necessity, but hadn’t purchased any other furniture, because she was afraid of making bad decorating decisions. She sat on the floor to eat her meals and didn’t have friends over, because she had nowhere for them to sit. She’d been living like that for over a year before finally hiring me.
One gentleman just accepted all the hand-me-down furniture and wall-hangings from his mother, without even trying to make them his own. When I first met him, I found a heterosexual bachelor living with overstuffed flowered couches and chairs and lace-encrusted pictures of birds and butterflies.
Whatever people’s design-choices, I have noticed a trend amongst city-apartment tenants. They almost always have to deal with pigeon removal one way or the other. Some wise people invest in a good pigeon removal service to keep their balcony free of birds and bird-debris. Some people choose to ignore the pigeon problem and end up with pigeon guano encrusted on their balcony floor several layers deep. Some people, the do-it-yourselfers, try more creative approaches. One woman actually drew scary faces on white balloons and taped the balloons to her railing, hoping to humanely frighten the pigeons from roosting on her window sills. She was traumatized when she realized her “humane” efforts ended up killing the pigeons that swallowed pieces of popped balloons. Some people attempt pigeon removal with thick wires with nails thrust through them. They glue these wires onto the areas where pigeons roost, hoping the nails that stick out will prevent the pigeons from resting their tired wings in and around their apartment. Unfortunately, some people don’t install these correctly, and either end up giving pigeons a perfect nook in which to roost free from predators, or impale their hands as they’re installing it.
Most pigeon removal materials do not enhance the look of an apartment. I take care of the interior, and make it an oasis for my clients, but I always suggest a good pigeon removal service to get rid of pigeon problems for them. After all, why spend good money on beautiful furniture and decorations if your guests are just going to focus on the balloons dancing madly in the wind outside your one and only window?
Ugh, it’s hard enough building our first house without having to deal with pigeon problems! We thought we were doing great, especially for a first home. We’d saved and saved until we could purchase the property we wanted, we bought the house plans we loved, took out a construction loan and hired a general contractor. The idea was the general contractor would take care of construction until we could take over. We’d hang the dry-wall, take care of the finish plumbing and electrical, we’d do the finish carpentry, floors and painting. We wanted to do a lot of the work ourselves – it would save us money and we’d enjoy the home so much more knowing our blood, sweat and tears went into it. Of course, we had no idea how much blood, sweat and tears we’d end up shedding, but through it all, we believed it would be worth it.
We still worked at our full-time jobs, so we worked on the house every evening and every minute of every weekend and holiday. One evening we showed up and noticed bird droppings on the living room sub-floor. I cleaned it up, and we got to work on the drywall. But it happened again the next night and the next night, and I found droppings all over the house.
I was sure we had pigeon problems.
Finally, early Saturday morning, we arrived and went looking for the pigeons before working on the drywall again. Sure enough, we found pigeons building nests in the air-conditioning vent and also the attic. My husband had done some research and discovered that pigeons can harbor over 40 types of parasites and transmit up to 60 types of infectious diseases through their droppings. We had a much more serious pigeon problem than we’d first suspected.
I was so frustrated, because we had such limited time to work on the house, and now we’d have to spend time suiting up for biohazard cleanup, just to have pigeons build more nests in our new home! It was disgusting, and I was sure that if we didn’t handle the pigeon problem right, they would come back, even after the home was built, and crap all over our hard work and dreams.
So, this is where the tears came in. We’d already put in the blood and sweat, thanks to an improperly held nail gun and countless hours of work. Building our first home was already stressful, and now we had to deal with pigeons moving in before we even got a chance to sleep there one night. It was more than I could bear and my husband, too manly to cry, was on the edge, too.
Fortunately, our general contractor just happened to stop by right then to see how we were progressing. We showed him the disgusting mess, and he said he saw this kind of thing all the time. He gave us the number of a professional wildlife removal service that specializes in removing birds out of buildings, cleaning and sanitizing the area and would help us keep them out of the home. We made the call and went back to work, feeling like it was going to be all right after all.