Pigeon Control

Feral pigeon control

The feral pigeon is a descendant of the domestic homing pigeons introduced to Australia from European settlers.

Feral pigeon flocks have increased in numbers and dominate the urban landscape, agriculture, and country towns due to the availability of:

  • Food
  • Fresh water
  • Secure breeding sites.

As a result, there has been an increase in feral pigeon numbers in many areas of Western Australia.

Action needs to be taken to help rectify the feral pigeon problem before the problem escalates.

Pigeon facts

  • They have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years in the wild and up to 16 years in captivity.
  • Pigeons are monogamous. A mating pair will have 3 to 4 broods per year of 1 to 2 eggs each.
  • Eggs are a solid white colour. They hatch in 18 days.
  • The young leave the nest within 35 days.
  • Pigeons do not migrate. They stay near their birth site (which may be your home).

Identifying a feral pigeon

The standard feral pigeon is generally:

  • blue-grey with a white rump
  • has iridescent feathers on its head and neck
  • has 2 broad black bars across each wing
  • Has a broad dark band crossing the end of the tail.

Feral pigeons can also display white, brown or grey plumage.

Problems and health risks

The presence of pigeons can result in a range of problems. These can include:

  • Attracting ticks, cockroaches, and rats
  • Damaging buildings and monuments due to the highly corrosive nature of acid in pigeon droppings.
  • Damaging properties by pigeons roosting/breeding in roof spaces, rolled steel joists and inside factory units.
  • Debris from roosting flocks building up, causing gutters and drains to block, damage to roofs and other structures, and creating potential fire hazards.
  • Extensively damaging air-conditioning units and other rooftop machinery.
  • Pigeon droppings in/on industrial, commercial, and domestic buildings causing hygiene concerns.
  • Introducing weeds and disease through pigeon droppings.
  • Increasing the risk of disease and parasite transmission between feral, domestic and seabird populations.
  • Escalating costs through public liability insurance from slipping on dropping build up.
Health Risks
Does your house have a pigeon problem?

Does your property need Pigeon Control?

Many property owners do not realise their building has a feral pigeon problem.

Factors which indicate a pigeon problem on your property includes the following:

  • 1 or 2 pigeons frequenting your yard/property.
  • An accumulation of pigeon droppings on or around your property.

Once you recognise your property has a pigeon problem you will need to take action to prevent pigeons from roosting and nesting on/in the building.

If no action is taken the problem may escalate and more cost will be involved.

In the majority of cases, if corrective action is taken, the property should be pigeon-proofed indefinitely.

Trapping

In many instances, trapping does not have a long-term effect on the pigeon population.

The number of birds caught and killed during trapping operations can be replaced as quickly as the birds are removed.

If the food source remains in situ, the culling may act to increase pigeon numbers in a given area above the pre-cull number.

If you decide to implement a trapping program to remove resident pigeons the source of food must be removed, otherwise the trapping exercise may be pointless.

Chemical control

Licensed pest management technicians use a painless narcotic agent (Alpha-chloralose) which the birds eat and then go to sleep.

Shooting

Licensed pest management technicians kill pigeons with a firearm to reduce pigeon numbers only when necessary. This method of control can be effective where pigeon numbers are low and other options of control are limited.

Every situation will be assessed by the pest management technician to determine if it’s the only option remaining.