What are the Safe and Humane Methods for Getting Rid of Pigeons?


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Pigeons are common urban birds that can quickly become a nuisance when their population grows out of control. They roost on rooftops, balconies, and ledges, leaving behind droppings that not only deface buildings but also pose health risks due to their acidic nature. Finding safe and humane methods to deter pigeons is essential to maintain a clean and healthy environment without causing harm to the birds. This article explores effective pigeon deterrents, including what pigeons hate the most, permanent solutions, scents that keep pigeons away, home remedies, and the potential use of tin foil as a deterrent.

What do pigeons hate the most?

Before we delve into specific deterrents, it’s crucial to understand what pigeons hate the most. By knowing their dislikes, we can employ strategies that will make the environment inhospitable for these birds without causing them harm.

  1. Predator presence: Pigeons are naturally wary of predators, so introducing fake predators like plastic owls or hawk kites can deter them from settling in a particular area. However, it’s essential to frequently change the position of these decoys, as pigeons may become accustomed to their presence if they remain static.
  2. Noise and motion: Pigeons prefer quiet and undisturbed roosting places. They dislike sudden loud noises and motion, which is why scare devices like reflective wind chimes or devices that emit intermittent sounds can help keep pigeons at bay.
  3. Unstable surfaces: Pigeons dislike landing on unstable or uneven surfaces. Installing anti-roosting spikes, sloped ledges, or even placing objects like beach balls on flat surfaces can discourage them from landing.
  4. Water deterrents: Pigeons are not fond of water. Using motion-activated sprinkler systems or water jets can effectively deter pigeons from areas where they are unwanted.

How do I permanently get rid of pigeons?

Implementing long-term solutions is crucial to permanently get rid of pigeon problems and prevent them from returning. Here are some effective methods:

  1. Pigeon netting: Installing pigeon netting around areas where pigeons tend to roost can prevent them from accessing those spaces. The netting is humane, as it simply acts as a physical barrier, preventing the birds from landing and roosting.
  2. Spikes and wires: Anti-roosting spikes and wires can be installed on ledges, roofs, and other flat surfaces to prevent pigeons from landing. These structures are harmless to pigeons but create an uncomfortable environment, encouraging them to find alternative roosting spots.
  3. Electric shock tracks: Electric tracks, also known as electrified shock tracks, can be installed on ledges and rooftops. When pigeons land on the tracks, they receive a harmless electric shock, effectively conditioning them to avoid the area.
  4. Humane traps and relocation: For particularly stubborn pigeon infestations, using humane traps can be an option. Once captured, the pigeons can be relocated to a more suitable environment far away from the affected area. It’s essential to comply with local regulations and guidelines when handling wildlife in this manner.

What scent will keep pigeons away?

Certain scents can act as natural pigeon repellents and help keep these birds away from unwanted areas. Here are some scents that are known to be effective pigeon deterrents:

  1. Citrus: Pigeons dislike the smell of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Spraying a mixture of citrus essential oil and water around affected areas can help keep them at bay.
  2. Peppermint: The strong scent of peppermint oil is another effective pigeon deterrent. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them strategically to create a pigeon-free zone.
  3. Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a pungent smell that pigeons find unpleasant. Sprinkling cinnamon powder or using cinnamon essential oil can deter pigeons from roosting.
  4. Vinegar: White vinegar is a natural pigeon repellent. Dilute it with water and spray it around areas frequented by pigeons to discourage them from landing.

What home remedy repels pigeons?

Home remedies offer a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to repel pigeons. Here are some home remedies that can be effective in deterring these birds:

  1. Chili powder: Sprinkling chili powder or flakes in areas where pigeons gather can create an unpleasant experience for them, deterring them from returning.
  2. Soap water: Mixing soap with water and spraying it on surfaces where pigeons roost can make the area sticky and uncomfortable for them, leading them to seek alternative locations.
  3. Garlic water: Garlic is known for its strong smell, which pigeons dislike. Crush garlic cloves and mix them with water to create a spray that can be used as a pigeon repellent.
  4. Reflective surfaces: Pigeons are often frightened by reflections, as they mistake them for predators. Hanging reflective objects, like old CDs or aluminum foil strips, can deter pigeons from approaching.

Does tin foil deter pigeons?

Tin foil is a common household item, and some believe that it can deter pigeons. However, its effectiveness in repelling pigeons is limited and may not provide a long-term solution. Tin foil can create reflective surfaces, which might momentarily startle pigeons. However, pigeons are intelligent birds, and they can quickly become habituated to these reflections, rendering the method ineffective over time.

If using tin foil as a deterrent, it’s crucial to frequently change its position or combine it with other deterrent methods to maintain its effectiveness. Remember that safe and humane methods are always preferable when dealing with wildlife.


Getting rid of pigeons and keeping them away from unwanted areas requires a combination of safe and humane deterrent methods. Understanding what pigeons hate the most and employing strategies that exploit their dislikes, such as predator presence, noise, and unstable surfaces, can be effective in deterring them. Implementing permanent solutions like pigeon netting, spikes, electric shock tracks, and relocation can ensure a long-term pigeon-free environment.

Certain scents, like citrus, peppermint, cinnamon, and vinegar, can act as natural pigeon repellents. Home remedies such as chili powder, soap water, and garlic water can also be useful in creating a pigeon-free zone. While tin foil may temporarily startle pigeons with its reflective surfaces, it is not a reliable long-term solution and should be combined with other methods for better effectiveness.

In all efforts to deter pigeons, it is essential to prioritize safety, humane treatment of wildlife, and compliance with local regulations. Creating a bird-friendly environment while effectively managing pigeon populations will contribute to a cleaner, healthier, and more harmonious urban landscape.

Contact Pigeon Control to Remove Pigeon Nests

We provide a diverse array of pest control solutions to address the needs of homeowners and business owners, ensuring effective eradication of pigeons and preventing their return. 

Drawing upon our extensive expertise, we have found that employing a combination of methods provides excellent results in deterring pigeons from roosting on your property. Strategies such as falconry and the installation of bird spikes have proven to be highly effective.

With our range of services, we strive to provide holistic solutions that address the specific needs of home and business owners, ensuring effective pigeon control and long-lasting results.

Pigeon Control only uses humane methods to remove and deter pigeons from your home or business. Our team of experienced pigeon control specialists will assess the severity of the infestation and recommend the best course of action to remove the pigeons and prevent future infestations.

We also provide ongoing maintenance contracts to help ensure that your property remains pest-free. Our goal is to provide our clients with a comprehensive and effective pigeon control solution that is tailored to their specific needs.

If you’re experiencing pigeon problems, contact Pigeon Control today. Our team of experts will be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote and answer any questions you may have about our services.

Contact us through our website or for 24-hour callout please call us on 0203 600 1045.