Pest Advice - Feral Pigeons

What are they? 


Feral pigeons are descended from domesticated rock pigeons that returned to the wild. They have adapted to urban life and substituting cliffs for the ledges of buildings.

They are now common in many urban areas substituting cliffs for the ledges of buildings and feed on scraps of food discarded by humans and spillages from food outlets.

Feral pigeons can breed throughout the year with March to July being the peak times. Incubation lasts just 18 days and fledging takes place within 5 weeks.

Feral pigeons are now considered a major pest, particularly in urban areas and pose a significant risk to human health for the following reasons:

  • They have the potential to transmit diseases through their droppings such as salmonellosis and ornithosis.
  • Droppings cause unsightly mess and can lead to slippage accidents on pavements, fire escapes and ladders etc.
  • Dried droppings can be inhaled in confined spaces such as roof voids. This can potentially cause respiratory issues. 
  • Droppings and dead bodies can attract flies and other insects as they provide a food source. 
  • Pigeon droppings are acidic and can therefore cause corrosion damage.
  • The buildup of nesting material, droppings and dead pigeons may lead to blocked drains / gutters causing property maintenance issues. 

Can I treat them?

Prevention is better than cure and there are many things you can do to discourage feral pigeons from your property: 

  • If you feed wild birds in your garden, use suspended wire feeders and always clean up any spillages
  • Ensure that any food which is kept outside for pets or livestock is stores in sealed containers.
  • Keep bin areas clean and tidy and ensure food waste is stored and disposed of properly.
  • Block any gaps where birds could gain access to your roof. (i.e. replace any broken roof tiles, broken windows and repair any eroded pointing).
  • Install an anti-roosting system such as netting, wires or spikes. 
  • If you are struggling to eradicate the problem, you are advised to contact a private pest control company if you believe you require any treatment. 



Last Updated on Thursday, January 4, 2024