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Are Pigeons Vermin or Harmless?

In the UK, especially in towns and cities like Nottingham, pigeons are unavoidable. Lurking on every street corner, square, park and rooftop. Often described as “rats of the air” we look at whether they are as dangerous and disgusting as they’re rumoured to be, or whether they’re Britain’s most misunderstood bird. 

Why are Pigeons Usually Found in Cities and Towns? 

Are Pigeons Vermin

Shockingly, humans are to blame for the rise of the pigeon population in our towns and cities, and it dates to thousands of years ago.

It all started with the domestication of the rock pigeon, a wild bird that enjoyed living on cliffs and eating the classic diet of insects from their habitat. However, when humans started building structures and moulding land masses into places to live, a portion of the rock pigeon population found these castles, fortifications and mansions made from stone perfect vantage points. 

These rock pigeons began relying on foraging food and their diet slowly changed from the insects of wild cliffs to the scraps and leftovers left by wasteful civilizations of old. And they’ve never really moved out of these urban areas. With growing cities and towns, producing a growing amount of waste, the pigeon population has increased as the surplus of food increases.

Uncovering the Dirty Facts About Pigeons

Unfortunately, pigeons have lost their wild reputation over the years, and in the modern-day, the truth is, they’re carriers of major diseases. In fact, research suggests that up to 49 per cent of feral pigeons could be infected with Chlamydia psittaci. Human infection is called ornithoses and symptoms include chills, fever, sweating, severe weakness, headache, blurred vision, pneumonia, possibly death.

Diseases are just the beginning though. When dry, pigeon droppings can become airborne in small particles which can lead to respiratory complaints. These droppings can also be slippery and can cause a serious risk on pavements, particularly under roosting birds.

Signs of a Bird Problem

Spotting the signs of a bird infestation can actually be more challenging than other pests. Birds, such as pigeons, will usually be at height keeping away from us when we’re around. 

However, here are the 5 signs you might have a bird problem: 

1. Spotting Lots of Birds 

Whilst it may seem fairly self-explanatory, spotting lots of birds on factory roof rafters or perched on the outside of your residential or commercial property will mean that there’s a large presence of birds in the area and you may need to seek further advice. 

2. Finding Nesting Material 

Whilst conducting routine walkarounds of your property, you may discover a large amount of fluff or twigs that resemble a nest. This is a direct indication that you have birds nesting nearby. 

3. Loud Noises from Chicks 

If you hear the cries of baby chicks, it’s certain that you’ve got a nest in your vicinity. Bear in mind that these baby chicks will need feeding at some stage and your waste is the closest source of food. 

4. Bird Foulings

An unusually large amount of bird droppings are likely to mean that there is a nest in the vicinity. 

How to Avoid Pigeons From Ruining Your Home or Business

Removing bird food sources or blocking off sites where they perch, or roost is the best way to prevent them from causing a problem.

The number of birds attracted to an area will depend on what food is available. If birds are being fed, more will be attracted to that area, so food must be kept to a minimum. Keep bin lids closed and cover compost bins.

Bird prevention, proofing and control are highly specialised skills, requiring specialist equipment and tools.

Do Not Deal With Birds Yourself

It can be tempting to want to get creative around deterring birds, but we advise you not to do that.

Not only are you putting yourself at risk of contracting some nasty diseases, but you’re also at risk of prosecution. All wild birds are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The act makes it illegal to kill or injure any wild birds. And yes, this includes pigeons. Even as pest control technicians, we are required by law to only cull a bird population as a last resort if all bird proofing methods have failed. 

Let Us Sort Your Pigeon Issues

If you think you have a birds nest putting you, your family or your business at risk, we can help. 

Please get in touch with us to speak to a pest control expert about how we can resolve your problem. 

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