As London pest control experts we help individuals and businesses right across the capital deal with rats, mice, wasps, bed bugs and, of course, birds.
London is a famously popular place for pigeons to set up home, and they’re one of the birds we find ourselves dealing with more than any other. So what’s the problem with pigeons? How do we remove them from restaurants, schools, hospitals and other public and private spaces, and prevent them from coming back the moment our backs are turned?
Reliable bird pest control in London – About feral pigeons
Feral pigeons, Latin name columba livia domestica, are a wholly man-made phenomenon. When humans first domesticated the rock dove, thousands of years ago, they couldn’t have guessed how successful and widespread the birds would become, nor how risky their presence in large numbers would prove to human health and well-being.
Before humans got involved, the humble rock dove would have lived in caves and on sea cliffs. Ancient rock tablet records from Mesopotamia reveal the rock dove was first domesticated more than five thousand years ago, but many experts believe it first took place in Neolithic times, as long as ten thousand years ago, on the fertile alluvial plains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, around the same time mankind was beginning to cultivate cereal crops and breed domestic animals for food.
The so-called feral pigeons we see in our towns and cities these days are the result of this ancient domestication, and they’re a remarkably successful breed the world over. Sadly the birds like to gather in large numbers, and that’s when the trouble starts. Feral pigeons treat buildings like sea cliffs, the perfect natural home for them to breed, and more or less every city on the planet has its own large pigeon population.
Through the ages people have bred pigeons for food, eaten their eggs and used the birds to send critical messages during wartime. They’ve been worshipped at various stages through history, and trained for sporting purposes including pigeon racing and homing. A champion racing pigeon can be released 400-600 miles away from its home and return home the same day. Pigeon shooting was featured – to the outrage of the public – at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, and in the USA wholesale ‘pigeon shoots’ are still big business.
Why do you need to keep pigeons under control?
Pigeons mate for life and breed all year round, and these days they’re one of the UK’s most common ‘pests’, thanks to their outstanding success and the sheer volume of them. Classed officially as vermin, they carry a host of nasty diseases including salmonella, tuberculosis and ornithosis, and their nests are home to various fleas, mites and other insect pests.
Simply breathing in dust or fine drops of water which contain bird droppings can give you Psittacosis, a rare infectious pneumonia-like disease caused by the Chlamydia psittaci bacterium, which is most common in parrots and their ilk but affects pigeons too. Pigeons can cause allergic skin reactions and respiratory illnesses, and humans can catch nasty things from their poop, the parasites that live on them, even their feathers. When infected dead pigeons get into our food or water sources, they can spread infection. And last but not least, their poop is so acidic it actually causes damage to buildings and stonework, eroding the surface.
The risks are serious enough to merit special advice from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, who recommend construction workers wear masks with specific filters where pigeons and their poop are present, wet the air to settle any dust, avoid using high pressure washers which generate fine droplets in the air, and wear protective clothing.
The best ways to get rid of pigeons
Prevention is the best way to keep pigeons at bay. That means not feeding the birds in the first place, and disposing of food waste sensibly so they can’t get at it. Aside from that, bird proofing and deterrent systems are the most reliable in our experience, usually fairly simple and straightforward things like spikes and netting, which make it impossible for the birds to land, congregate, nest or even perch. But the best solution depends on your unique circumstances.
Pigeon removal services London and beyond
Is your premises or home a being over-run by pigeons? Call us and we’ll solve the problem for you.
- FREE, no obligation survey
- Expert professional help
- The right treatment for your circumstances
- Humane and efficient methods
- A 3-6 month guarantee on pigeon extermination