Pigeons are prevalent birds in the UK, causing problems in both urban and rural areas. Having any species of pigeon nesting in and around your home, whether it is wood pigeons or wild pigeons, can bring a variety of issues.
This includes damage to the environment caused by droppings and nesting, as well as overcrowding and general hygiene concerns. Getting rid of them from your home is just the start. In this article, we’ll look at the most effective methods for removing pigeons from trees, whether in a household or commercial setting. We’ll start with the basics and work our way up to more advanced techniques.
Why do pigeons nest in your tree?
A pigeon’s natural nesting place is a tree, which makes removing them very difficult. Pigeons, like all other wild birds, build their nests in trees because they provide them with everything they need to create and maintain a safe habitat for their offspring too.
In and among trees, they will find shelter, protection, warmth, and even food sources. There are, however, some good home remedies that will help get rid of pigeon nests.
Health risks and why you need to get rid of pigeons
Mice, rats, and flies can be attracted to their faeces, to say the least. Pigeon poop, being highly acidic, will discolour and possibly eat away at the underlying surface. The caustic nature of pigeon droppings and roosting can cause severe damage to tree leaves over the long term and if left untreated, they might ruin the whole tree.
In fact, they have the potential to damage your whole vegetable garden. Pigeons are not usually considered garden pests, but rest assured they will wreak havoc if given the chance.
This is particularly the case with feral pigeons which are classified as “vermin” as they can also carry mites and fleas. That’s why effective pest control is crucial here. Otherwise, you may end up with a severe infestation of pigeons. You’ll need to take precautions to safeguard your garden, landscaping, and even plants on your window sills.
12 ways to remove pigeons from trees
Let’s have a look at all the different methods that you can try:
1. Place scary-looking balloons in the tree
Get a bunch of shiny balloons with scary faces on them. Balloons with threatening bird faces are perfect because they trick the birds into believing there are predators in the treetops.
Use string to secure them to the tree branches. Move the balloons around the trees once a week to give the birds the impression that they are alive.
2. Hang old CDs with a thread in the tree
Birds dislike shiny surfaces. Thus, the CDs will scare them away, especially if they reflect bright sunlight. Wrap a piece of twine around the CDs and tie one to each tree branch. Hang them from the branches 5 to 10 cm down.
Harvest the fruit and then remove the CDs if you want to keep pesky birds away from fruit-bearing plants. To keep birds away, put them up again in the following year when the trees begin to produce fruit.
Pie plates can be used instead of CDs as well, as they have similar reflective surfaces. Make holes in the pie plates and bind them together with a string. Then, attach one pie plate to each tree branch.
3. Use a moving device
Movable gadgets, such as a wriggling spider or a hawk making shrieking noises, can frighten the birds away. Hang them from the trees to keep the pigeons away.
The majority of moving devices are powered by batteries. To keep the gadgets running, you’ll need to replace the batteries on a regular basis. Pigeons will find such ultrasonic devices irritating since they emit high-pitched sounds.
4. Get a bird sound deterrent
They come in many sizes, so you should look for one that best fits your needs. To keep birds away, these gadgets emit bird distress calls. The majority of pigeon deterrents use high-frequency sound waves that only birds can sense. These contraptions should not concern you. Hang them on the branches of your trees and don’t forget to update their battery on a regular basis.
5. Use a decoy hawk or owl
Plastic decoy hawks can be found at your local hardware shop. Pigeons are afraid of hawks and owls, so they will mistake the decoy for the genuine thing. Every few days, you’ll need to shift the hawk or owl to a new location in the tree to fool the birds into thinking it is alive.
6. Drape plastic netting around the trees
Netting is an excellent way to keep pigeons away from fruit-bearing trees while also protecting them. Create a frame around the tree using bamboo poles, fence posts, or tall stakes. The netting should then be draped over the frame until it reaches the ground.
To keep the bird netting from moving, use wire to secure it to the ground. In most cases, well-anchored netting will remain in place despite wind or bad weather. Keep in mind that while plastic netting may not be the most appealing addition to your tree, it will certainly keep pigeons at bay.
7. Consider using a reflective tape
To keep pigeons out, apply a coating of reflective tape to the tree branches. Use flash tape that produces a crinkling sound for better results. Make sure the tape is secure by tying it to a piece of ground wire.
8. Cut off any overgrown tree branches
Prune overgrown or damaged branches with a clean pair of garden shears. Remove any branches that are crossing or growing inwards towards the tree trunk.
Branches should be pruned at a 45-degree angle, immediately above the tree trunk. By removing limbs from the tree, pigeons will find perching on the surfaces an increasingly difficult task. This will discourage them from spending too much time in the woods. It will also promote the tree’s healthy growth.
9. Use a pigeon repellent gel
Using a sticky substance on tree limbs and branches where pigeons land and sit is the most straightforward method to keep them away. Simply cover the surfaces where pigeons like to perch and roost with a light layer. They will then detect a very unpleasant odour as they approach.
If they land on it, the tacky-to-sticky surface will irritate them, and they will flee. If the aroma isn’t enough to deter pigeons, the sticky texture certainly will.
Once you’ve mastered this bird repellent gel, you’ll notice that only a thin layer is required to complete the task. If you apply too much, it’s possible that leaves, insects, or even smaller birds will become entangled in it.
10. Consider installing an automatic water jet
A strong spray of water will get any pigeon up and running! Or… flying! This clever device connects to your irrigation system or hose. It includes a battery-operated (long-lasting) motion sensor sprinkler that activates the powerful spray when motion is detected. A clicking sound occurs when it is in action and the valve selections are then chosen. This sound alone is enough to scare pigeons.
When staked, you can go right down to the ground or go higher. The sprayer can either be mounted or fixed into the ground near the area where pigeons like to gather.
11. Use onion or garlic
To naturally keep pigeons away from your garden, use garlic or onion. You’ll only need a whole onion minced or garlic divided into smaller pieces. After that, simply disperse the pieces among your tree.
Of course, if the onion or garlic starts to smell bad, you’ll have to change them. One application should last about 7 days before it needs to be replaced. Onions and garlic are inexpensive and can be bought in large quantities. This is why it is a very cost-effective method for getting rid of pigeons. It’s also humane because it doesn’t harm them.
12. Remove all the things that attract pigeons in the first place
Your ultimate goal, like any other pest, is to take away what they enjoy the most. Just as bed bugs, for instance, or cockroaches are heavily reliant on humans for food. They also prefer to go where there is the free kind of food, so make sure that there is none if you want to stop pigeons from approaching the tree.
It is also highly recommended that you remove any water that has accumulated on your tree over time. You probably already know how much birds enjoy drinking water and bathing in it.
If you have fruits and any leftovers on the ground, make sure to clean or keep them out of sight because you will not be able to do much about the pigeons’ attraction to these appetising foods.
With these DIY pigeon removal methods, you should be able to keep your trees and the whole garden free from the pigeon problem in a natural and humane way! After all, you need to learn that nature is a part of us and we should always respect it. That’s why keeping them away while not harming them is crucial. Follow our tips and you won’t regret it!