Pigeon flocks are increasing in number, and their dominance in urban areas and other agricultural sites may cause many health risks and other problems.
Hence, it is essential to determine the answer to the question, ‘how to control the pigeon population?’
The most common problems caused by the increasing number of pigeons include damage to buildings and monuments because pigeon droppings are highly acidic, attracting cockroaches, ticks, and rats, the spread of diseases due to pigeon droppings, etc.
Techniques to Control Pigeon Population
There are both lethal and non-lethal methods of controlling the pigeon population, but research has shown that brutal ways are not effective in the long run because mating pairs of pigeons can have up to six broods a year. Hence, they can easily make up for the difference.
The three most commonly used lethal methods for pigeon population control are:
- Chemical control
All of these methods have their limitations, and it needs to be kept in mind that killing adult birds may leave the juvenile birds starving in their nests. So, these inhumane practices should be avoided as we have better options.
What Are the Limitations of Lethal Techniques?
The results achieved by these types of practices are short term because pigeons breed fast. The long-term benefits can be achieved only if we kill them faster than the rate at which they reproduce, which is nearly impossible.
It means we are still standing in the same position, looking for the answer to how to control the pigeon population.
There are many non-lethal and humane techniques to reduce or control the pigeon population. The most innovative approach recently launched to save both humans and pigeons is birth control in pigeons.
Yes, you read it right.
Just like humans, contraceptive medicines can help prevent reproduction in animals such as pigeons too. As it is the most current and effective method of controlling the pigeon population, let us discuss it first.
Birth Control in Pigeons – How Does It Work and How Effective It Is?
The contraception method of controlling the pigeon population may take a longer time to take effect, but the achieved results are more sustainable than other methods.
An active contraceptive ingredient is added to the bird food, which is then fed to the flocks. Once the females ingest this ingredient, the eggs laid by them lose their capability of fertilization; hence, they do not hatch.
Not many contraceptives are available specifically for birds, but out of a few options, OvoControl is an effective one. It is a kibble type food that is treated with contraceptive ingredients. Flocks are fed this food ideally through automatic feeders.
The minimum requirement for significant results is 5 grams a day. Therefore, the number of birds in the flocks is estimated and is fed accordingly.
When birds start eating contraceptive added food, their number starts declining eventually. A fifty percent decrease has been noticed every year in the flocks fed with birth control medicine.
More Non-Lethal Methods
Other methods that can help to solve the problem of increasing pigeon population are:
It is another effective way of keeping the pigeon flocks away from the human population. Look around for any areas where you could find pigeon nests. The places that pigeons like the most for building their nests are the air conditioning outer units, building ledges, window sills, or bridge supports.
Check all such spots for any nests. Pigeon nests are made with a few twigs and can be easily removed.
There are a few ways that you can use to make such spots unavailable and non-accessible to the pigeons for nesting.
For example, you can use bird slides or install bird wires or nets to keep the pigeons away and stop them from nesting.
Remove Feeding Sources
Though we might not be feeding the birds intentionally, there might be many sources of food for them. Pigeons and other birds keep flying over public parks and other populated areas because they get enough food from the leftovers behind us.
Such food attractants need to be cleaned regularly to avoid the pigeon flocks. Feeding other birds may attract pigeon flocks too. You may also need to stop feeding your yard birds if you notice pigeons accompanying them.
A Few More Ideas
Besides, you can also use scare devices to keep the pigeon flocks away. A combination of audio and visual deterrent can work best for this purpose, such as fake predator birds.
In addition to this, the polybutylene gel can also be used as a repellent. It is a sticky gel that pigeons find uncomfortable to land on.
This is a guest post written by Erick Wolf.
This article is written by Erick Wolf who is focused on developing contraceptive technology for the management of pest birds and other wildlife.
His various publications are focused on wildlife contraception in both peer-reviewed scientific literature as well as industry specific journal.