If your garden is regularly visited by pigeons it is usually because it’s a good source of food.
A well-tended garden with flowers, plants and trees is a good prospect – indeed, a larder waiting to be ransacked.
What Attract Pigeons To Your Garden?
If you have flowering plants that have seeds, that will attract pigeons.
A fine mesh or netting over your flowerbeds may discourage them.
Pigeons are scavengers, looking for easy pickings, but deny them that and they will look elsewhere.
Compost Waste Is Attractive To Pigeons
Those of you who are keen gardeners will probably have a compost heap. That is an open invitation to pigeons looking for titbits.
It is better to have your compost waste in a container.
You can easily knock up a box-like structure or buy a large plastic container.
What you need is something with a lid. Also, don’t leave any kind of pet food around.
Feed and water your dogs and cats inside or under cover where pigeons aren’t likely to venture.
Make Your Garden Uncomfortable To Pigeons
To keep pigeons from your garden you have to make them uncomfortable and the garden a place with little opportunity.
Likely perches are a good place to start.
A little bit of observation will show you where they like to gather.
If you have trees on your property, then the branches are the obvious perches for them.
You can hang shiny objects within the trees because the flash of sunlight on them will scare the pigeons away.
Applying repellent gel on favourite or likely perches will help to deter them.
Of course, you can take drastic action and lop off those branches that they sit on.
Unfortunately, this can be harmful to the trees if not done properly.
Use Pigeon Birth Control
Pigeon birth control is one of the most effective long term methods of getting rid of pigeons.
OvoControl uses a chemical called nicarbazin which causes infertility meaning that any eggs hatched will not develop.
Over a two-year period, 5 mating pairs of pigeons can produce as many as 400 pigeons if the environment can support them, so birth control is far more effective than killing or scaring pigeons away.
Using replicas of birds of prey is another trick.
These are manufactured to look like hawks, owls and snakes. They are life-like enough to fool the pigeons, but there is a drawback.
Decoys don’t make any movement, even the ones on swivels are stationary in one place.
Pigeons are pretty intelligent, they will figure out that something that doesn’t move is a danger to them, even if it does look like a falcon.
To use decoys effectively they have to be constantly moved so that the pigeons don’t get used to an inanimate object.
Scarecrows are another variation on the same theme, but with the same drawbacks as the decoys.
Pigeon spikes can be effective when placed in problem areas.
Pigeons aren’t stupid, they won’t fly down and impale themselves on the spikes, but on seeing them, look for another place to perch.
Spikes work well on individual spots where they are likely to land, but on a wide space such as a roof, they won’t be that effective.
For the larger open spaces where pigeons gather together, repellent gels are recommended.
You don’t have to cover the whole area, just enough spots to keep them guessing.
The gels are transparent, so the treated areas aren’t easy to see, but they also give off unpleasant smells.
Pigeons have a poor sense of smell, depending mainly on their eyesight for survival, but the odors injected into the repellent gels are pungent enough for pigeons to detect.
Surrounded by smells they don’t like and fearful of stepping on the gel because it makes their feet stick to the surface, they likely to avoid your garden and seek opportunities somewhere else.
Sound and water are other options.
Noisemakers that sound like fireworks, set to go off at certain intervals may work also, but these are usually used for large-scale industrial agriculture.
A sprinkler type system would be much cheaper and probably more effective.
It all depends on how grave your problem with pigeons is and how far you are willing to go to get rid of them.