Pigeon Poison: Why You Shouldn’t Use It

As much as we love pigeons here at Pigeonpedia we understand that pigeons can be a nuisance.

While poison may sound like an effective way of getting rid of problem pigeons once and for all we strongly advise against this for a number of reasons:

  • It’s cruel.
  • Many poisons act as nerve agents, causing convulsions followed by death, this is traumatic for both the bird and anyone who observes it, particularly children.
  • Pigeons may be frightened away temporarily by seeing one of their number die however they will quickly forget and return.
  • More effective ways of getting rid of pigeons exist, the best methods are to ensure that the area is made less desirable by removing food sources or making comfortable nesting spots inaccessible, there are also plenty of effective & humane pigeon deterrents available.
  • There is no way of precisely poisoning pigeons without also poisoning other birds.
  • It’s ineffective. Pigeons breed very quickly, if you have 200 pigeons living in your area and you poison 100 of them, very quickly there will be 200 once again. This leads to an endless killing cycle that has no tangible long-term effect a far more effective and humane method of getting rid of pigeons is to use pigeon birth control.

If you’ve got a serious pigeon problem the best solution is to get professional help, click the relevant image below (U.S or UK) to find a pigeon control specialist near you:

Common Pigeon Poisons

Pigeon poisons are a dangerous a cruel way to kill a pigeon, while there are only a handful of purpose-made poisons (or bird pesticides) out there, there are plenty of other things which can poison a pigeon.

If you have any of these laying around make sure that you store them carefully so that a pigeon, bird, pet or anyone or anything else doesn’t accidentally ingest any of it.

1. Atrivol Bird Pesticide

Atrivol bird pesticide is an extremely controversial product.

It is not actually sold as poison, nor is it meant to be fatal.

Instead, it is described as a “chemical frightening agent” that is meant to act painlessly on a bird’s nervous systems, causing them to have seizures and fly erratically.

However there are countless stories and several videos of pigeons falling dead out of trees, or pigeons flapping around feverishly for as long as 30 minutes before dying.


It is a cruel and highly distressing product to use on a bird which should be avoided at all costs.

2. Anti Freeze

Anti freeze is well known for being poisonous to pets.

There are countless stories of dogs dying after ingesting it due to it’s sweet taste.

The fatal effects of anti-freeze consumption are the same for pigeons and other birds.

Antifreeze is lethal because it contains ethylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol causes drowsiness, makes breathing extremely difficult, causes involuntary muscle movements and eventually results in death.

Again this is an uneccessarily cruel death for the pigeon which is also traumatic to watch.

Antifreeze will also poison any and every other animal (and kids) that may consume it.

Other Toxic Things Which Could Poison A Pigeon

There are also many other poisonous things in common everyday foods that are toxic to pigeons and could potentially make them very sick or even be fatal if overeaten.

Some things to avoid feeding pigeons include:

  • Salty foods – eaten in excess salty foods can cause dehydration which in extreme cases can lead to death.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate contains theobromine. Most animals including pigeons struggle to metabolize theobromine, consuming it can cause seizures, antiarrhythmics for heart arrhythmias, and fluid diuresis. Overconsumption of chocolate can easily cause fatalities in pigeons.
  • Caffeine – any food that contains caffeine could also potentially kill a pigeon. Caffeine causes an increase in heart rate which in pigeons can easily result in a heart attack.

Overfeeding any of these to a pigeon is a very bad idea because:

  • It can cause long, painful deaths.
  • It will not get rid of the pigeons – in fact if the pigeons realize you are regularly feeding them food they will come in greater numbers…even if the food is very bad for them!

Also Read: Does Rat Poison Kill Pigeons?


Poisoning pigeons is a bad idea, it is often ineffective, highly traumatic to observe and is only a very short-term solution.

The best way of dealing with pigeons is to remove sources of food, ensure that rubbish is tidied away and is inaccessible to them and to ensure that nesting spots are also made inaccessible.

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