Professional feral pigeon control throughout the Wokingham, Woodley and Reading area
Do you have pigeons roosting under your solar panels? Got a problem with birds nesting on your building? Then you’re not alone with this problem, pigeons are a common pest and take up residence in void areas, beneath solar panels and on ledges and balconies all over the area.
Here at All Aspects Pest Control we are a local company that are experts in carrying out all types of pigeon proofing and guano cleaning; whether for a domestic property with a simple case of pigeons nesting under solar panels or an in-depth clean out of a commercial building where pigeons have been in residence for years, we can stop pigeons giving you the bird.
Pigeon control throughout Reading, Wokingham and Woodley
Pigeon identification and behaviour
The feral pigeon that is a pest in towns like Reading and Wokingham is a relatively large bird with a short thick neck topped with a small head. Pigeons have short legs with level front and hind toes which can perch as well as walk on flat surfaces; its common to see these birds walking amongst pedestrians in the town centres almost as much as flying.
The feral pigeon is generally a blue grey colour although many piebald patterns exist as they will mate with white doves and escaped fancy varieties, the pigeon has a white rump and iridescent feathers on the head and neck.
Pigeon nests are very simple in design and often consist of just a few stiff twigs bound together with droppings, they will reuse these nests and continue to add material with each brood.
The male bird is in charge of picking the nest site and they prefer small flat areas away from the ground especially if there is overhead cover to protect the nest from the elements. Ideal nest sites are building ledges, on bridge supports, underneath air conditioning units, occasionally on recessed windowsills, and anywhere where there is overhead cover.
In a crowded situation where there is a lot of competition, pigeons may even abandon nest building and lay their eggs directly onto a flat surface like those found on residential balconies.
Pigeons mate for life and each mating pair will typically have three or four broods a year, however, given a quiet and protected nest site with a plentiful supply of food they can produce around ten broods over the length of a year.
Pigeon eggs are spherical in shape and a solid bright white colour, these take roughly 18 days to hatch and then the young birds take 35 days before they are fully fledged and ready to leave the nest. This is when the pair will mate and start work on raising the next brood.
Young pigeons are called squabs and as a defense mechanisum they will stay in the nest until they are ready to fly.
The feral pigeon is not a migratory species of bird and their natural instinct is to stay close to their birth site, this makes the pigeon a very determined personality when it comes to roosting at a site as they form a strong attachment and it becomes difficult to dislodge a flock.
Pigeons are a social species of bird and seek the company of others, where one bird rests, others will quickly turn up and soon you’ll have a small group of birds. This means a lot of noise as all animals communicate with each other and pigeons have a wide vocabulary.
Pigeons will coo to express their availability to mate and as a form of warning to others if a predator is close by, they will make grunting noises to deter other pigeons from coming close to their nest and when they are in a state of distress. They will also stamp their feet and clap their wings loudly when taking off from the roost..
Why are feral pigeons considered pests across the Reading area?
Pigeons and doves are seen as pests through their relationship with mankind, we domesticated these birds as a source of food and although we no longer eat that these types of birds they are comfortable living alongside us and this is when the conflict arises. Feral pigeons will settle onto a balcony and build themselves a nest in a short space of time, and once the hen has laid her eggs they will not move away from the site. Time passes and people give the birds a chance to raise their young and move off in their own accord, but by then the pigeons have gotten themselves comfortable and they are in place for good.
Why do you never see a baby pigeon?
People often ask why you never see a baby pigeon and the reason for this is unlike other birds, pigeons will only have two eggs; these will hatch and stay in the nest until they are adults.
Other birds have young that fledge and the reason for that is safety; as a young robin staying in the nest means that you at risk of predation from squirrels, magpies, and weasels. Pigeon chicks are much bigger and will have both adult birds for protection but given their habit of choosing nest sites close to man, many of the predators will be absent so they stay in the nest until adulthood.
When do pigeons breed?
Their close association with man means that un-like many birds that have set breeding seasons based around weather and the types of food that they eat, feral pigeons feed on anything that they can scavenge and so will breed all year long given the opportunity and a place to nest. What this means is that once the birds take up residence on a property and built their nest, they are going to be extremely difficult to dislodge and that’s where we come in.
How do you stop feral pigeons from nesting on your building?
The most effective way to prevent pigeons from roosting and nesting is to create a physical barrier that prevents them from accessing the area.
It maybe that a cull is required to lower the numbers of the flock but if you need a non-lethal way to prevent pigeons from nesting it will have to be in the form of wire mesh or netting. When we talk about pigeon problems, we use the term ‘pressure’; in a high pressure area pest control methods like fixing strips of metal spikes to ledges will fail as the birds will find a way around the system. Usually they do this by dropping twigs into the crown of spikes and use that as a base to build a new nest; seeing a pigeon sat on a nest built on top of a row of pigeon spikes is a common enough occurrence.
For more information on our pigeon control services including cleaning up after the birds have left your property visit our pages on balcony cleaning.
Bird control services and what we can do for you
Pigeon infestations come in three layers of pressure: low, medium and high, the level of infestation will determine the deterrent method and only the correct the installation will work to deter the birds for good.
Low pressure: this is where birds have just started roosting on the property and there are no nests.
• Post and Rail – a system of thin metal posts with tensioned wires running from post to post, the birds will not rub up against something when roosting, so this system moves them off the area. Good for ledges and windowsills.
• Optical Gel – birds see in the ultraviolet spectrum so a gel has been developed that when sunlight plays across the surface, UV is reflected and so these small pots appear as fire to the birds. Good for windowsills and due to the low profile these can be used on advertising signs.
Medium pressure: birds are constantly roosting and there maybe signs of early nesting.
• Bird spikes – metal spikes that have different profiles from thin to extra wide; these prevent the birds from settling down and in some places, they can act as a barrier preventing the birds from travelling further into the area. Ideal for ledges and the edges of buildings, these come with different bases so they can be used on roof top ridges and pipes.
• Electric rail – a low voltage electric rail is fixed down and this prevents the birds from standing or roosting in the area, great for roof top edges.
High pressure: birds are nesting and there is constant activity.
• Wire mesh and metal railings – this is used primarily beneath solar panels to prevent the birds from nesting in the void under the panels, exceptionally durable and easy to fit.
• Bird netting – the most effective way to keep pigeons at bay, nets comes in a range of colours and in varying sizes, we can build nets over roof top air conditioning machinery and void off just about any area to keep birds out for good.
Do visual deterrents work against pigeons?
For a short period of time these work very well, however we fail to appreciate just how clever pigeons are; in fact these are one of the few animal species that can recognise its own image in a mirror, so, sticking a plastic owl as a deterrent for pigeons on to a roof will not work for long.
If you have a pigeon problem then the only way is to exclude them from the area where they are causing the problem, is through the use of a professional company that can install an effective barrier against them for the long term.
Call on us and we can give you some options for your pigeon control at no obligation.