Complete Pigeon Control: How To Get Rid Of Pigeons throughout Oxford
Feral pigeons have a well-deserved reputation as a pest and when they take up residence on your property, these birds quickly become a major nuisance along with being a serious health hazard for you, your employees and any visiting members of the public.
The installation of the correct bird deterrent will solve the problem of pigeons roosting for good and here at All Aspects Pest Control, we are local experts in providing effective pigeon solutions and we can help get rid of your unwanted guests.
Got a problem with pigeons in Oxford? Understanding Pigeon Identification and Behaviour is important
Feral pigeons are a common sight in cities like Oxford because these birds have a very persistent nature with the ability to take advantage of any building fault or protected area to build a nest in.
Feral pigeons are a large bird which has a short, wide neck that tapers to a small head. Pigeons have a pair of short powerful legs with toes that are level at the front and rear; the birds foot layout means that they are ably equipped for both perching and walking on flat surfaces.
These birds are capable of walking great distances, and you’ll often see small flocks of these birds scavenging in pedestrian areas where food is dropped or given to the birds.
The colouring of the feral pigeon has a base of blue grey, although there are many piebald patterns from wild birds who have mated with white doves and escaped fancy varieties from time to time. The pigeon has a white rump along with a band of iridescent feathers on the head and neck.
Pigeon breeding in the Oxford area
Pigeons are monogamous and as a pair they form a strong bond together, making them dedicated parents, in a typical situation they will have between three or four broods over the course of a year.
However, this is not always the case and given a quiet area in which to nest along with a constant supply of food and water, pigeons can raise as many as ten broods over the course of a year, meaning that the urban pigeon population in Oxford is booming.
Pigeons lay an egg which is spherical in shape and finished with a solid bright white colour, only two eggs will be laid and these take roughly 18 days for the young to hatch with another 35 days for the birds to fledge.
Around the 35-day marker the juvenile pigeons will leave the nest whilst the parent birds will lay another batch of eggs. The juveniles will hang around with their parents until they pair up and form their own breeding couple, often living in close proximity to one of their birth sites.
Pigeon nesting habits in Oxford
The pigeon’s build a nest which is a very simple construction that consists of just a few stiff twigs and other pieces of debris that are all stuck together with bird droppings, the birds will continue to reuse these nests, adding additional layers of material with each brood. Pigeon nests will become a problem in a short space of time as this material soon blocks up rainwater runoff systems leading to flooding and internal water ingress.
What this means for us, is that many of our buildings are desirable for use as nesting sites and ideal places are sheltered ledges, the underside of bridge supports and metal cross beams, the space beneath roof top air conditioning units, deep recessed windowsills, and anywhere else on a building where there is some form of overhead cover.
As the pigeon population rises so does competition for the premium nesting sites, in a high-pressure situation where the best nest sites are taken, some pigeons often abandon nest building completely and lay their eggs directly onto a flat surface, usually we find this to be on quiet residential balconies
Pigeon behaviour in Oxford
Feral pigeons are social birds and openly seek the company of others, where one bird rests, other birds will quickly turn up and form a group, resting, preening and feeding are all social activities for pigeons.
They also have a wide vocabulary, producing cooing and grunting noises along with slapping of wings which are the predominate sounds in a pigeon roost. As they tend to form small, social flocks the sheer volume of noise can become distracting and for homeowners considerably so as this goes on from sunrise to sunset.
Pigeons are not a migratory species of bird, and their natural instinct is to stay close to their birth site, this provides protection, food and water which gives the pigeons a very determined personality when it comes to staying on a building.
Pigeons are difficult to dislodge, and this is where the correct deterrent much be employed, failure to use the correct method will have no effect on the birds.
Professional bird netting – the solution to pigeons in Oxford
Feral pigeons are often referred to as flying rats which is very apt as just as the rat, they are scavengers that can eat just about anything. Whatever food they find is broken down inside the bird’s crop where it is turned into a thick, protein rich milk, this milk is fed to the young birds which effectively means that they can breed at any time they want.
If a flock of pigeons have taken up residence on your building, even if they are just resting, they will soon become a permanent presence especially if the construction offers overhead protection.
In situations like this, the most effective way to deter the birds from returning is through the installation of bird netting which seals off the area in which the birds were living.
The bird netting that we install onto a building provides an almost invisible, physical barrier that prevents the birds from accessing the nesting site. No birds are harmed or killed during the installation process, but once that access to the roost has been prevented, they have no reason to remain. What this means for you is that the pigeons will now leave, there will be no more mess and costly clean-up work required, and you’ll have peace and quiet.
Total pigeon control in Oxford from a local company
Many people underestimate the intelligence of pigeons and there is a widespread lack of understanding of pigeon management which leads to the incorrect deterrent being placed in the wrong area. In many situations this can actually make things worse.
We must look at a pigeon presence in terms of pressure, if the birds are merely resting and there is no lasting attachment to the site this is a light pressure environment and so deterring the birds from visiting will be straightforward.
The opposite end of the scale is where pigeons have been on site for a long period of time, this is where they have nested and formed a strong bond with the building. This is a high-pressure situation where the birds will resist any attempt to deter them, in this situation bird netting is the only effective means of achieving total pigeon control.
Pigeon netting in Oxford - the options are endless
We can install bird nets just about anywhere, with a wide range of perimeter fixings available to us, we can create a frame of any size or shape which the net is attached to. When fitted these nets are pulled tight to prevent birds from striking the surface and becoming entangled, keeping the net taught makes it act like a wall.
We can cover flat roofs by using free standing supports that can provide a frame without the need for drilling, but usually we use fixings for masonry and steelwork to attach the net to.
Common installations of bird netting include the undersides of vehicle loading bays where the birds will rest on the metal supports, from here they defecate onto the vehicles and floor below creating a hazardous working environment.
We also cover roof top air conditioning equipment on commercial buildings as these sites offer the birds numerous opportunities for nesting in and around the machinery. Domestic balconies are another favoured spot for pigeons and as Oxford is seeing a number of new high rise developments, we see the birds taking advantage and so demand for this service is high.
There are different colours of netting available: black, clear and stone, we can cover the entire face of a building, preventing the birds from sitting on decorative features and window ledges. This is particularly useful on older buildings where pigeon guano causes a great deal of damage to the building fabric and bird spiking has failed.
Bird netting in Oxford prevents pigeon damage to your building
The biggest problem when a flock of pigeons resides on your building is the volume and type of waste material produced by the birds, each adult pigeon is capable of depositing around 1 kilogram of guano each month.
Pigeon guano is highly toxic and incredibly acidic meaning that the build up of bird poo soon becomes both a health and safety problem, but it also leads to higher maintenance costs.
Guano has a similar acidity to that of a lemon and this acid leeches out salts and minerals from hard materials like stone and concrete causing the surface to become powdery and porous. As the material weathers, water enters through tiny fissures and when it freezes the surface cracks open leading to an accelerating cycle of corrosion and fracture.
Paintwork and metal corrode under the layer of pigeon muck and any woodwork affected soon rots under the damp mass. Having a flock of pigeons on your building is going to lead to increasing maintenance costs and these will rise the longer the birds are in residence.
A slow and inexorable cycle of structural damage is one thing; however pigeon guano is extremely toxic and contains many harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi meaning that your workforce or in a domestic situation; the residents of a block of flats can be exposed to pathogens with increasing risks and potentially, costs for compensation.
When installed, our pigeon netting will go on working, keeping the birds off your building, day after day for many years, we have over 19 years’ experience in general pest control and providing bird control services throughout Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and parts of West London.
Our technicians are fully trained in the industry, and they hold IPAF qualifications to hire and use hydraulic access equipment for safe access to difficult to reach areas.
If you want a no obligation quote for pigeon control in Oxford and right across the South East then get in touch with us. Our site surveys are free, and we can talk you through the problem and the correct solution.