Pigeons are adaptable birds and can live close to humans. They prefer to nest on high trees, rooftops, or even balconies. But you may not like them to be around your balconies for some reasons.
So, how to keep pigeons off balconies? There are many ways to keep pigeons off balconies, including visual scares like reflective surfaces and decoys. Audio deterrents like ultrasonic devices are also effective. You can remove food and install perching deterrents like spikes or wires as well.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of having pigeons on your balcony, how to keep them off and what to do when they lay eggs.
How To Keep Pigeons Off Balconies?
Pigeons can be a nuisance when they decide to make your balcony a perching area. If you don’t like their presence on your balconies, here are a few tips on how to keep them away.
1. Visual deterrents
Reflective objects disorient and scare pigeons, so they tend to stay away from any place with a shiny surface. In this case, you can use old CDs, aluminum strips, small mirrors, and reflective tape as visual deterrents.
Hang these objects and strips around your balcony so that they can be blown by the wind randomly.
2. Anti-bird spikes
Bird spikes have a porcupine-like surface that prevents a pigeon’s foot from reaching the surface and perching. They are made of plastic and easily installed along rails using glue or nails.
Pigeons are food for birds of prey in the wild. Hence, they are scared of certain birds like hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons. They try to avoid them as much as possible. When creating a pigeon decoy, use the likeness of one of these birds of prey.
However, use a decoy that occasionally moves. Otherwise, pigeons will learn to ignore it.
4. Ultrasonic devices
Pigeons have better hearing than humans, so they can hear frequencies you can’t detect. Ultrasonic devices emit noises that irritate pigeons or sound like birds of prey, keeping pigeons away. But the sound doesn’t disturb the human being.
5. Remove food and water
Pigeons are attracted to places with food and water, like balconies. So they tend to hang out there.
Remove all food and water if you want to keep pigeons away from your balcony. If you have bird feeders, get rid of them and clean the area to ensure no crumbs of food or water puddles remain.
6. Repellent spray
Repellant sprays aim to deter pigeons by assailing their sense of smell. Some sprays use predator urine or substances that smell like predator urine to scare pigeons away. Other repellant sprays use essential oils such as peppermint because their smell irritates pigeons.
7. Install a wire above the railing
Pigeons aren’t great at perching, so standing on thin branches or wires is a problem. Hence, you can install a thin wire about two or three inches above the balcony’s railing to stop pigeons. The discomfort they feel when trying to find balance will keep them away.
Here’s a video on how to keep pigeons off your balcony.
What Deterrent Is The Best For Keeping Pigeons Away?
The type of deterrent you decide to use depends on your preferences. If you’re trying to choose one method that’s best suited for you, here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.
|Visual deterrents||They’re cheap since you don’t have to buy||Can be damaged by the wind|
|Easy to install|
|Can be made at home|
|Spikes||Long lasting||Make it uncomfortable to touch the railing|
|Doesn’t affect a balcony’s aesthetic appeal|
|Repellant spray||Can be made at home||Wears off quickly and requires reapplication|
|Can be used to keep insects away|
|Doesn’t affect the balcony aesthetic look|
|Ultrasonic devices||The noise doesn’t affect humans||Has to be plugged into a power outlet|
|Doesn’t affect the balcony’s aesthetic|
|Decoys||They’re easy to install||If they aren’t moved, pigeons can get used to them|
|They make a balcony more aesthetically pleasing|
|Wires||Easy to install||They can make touching the rails uncomfortable|
Why Should You Keep Pigeons Off Your Balcony?
There are several reasons to keep pigeons off your balcony, including;
- Pigeons poop wherever they go and leave a mess. A balcony that is a stopping place for pigeons gets filled with so much poop that it becomes unappealing.
- Since it can carry tens of parasites and cause several diseases, pigeon poop is a health hazard. You shouldn’t allow pigeons to poop on your balcony because contact with the poop can make you sick.
- Pigeon poop contains uric acid, which can be corrosive to metals if left to sit. It can also remove paint, leaving ugly marks on buildings.
- Their cooing and grunting can be too noisy at times.
- If you have any balcony plants, pigeons will likely damage and destroy them.
How To Keep Pigeons Off Your Balcony If They Already Laid Eggs
Sometimes, you may discover that pigeons have already laid eggs on your balcony. There are two ways to proceed in this situation, depending on how long the eggs have been there;
1. Get rid of the eggs
If you know that the eggs have been on the balcony for less than a week, you should get rid of them. Pick them and take them to a wooded area or a park. Hide them among the bushes or place them anywhere so they can become food and return to the ecosystem.
2. Let the eggs hatch
Eggs that are more than two weeks old are close to hatching since that typically takes three weeks. Hence, if the eggs on your balcony are more than two weeks old, you should let them hatch.
Typically, chicks mature and fly away four weeks after hatching, so they will all eventually leave. The trick is ensuring no more chicks are hatched on the balcony. To ensure no more chicks, do the following;
- Clean the balcony and ensure no material is left for the pigeons to form new nests
- Remove all new eggs that are laid and dispose of them in the woods
- Clear out and remove all nests that are left after the chicks fly away
What Methods Of Keeping Pigeons Away Are Not Allowed?
Pigeons are considered domestic animals because they have been living with humans for thousands of years as a food source. In many countries, laws place feral pigeons in the same protective category as feral cats and dogs.
Before you try to kill pigeons, familiarize yourself with your local laws since they may prohibit the following methods;
1. Using poison
If the law forbids killing pigeons, poisoning them can cause problems since they often die in public. Your neighbors will see that you poisoned the birds and report the crime.
Killing pigeons by shooting is the least subtle way to do it because of the gunshot noise. Aside from the fact that shooting pigeons could be illegal in your area, shooting on your balcony can be dangerous.
3. Trapping to kill
You could trap pigeons using repellant gels and snap traps. Though trapping pigeons is the most humane way to deal with them, you may have to kill them afterward. This is because pigeons are intelligent, so they’re likely to find their way back if you relocate them.If you’re interested in learning more about pigeon health and behavior, you might find our articles on do pigeons carry diseases and young pigeon not flying but runs around helpful. Our article on do pigeons carry diseases offers insights into the health risks associated with pigeons and how to prevent infection, while our article on young pigeon not flying but runs around explores the developmental stages of pigeons and how to identify and address issues with fledgling birds. Check them out to deepen your understanding of pigeon health and behavior.
Here are some answers to questions about how to keep pigeons away from balconies.
Spices like cinnamon, chili powder, vinegar, and dried pepper are known to be pigeon repellants. These spices are found in almost every home kitchen.
Yes, you can use bird nets to keep pigeons off your balcony. However, bird nets may be unattractive since they can make your balcony look bad.
You can use chicken wire to keep pigeons away without scaring other birds. Ensure the gaps between are big enough to allow regular birds but small enough to keep out pigeons.
There are several ways to keep pigeons off your balcony. You could opt for visual deterrents like old CDs, use decoys or even install ultrasonic devices to scare them away. You might need to use the combinations of the methods mentioned above, too.
The method you choose to employ for keeping pigeons away is up to you. However, some approaches, like trapping, poisoning, or shooting pigeons, may be against the law in some places.