All birds poop. Actually, not just birds, everybody does! But because pigeons are fairly large birds, and tend to congregate in big flocks, sometimes the poop can pile up and become a nuisance.
What to do if pigeons are pooping on your property
Why are the pigeons there?
You might have to have a good, critical look around, and figure out what’s attracting the birds to your area.
Is there food around? Removing birdfeeders can take care of a big attractant. That might require talking to your neighbours if the feeders aren’t on your property. If someone is feeding the birds on public property and won’t listen if you ask them to stop, you can also call your local bylaw enforcement officers to enforce it. In the city of Toronto, it is against city by-laws to feed any wildlife on public property. On private property, there are no controls. These by-laws can vary from municipality to municipality.
Where is the birds’ roosting spot?
The roost is usually just above the spot where the poop is accumulating. It may be a rooftop, a window ledge, or an overhead wire. Making the roosting area undesirable or impossible to roost on will force the pigeons to move along and find a new spot. Contacting a humane removal company like Gates Wildlife Control will probably be the best solution. Putting up coils, wires, and netting is a job that usually requires a professional.
Can’t someone just catch the birds and take them away?
No. It wouldn’t work. For starters, catching flighted birds is very difficult. Second, pigeons are renowned for their homing ability — even if you moved them they would just fly back!
Even if somehow someone was able to catch the pigeons, and either destroyed them or took them somewhere they couldn’t fly back from, the fact remains that your property is an attractive spot for pigeons. New ones would come in to take their place. Making the property unsuitable for pigeons, or uncomfortable for them, is the best way to resolve the problem long-term.
How do I safely clean up the poop?
Pigeon poop isn’t inherently any more dangerous than anyone else’s. But any feces (including cat, dog, and human!) is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and different species of potentially harmful fungus. You should be careful cleaning it up.
Wear a mask and gloves before cleaning up large accumulations of pigeon feces. If the feces are old and dry, you can spritz them with water first to prevent the dust from rising up.
Once the feces are cleaned up, hard surfaces like wood or concrete can be sprayed with a 10% bleach solution or steam-cleaned to get rid of any residual microorganisms. In lawn or garden areas, turn over the soil to minimize exposure and let the organisms in the soil clean things up for you.