Pigeons in the street

Pigeons can cause a major problem for your health and quality of life. Nesting pigeons will leave droppings and pigeon poop is potentially harmful to humans, as well as pets or other animals. The noise that pigeons cause, particularly during times of the year when they breed, is also very annoying – and causes sleep disturbances for people. As a result, bird proofing is a popular form of pest control.

There are several approaches to deter pigeons, as well as other larger or smaller birds. You can choose to scare pigeons by manipulating their natural responses or repel them with things they dislike. Bird repellents make areas less desirable for pigeons to nest or perch and bird scarers stop them from entering attractive spaces. Both approaches help with pigeon proofing solar panels and other areas.

Nesting birds will naturally focus on window ledges, balcony spaces and places nearby a bird table or other food source. As experts in reliably providing professional solutions to control birds, and other types of pests, we can recommend how to deter pigeons effectively. Many of the methods we discuss are possible to try yourself – but for a professional result please feel free to contact us for a quote.


The following methods of deterring a pigeon community from roosting or nesting will be effective against feral pigeons, wood pigeons and many other types of birds. Some are useful specifically for pigeons and large birds but will still allow other less problematic bird species to use a space, bird table or feeder.

The best deterrents will manipulate the physiological or psychological nature of a pigeon – and while some can cause slight distress this list is humane and harm free. 

The following are the best ways to deter pigeons:


A roll of aluminum foil isolated on white background

The reflective surfaces of mirrors or other shiny objects will trigger a pigeons flight response. As a result, having a reflective surface on a window sill or balcony rail can easily deter a pigeon from roosting or perching there.

The following are some ways to deter pigeons by using reflective surfaces:

  • Aluminium foil: You can place a layer of shiny aluminium foil over a window sill and balcony rail very easily. With careful wrapping, it is entirely possible to create an undesirable perching space that does still looks good.
  • Mirrors: For a larger space, such as a roof or the edges of solar panels, mirrors are a good option. A mirror will reflect light very well and provide an effective deterrent for pigeons. Small mirrors can work on a window sill.
  • Old CDs: If you have a bird table or feeder that you want to deter pigeons from then hanging an old CD is a simple home remedy to try. They are small and using string can help them move in the wind for more reflectivity.

Choosing reflective surfaces to deter pigeons will take advantage of their natural responses, but it does not cause any distress. Reflective surfaces are more of a confusion to a pigeon – and will result in them simply nesting elsewhere.


Plastic owl

Pigeons cannot tell the difference between a real owl in a tree and a false one. As a result, mock owls or other static items can be effective pigeon scarers. You can easily place bird scarers at strategic points that are particularly problematic.

The following are some tips for scaring pigeons away from a nesting area:

  • Brightly-coloured balls: The spherical shape of a ball will trick a pigeon into believing it is the eye of a predator. You can try placing old tennis balls on sticks or on the end of fence posts to scare them away from the area.
  • Predator decoys: Pigeons are smart but, from a distance, they can not tell the difference between a real predatory bird or a decoy. You can purchase plastic models of owls, herons and falcons to warn off curious pigeons.
  • Ultrasonic sound devices: Using a machine that emits ultrasonic sound, that only birds can hear, will stop pigeons from nesting in an area. Ultrasonic sound is less of a scare tactic and more of an irritant to birds.

Choosing bird scarers is arguably less humane than other approaches because they trick the pigeons into thinking they are in danger. However, pigeons are resilient and will seek out other nesting areas and scarers do no physical harm.


City pigeons in the street

There are many ways to make a pigeon fly away and find another roosting space or tree, one of which is to make use of bird gels. Bird gels create an ultraviolet light that resembles flames in the mind of a pigeon, so wards them off very well.

You can buy bird gels and place them in areas yourself, remember the following tips:

  • Place gels in the direct vicinity of pigeons: Pigeons need to be close to bird gels, which can make them difficult to place on high levels such as balcony spaces or near solar panels. Magnetic gel pots can help with placement.
  • Give birds the full access: Gels work by sight, smell and touch, each of which deters a pigeon – so make sure they are visible, not masked by other outdoor smells such as bins and are in a location where a pigeon can touch them.
  • Space them out evenly: Bird gels will work only in their specific area, so if you are hoping to keep pigeons away from a larger space using this deterrent then you need multiple gel pots that are evenly spread out.

Bird gels are made from natural oils, the smell of which pigeons also dislike. Again, this method manipulates the birds’ natural responses, so will cause alarm – but causes no physical damage whatsoever and is entirely humane.


White naphthalene balls on white wooden background

If you are looking to try a home remedy then making use of strong-smelling substances, something that pigeons hate, is a good option. Many of the smells that pigeons dislike are from common household items, so they are easy to try at home.

Remember the following when trying to deter pigeons with strong-smelling substances:

  • Mix with vinegar and water: Vinegar is a strong-smelling substance that you can combine with fiery peppers and spices – such as cayenne or cinnamon. This combination will make for a more potent deterrent.
  • Use a spray bottle: Putting your mixture into a spray bottle is an easy way to coat the area evenly. It is also much easier to keep an existing spray bottle to hand instead of concocting a new mixture each time you need it.
  • Try mothballs: Aside from spicy smells, pigeons particularly hate mothballs – similar to those you might use to protect clothes. You can try placing mothballs at specific points in n area, which eliminates the need for spray.

When using smells to deter pigeons you should remember to keep applying this smell to the affected area, as there will be a loss of potency over time. Pigeons simply avoid the smells they dislike and there is zero distress or physical harm.


Anti-pigeon netting

Choosing bird netting is a very humane, cheap and instantly effective way of keeping pigeons away from an area. Bird netting is particularly effective on a balcony or near a bird table that is only meant for smaller birds.

The following are some benefits of using bird netting to deter pigeons:

  • Weatherproof: When bird proofing buildings weather can diminish the effectiveness of certain methods, particularly those that rely on smell or sound. Bird netting is very strong and will work year-round in all weather.
  • Useful for all areas: If you want to cover a statue or other space, such as bin stores, netting is effective as it is possible to install it over any shape or object – including specific trees and plants or air conditioning units, for example.
  • Discrete: Choosing bird netting is a discrete way of deterring pigeons, and the netting is almost invisible even at short distances. The combination of being discrete and highly-effective makes netting a good all-round option.

Bird netting requires a professional installation to work properly, particularly when installing at a high level. As a result, netting is not the best home remedy for deterring pigeons as it requires skill and safety equipment to carry out.


Bird and pigeon spike deterrents

Bird spikes might look domineering and scary, but they do not harm the pigeons. Birds can navigate into many very tight spaces without any problem, and the spikes simply push them off of an area should they try to land.

Choosing bird spikes is a good deterrent for the following reasons:

  • Suitable for specific areas: When you are not covering a large space and simply have a problem area then bird spikes are a wonderful way to provide a targeted deterrent. Target areas may include bird feeders for small birds.
  • Durable and long-lasting: Many deterrents lose their effectiveness over time, but spikes are usually made from stainless steel and have polycarbonate bases – so they will not fall off and will work for a long time.
  • Low-maintenance: There is no additional maintenance necessary for bird spikes once they are in place. You can enjoy the benefits of bird spikes for many years as well as throughout all kinds of weather.

The drawback to bird spikes is that they require professional installation and proper spacing for them to be effective. If bird spikes are too far apart then they will potentially make the area more desirable for roosting pigeons to build their nests.


The above sections highlight the top recommendations of how to deter pigeons, with minimal hassle and with the best results. Many of the methods are suitable for people to try themselves and home remedies may work in many cases.

We are experts in pest control and provide a wide variety of bird deterrent options for our clients, so we have the knowledge to suggest the most effective methods. If you would like a professional solution for deterring pigeons please get in touch.