The pigeon, also known as the “rock dove” averages approximately 32 cm in length. Although they can vary in colouring, typically the pigeon has a dark gray head, iridescent neck, a light gray back, 2 dark wing bars, and white lower back feathers.
Habits & Behaviours
Pigeons are the most common pest birds we deal with in the bird exclusion services industry. They do not fly south during the winter months and are active all year round. Flocks of pigeons can be found roosting and nesting in abundance in our cities, parks, residential and commercial businesses properties and farms throughout Ontario. They build their nests in or on hard-to-reach places, such as in attics, in and on covered crevices along building ledges, in and on beams and rafters of buildings and barns and quite often they will seek shelter within HVAC units in houses, buildings or in hidden-away places under bridges.
Complaints & Destruction
Pigeons can deface the look of your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial property with their excessive and unsanitary droppings on sidewalks, parking lots, window ledges, balconies, vehicles and exteriors of residential and commercial properties. Their feces are extremely foul and contain highly corrosive uric acid that can eat through many surfaces. Pigeons and their feces are carriers of bacteria, viruses and a variety of parasites which may present a health hazard. Their feces may also contaminate buildings through HVAC systems and by being tracked inside the property. Pigeon droppings, feathers, and debris caused from roosting and nesting can block HVAC systems, drains, vents, gutters, and eavestroughing. It is estimated that pigeons are responsible for millions of dollars of damage each year.
Major Risks & Dangers
Pigeon nests consist of materials that are highly flammable and therefore, when nests are constructed near electrical boxes/wires or inside machinery, there is a very high risk of fire!
Pigeons carry allergens, parasites, bacteria and other health risks to humans. Their droppings contain infectious diseases such as histoplasmosis and air circulation systems can quickly spread foul odours and these contaminants throughout. Droppings on pavement can become slippery when wet posing a safety hazard to passing pedestrians and allowing dropping to be tracked into properties. Pigeons carry parasites such as fleas and ticks. Dead and decomposing pigeons can cause displaced parasites, other pest infestations, cause staining and putrid odours that can last for months and can contaminate the water supply.
Leaking & damaged roofs, water damage and flooding
Damage from pigeon droppings and destructive nesting habits can deteriorate a roof so badly that the roof will leak and could possibly cave in. Nesting material, debris, feathers, and even dead birds can block guttering and drains and cause flooding and costly water damage to roofs, ceilings, walls and floors.
Damaged & collapsing ceilings
Pigeons have been known to gain access to attics of properties and build large scale nests. As a result, the weight of the droppings and debris can severely damage and eventually collapse an entire ceiling.
Compromising energy efficiency
Debris, droppings, nesting materials, and feathers can contaminate insulation and clog up ventilation systems causing them to work inefficiently or breakdown.
Structure & surface damages
Pigeons’ destructive nesting habits and highly corrosive droppings can cause extensive damage to roofs, eaves, vents, chimneys siding, insulation and other exterior/interior surfaces of properties.
Machinery, equipment & vehicle damages
Pigeon droppings and debris can also extensively damage HVAC systems, industrial machinery, other various equipment, and vehicles and cause humans operating or servicing the machinery, equipment, etc. to become exposed to serious health risks.
Pigeons are monogamous birds that tend to mate for life. They can breed throughout the year, even during winter, and typically raise four or five broods annually that consist of one or two young per brood. Both the female and male take turns incubating the eggs and gestation normally lasts between 12 and18 days. The young are nourished by parents during the first weeks of life. The young are full grown at approxinately 30 days and reach sexual maturity at 6 months.
Pigeons are omnivores and prefer seeds and grains. However, they will also eat various insects and worms and scavenge on any food scraps that are available to them.
To reduce the risk of pigeons roosting and nesting in or on your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial property, bird proofing/ exclusion is the best prevention.
The dangers associated with bird feces gives reason to never attempt to exclude a bird infestation yourself. If you have a flock of pigeons roosting/nesting in or on your residential, recreational/cottage, or commecial property, it is best to let the professionals do the job of safely and humanely removing the birds, decontaminating the areas affected and provide you with exclusion/proofing services to prevent further infestations. Please contact us today or see our Bird Control Services section for further information on the types of services and solutions we can provide.