Feral Pigeons: Are Pigeons Vermin?

Over the years, our relationship with pigeons has changed considerably. In the UK alone, there are around 18 million feral and wood pigeons. Whenever we visit the park, city or town centre there always seems to be a group of pigeons clustered around the bins and cafes. They tend to hang around these places because of the readily available food sources. Herein lies the problem. We wouldn’t let other pests roam the streets freely – so why are pigeons allowed to? Are pigeons vermin and shouldn’t they be controlled?

Why Are Pigeons Vermin?

Pigeons are sometimes referred to as flying rats, as both pests have similarities. Pigeons are a Essex big bird control nuisance, that will spill rubbish and leave their droppings everywhere. Feral pigeons are also a big contributor to building corrosion. Also, holes in roofs are easy access to a feral pigeon, causing costly damage as they go.

domesticated pigeons

Are pigeons vermin when they are let loose in urban settings? In many respects – yes. They are considered to be a species of pest by the council, and by those who work in the pest control industry. A lot of people in Essex keep pigeons as a hobby. Are pigeons vermin when they’re domesticated? No, because these pigeons have been fully vaccinated against the diseases feral pigeons carry.

Now you know the answer to the question are pigeons vermin, let’s take a closer look at the problems they cause.

Damage To Your Property

Pigeon activity around your building can result in a lot of problems. Pigeons are more than capable of lifting and destroying roofing tiles to gain access to a property. Having these holes in your roof will allow water to get in too, leading to damp and eventually decay. Pigeons also block up your drainage systems with feathers and nest materials.

blocked drain

It’s the nesting activity of feral pigeons that you really have to watch out for. They build nests very quickly in drains and guttering, blocking these almost immediately. With abandoned buildings, this can be a particular problem. This is because the issue goes unnoticed for extended periods of time.

Feral Pigeons Carry Fleas

Why else are pigeons vermin? One reason pigeons are considered vermin is because they carry parasites and fleas like other vermin. On top of a pigeon problem, a flea infestation is the last thing you want or need.

Feral Pigeon Faeces

Another reason is that they carry all the diseases you would expect from vermin in their faeces. Pigeon droppings pose a huge public health risk. This is particularly true if they have managed to nest inside a building.

pogeon on an essex building

Within a pigeons faces are some diseases that can potentially be life threatening. Having to be around pigeon poo or work alongside it can be extremely dangerous. Dealing with a build-up of pigeon droppings can also be expensive as special treatments have to be used.

Controlling Feral Pigeons

Because feral pigeons are indeed vermin, it’s important to control them. There are a few techniques you can use to control pigeons from entering or being around your property. Here are some of the most common methods professional Brentwood pest control companies use or suggest.

  • Using predators – More recently, predatory birds such as hawks and falcons have been used to scare pigeons away. This is a completely natural method of pest control. If a feral pigeon doesn’t feel safe in their nest due to a predator, they will move away from that area.
hawks and falcons
  • Reduce food sources – This is one of the most successful long term measures for feral pigeon control. Reducing their food source will reduce the number of pigeons. They will instead choose to nest closer to a better food source for their young.
  • Trapping – A number of baited live traps can be used if it’s just one or two pigeons causing the problem. Traps should only be set by a professional, as there are certain laws that have to be followed.
  • Removing the nests – If a feral pigeon has no nest to return to it won’t go back. Removing these nesting sites reduces the reproduction of feral pigeons and encourages them to find a new home. This also stop nesting detritus from blocking up drains and gutters.

If you are currently experiencing a feral pigeon problem in your home or business, give Pest Exterminators Essex a call on 01245 526726. If you want to get rid of pigeons and don’t know what to do – or what the law allows – get in touch with our team today.

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