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News, little truths and wisdom regarding Pest Bird & Animal Wildlife Control, Falconry, and Birds of Prey....


raccoon indoorsDid you know that Toronto has been dubbed the ‘Raccoon Capitol of the World’? Estimates put Toronto’s raccoon population well over 100,000. Originally from the tropics, raccoons have slowly migrated north and can now be found all over North America - as far north as Alaska, as well as in Europe and even Japan. In fact, Japan is bemoaning many ancient temples being destroyed by raccoons. Raccoons are highly adaptive, both in terms of habitat and food. Scientists have studied raccoons for decades and still aren’t close to fully understanding raccoon behavior. Raccoons are intelligent and highly skilled when it comes to raiding your garbage or gaining entry into your home. Learn how to prevent raccoons from accessing your home or failing that, remove them.

Greater Toronto Area residents may come nose to nose with a raccoon or five more so now, during the fall months, than most other times of year. And while you may be sympathetic to the animals seeking shelter for the upcoming winter months, you definitely do not want that shelter be in your home, shed, or under your deck or roof.


Why is there more raccoon activity in the fall?

The inevitable drop in temperature occurring anywhere from September to late November, is the signal for raccoons to make provisions for surviving the harsh Canadian winter. A warm, dry, and quiet space is most desirable… and your basement or attic, shed or garage may be a perfect fit. You will want to put a stop to that before one or more raccoons can settle in and hunker down. While raccoons do not hibernate, per say, they do enter a state called torpor – basically a very light version of hibernation. While in a state of torpor, raccoons will mostly sleep; their body functions will slow to bare minimum to conserve energy and body weight. Torpor may be interrupted by a couple of days of warmer temperatures, where raccoons may venture out at night for a snack.


How can you discourage raccoons from moving in for the winter?

Raccoon prevention is always better, easier, faster, and cheaper than raccoon removal. First off, take a walk around the outside of your home, your shed, garage, or any other outbuildings. Check for holes, tears, missing shingles, have a look at your foundation… anything that could be or become an access point. Don’t forget to trim tree branches that lead straight to your roof. Securely store away household garbage and eliminate any other food or water source, as much as possible. Also check your chimney – consider adding a chimney cap. In Toronto, call the Raccoon Control experts at Hawkeye to assess any vulnerability and do the repairs needed to keep your home raccoon free this winter.


A raccoon got into your home or attic – now what?

Now is definitely the time to call the professionals. All of Hawkeye’s Animal Control technicians are licensed trappers. There are a variety of raccoon traps available and we will discuss the options with you. We’ll want to make sure the raccoon(s) can be removed from your home humanely and without coming to harm. Once the animal is removed, we will clean and disinfect the area and close up any entry points.

Please don’t attempt to do this part yourself. Raccoon feces are toxic and should only be handled by professionals.


What if it’s the end of winter and you discover raccoons in your home or attic?

Ah, now things may be more complicated. You may now have a mother with kits living with you. A female raccoon will give birth to her offspring as early as March and she will do what she must to protect her young. Her offspring may stay with her throughout the year. You absolutely do not want to try and remove her and/or the kits by yourself. Mama raccoon will almost certainly be extremely aggressive and under no circumstance do you want to separate her from her kits. Please call a wildlife specialist such as Hawkeye if you need to remove a raccoon family.


Should you wait until the raccoons leave on their own?

No, you should not. Raccoon excrement (feces and urin) is highly corrosive and will almost definitely damage any structure. The odor, of course, is not desirable, either. Additionally, raccoons are the #1 carrier of rabies and a number of parasites such as roundworm.


In conclusion: Fall is the time of year where securing your home, business, or outbuildings is of utmost importance. Preventing raccoons from gaining access will save you much money and stress. Call Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control today for an assessment and/or for your raccoon conrol and removal needs in the Greater Toronto Area.


Hire Hawkeye to Rid Your Property of Raccoons

Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control services residential, commercial, and industrial properties in the Greater Toronto Area, Golden Horseshoe, and many parts of Florida. Unlike other wildlife control services in the GTA, Hawkeye holds the following licenses: Trapping of Fur Bearing Animals Permit, Falconry Permit, and Pest Control LicenseThis allows us to employ control methods in addition to the relocation of captured raccoons.

We are also the only pest bird and animal/wildlife control company in the country designated "Certified Wildlife Control Professional" and we are permitted to euthanize pest animals in accordance with the Canadian Veterinary Association’s standards.

Our services include animal and bird controlfalconry experiencebalcony cleaning and netting, cleaning and exclusion. We guarantee results and offer permanent solutions that exceed our competitors.

Hawkeye specializes in providing humane and natural, environmentally friendly services, solutions, products and systems for pest animals and wildlife who are in conflict with humans or property. Control methods include, animal removal, repellents, barriers as well as human protection from damage, disease & health hazards.

Now with 7 Locations ( 6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton,  Toronto, Oshawa,  Bowmanville,  two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.

Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest wildlife/animal control and/or pest animal removal. 

Pest wildlife animals like BatsBears (Black, Brown), BeaversBobcatsCats - Domestic (Feline), ChipmunksCoyotesDeerElkFox,  GroundhogMartenMinkMooseMuskratPorcupinePossum/Opossum, RabbitsRaccoonsSkunksSquirrels (Black, Grey, Red) and  Lynx

Related Articles: Raccoon Control and Removal in Mississauga »


pigeon control in toronto"Feeding pigeons" may invoke visions of Julie Andrews and 'Tuppence a bag' but in the City of Toronto that may well become a thing of the past. In July 2021 a motion was passed to consider a ban of feeding pigeons in the City of Toronto. The reasons given included piegons gathering in large flocks interfering with the enjoyment of public as well as private spaces, significant property damage, attraction of rats and health risks to humans

Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam brought forth the motion which is set to explore the feasibility of implementing such a ban with a report back expected next March. 

To put things into perspective, the City of Toronto spends a small fortune each year on pigeon control and associated clean-up. Property Management Compnaies spend millions more. Pigeon droppings are more than just unsightly; they do pose health risks and due to their acidic nature they do cause a fair bit of damage to structures such as buildings (especially, historic ones), monuments, and perhaps most importantly bridges and overpasses. Steel structures in particular fall vicitm to corosion from bird droppings.

Toronto has a well fed and well bred pigeon population. For many years, pigeons were a protected species and their population allowed to grow - out of control, by many accounts. There are no specific City by-laws that restrict or prevent individuals from feeding wildlife outside of a City park. As a result, public spaces such as sidewalks, plazas, boulevards, squares, and laneways are overwhelmingly inundated with pigeons who continue to be attracted to these spaces. 

So, what can you do to deter pigeons? 

First off, as a concerned citizen you really should NOT feed pigeons. In Toronto, or elsewhere. Ban or no ban.

Secondly, as a home or business owner you will probably want to consult with a Pigeon Control and Removal expert, such as Hawkeye.

There is rarely a one time or one-fits-all solution and a multi pronged approach in terms of pigeon control methods is most effective. We use proprietary pigeon traps that work extremely well. We often pair trapping with Falconry - the practice of flying birds of prey in areas heavily infested with pigeons. In contrast to 'fake' bird of prey (see below), real hawks or falcons pose actual danger to pigoens, and they know it. Taking advantage of the natural relationship between bird of prey and prey, we are able to achieve consitent pigeon control without lethal measures.

For high rise buildings, corporate signage, etc., a physical barrier may be in order - we do that, as well. From balcony netting (and cleaning/disinfecting) to installing a range of pigeon deterrants and ledge protection systems. All of these methods are designed to work in the long term by making an area unattractive, unsuitable, or unsafe for pigeon roosting and nesting.


Do 'fake owls' keep pigeons away?

No, they do not. At least, not over any length of time. Pigeons will learn very quickly that there is no real danger and ignore the owl (or other prop).


Do sound devices keep pigeons away?

Again, not over a polonged period of time, no. Pigeons will get used to the sound emitted, learn that there is no danger, and happily resume congregation.


Contact Hawkeye Bird & Animal Control and let us help you get rid of pigeons at your home or business.

Now with 7 Locations ( 6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton, Toronto, Oshawa, Bowmanville, two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.
Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest bird control and/or pest bird removal.

Pest Birds like CormorantsCrowsDucksDovesGeeseGrackelsSeagullsPigeonsRobinsSparrows and Starlings.

pigeons health risksCan you get sick from pigeons?

Pigeons in general do carry a lot of disease but most are not transferrable to humans. The one way humans can contract diseases from pigeons is by exposure to their droppings. You do not need to be in direct contact with pigeon droppings to contract the diseases it carries; these diseases can become airborne and enter your system unknowingly. With enough exposure you may begin to experience flu like symptoms or lung disease.

For those who have had minimal exposure and are in good health, it is unlikely to experience any symptoms at all from these diseases. The majority of people who have contracted diseases from pigeon droppings have recovered with no medical intervention, and if needed there are medications that can combat these diseases. If you have concerns that you have contracted one of these diseases and are experiencing severe symptoms you should go to your nearest emergency room. If your symptoms seem quite mild, you will likely recover on your own.


Can pigeon diseases kill you?

Yes pigeon diseases can kill you, while it is unlikely. Pigeon dropping related diseases can cause problems like pneumonia and even meningitis in the most extreme cases. That being said, the best way to avoid contracting pigeon-related diseases is to stay away from their droppings.

In big cities like Toronto, there are pigeons everywhere, and their droppings are also everywhere. But keep in mind that these small amounts are unlikely to make you ill if you are just walking by. On the other hand, if you see areas with large amounts of pigeon droppings in public, you should avoid these areas altogether. If you are a property owner and have large amounts of pigeon droppings on your property, you may require professional intervention including pigeon trapping and pigeon poop clean up which hawkeye can provide.


Why are pigeons harmful?

Pigeons themselves are not harmful in the sense that it is unlikely to get attacked by a pigeon, but their poop can be harmful both to your health and property. Pigeon poop contains diseases that can become airborne and infect humans unknowingly. Although the symptoms from these diseases are mostly quite mild, they can become severe and require medical intervention.

Pigeons are also harmful to your property. Pigeon droppings contain uric acid which can deteriorate roofing materials and other surfaces over time as they are highly corrosive. Many commercial and residential properties in Toronto suffer from property damage from pigeon droppings.

There are many solutions available when it comes to dealing with pigeons. Hawkeye offers cleaning, exclusion, and trapping of pigeons. Solutions are unique to each property and depend on many factors including accessibility, the number of pigeons, and their activities (perching or nesting).


Is pigeon poop harmful to humans?

Yes pigeon poop can be harmful to humans. Pigeon poop can cause diseases in humans through the inhalation of airborne particles. Many people who contract these diseases do not experience symptoms, but those that do are usually immunocompromised individuals. It is best to avoid contact with pigeon poop and if you have a large amount of pigeon poop on your property / balcony you should avoid the surrounding area until it can be properly cleaned.

Cleaning pigeon poop is not a fun activity, and many people want to leave the work to the professionals. If you are to clean up pigeon poop on your own there are certain precautions you should take to protect your health. Wearing gloves, a face mask, and safety glasses are the bare minimum in terms of protection from harmful diseases; depending on the extent of the mess you may require a ventilated mask.


Can you get sick from pigeon poop?

 The short answer is yes, but here are the facts. The four main diseases to be worried about in terms of pigeons are Salmonellosis, Psittacosis, Histoplasmosis, and Cryptococcosis. All of these diseases are contracted through the inhalation of dried pigeon droppings. Although most cases are mild, it is possible to experience serious illness and it is always advised to take extreme caution and use the proper protective equipment when working with or cleaning up pigeon droppings.

Some are at a higher risk than others for contracting these diseases including individuals who have long term exposure, fail to wear protective equipment while cleaning, and those who have a compromised immune system. Although these people are at a higher risk to contract these diseases, many people who are not immunocompromised do not experience any symptoms at all.


What diseases are caused by pigeon droppings?

 There are many different diseases to be worried about in terms of pigeons including Salmonellosis, Psittacosis, Histoplasmosis, and Cryptococcosis. These diseases can pose serious health risks and in rare cases can be fatal although many cases can be solved without medical intervention.

Salmonellosis is caused by Salmonella bacteria. This disease, as with all others listed above, is contracted by the inhalation of airborne particles. This bacteria is usually the cause of food poisoning and causes the same symptoms when contracted through pigeon droppings. Usually the onset of these symptoms is within 24-48 hours and surpasses entirely within 7 days with no medical intervention.


Psittacosis also known as parrot fever is caused by a bacteria, Chlamydia psittaci. Those exposed to this disease will experience symptoms (if any) within a couple weeks that resemble that of the flu. A simple blood test is able to identify the presence of this bacteria so if you are concerned, there is an easy way to see if you have contracted this disease.

Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus named Histoplasma. This fungus lives in pigeon droppings and soil and when inhaled can pose health risks. Most cases show no signs or symptoms when infected, but those with existing conditions like emphysema can develop a chronic disease which exhibits symptoms similar to tuberculosis.

Cryptococcosis is also caused by a fungus, except this particular fungus is called Cryptococcosis neoformans. This is the most dangerous of all the diseases listed as this infection has the capacity to move from your lungs to your brain, and throughout your entire body. It is not isolated to your respiratory or digestive systems. In the majority of cases, this disease only causes infection in the lungs leaving patients with little to no symptoms, but when left untreated can lead to meningitis. The onset of this disease will happen within two weeks of exposure.


What are the signs and symptoms of Histoplasmosis?

 Histoplasmosis is a fungal disease that has a wide range of symptoms ranging from no symptoms at all to chronic histoplasmosis (similar to tuberculosis) or even death in extreme cases. Signs to look out for include dry cough, chest pain, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and joint pain.

Most cases of Histoplasmosis leave those infected experiencing little to no symptoms. Although unfortunately, those with existing lung conditions are at higher risk for developing chronic histoplasmosis. This chronic condition causes bloody cough and symptoms of tuberculosis including chest pain, weakness, chills, fever, weight loss, and fatigue.

Although unlikely, it is possible for this disease to remain dormant in your body for years producing no symptoms until far down the road from the point of exposure so always ensure you protect yourself with the proper protective equipment when dealing around pigeon droppings.


What are the signs and symptoms of Psittacosis?

 Psittacosis is a bacterial disease that has a range of symptoms that are mostly mild but can become severe if prolonged symptoms are left untreated. Mild symptoms include muscle pains, cough, chills, headache, and fever. More severe symptoms include chest pain, pneumonia, and difficulty breathing.


Although this disease is very rare in humans, it can become quite serious once infected so be sure to use the proper precautions when you are cleaning or in the presence of pigeon poop. Proper protective equipment including gloves, mask, and googles should be warn whenever in contact or in the vicinity of large amounts of pigeon droppings.


How do you clean pigeon droppings?

 When cleaning pigeon droppings the most important thing is protection from potential diseases. Wearing a mask, gloves, and googles / safety glasses is recommended at all times. This personal protective equipment with protect you from breathing in airborne particles and will keep your hands clean to avoid spreading germs to other locations.

To start, the bulk of the pigeon droppings should be swept or shovelled into double bags and disposed of. If possible, steam cleaning is the most effective solution to clean and sanitize areas affected by pigeon poop. In some cases pressure washing may be used instead. If there is no access to a water attachment or you are on a balcony with no drainage, this solution is not feasible and hand tools must be used instead. Hand tools include brushes and scrapers and will require the use of a diluted bleach or disinfectant to properly clean and sanitize the area. Using hand tools on porous materials can be difficult and may require using boiling water to properly disinfect the area. Hawkeye offers cleaning services for those who do not want to risk cleaning by themselves and more information can be found at hawkeye.ca.


How do I get rid of pigeon poop on my balcony?

Balconies are the perfect place for pigeons to perch, nest, and poop. The mess that these birds make can render your balcony unusable. Luckily there are solutions available to solve these problems. Hawkeye offers balcony netting and clean up to keep the pigeons off your balcony for good.

Balcony netting is designed to keep pigeons from perching on your balcony and accessing your balcony all together. This netting is made of a black 2 inch heavy duty, polyethylene, 4 strand, knotted twine. This netting comes with a 10 year warranty on materials and workmanship and is the perfect way to keep pigeons off your balcony permanently.

In terms of clean up, different tools can be used depending on accessibility and practicality.  Most balconies do not provide access to use a pressure washer or steam cleaner, which leaves only hand tools to perform clean up. Cleaning up the bulk of poop and nesting material is done using brooms and shovels. Deep cleaning is done using brushes and scrapers. Most surfaces will allow us to use a diluted bleach solution which will help to sanitize and clean the surfaces contaminated with droppings. When only hand tools are used, if available, we may require the customer to provide us with some boiling water to assist in stubborn clean ups.


How much does it cost to remove a pigeon?

 When it comes to removing pigeons from your property Hawkeye has many solutions including trapping, excluding, and cleaning. What is required for your property can be determined by one of our Hawkeye technicians during an initial inspection and a quote and recommendation will be made for your specific situation.

Pigeon trapping includes the live trapping of pigeons and humane euthanizing of caught pigeons as to permanently remove the nuisance birds from your property. Depending on the amount of pigeons frequently seen on your property a decision will be made between the customer and the technician as to how many traps should be installed on site. To install one trap the cost is $599 + tax per month with a three month minimum. For each additional trap there is a fee of $199 + tax per month.

Pigeon poop cleaning is quoted based on two different things; types of tools used (power vs hand tools) and how long it will take for us to clean. In general the minimum cost for clean up is $350 + tax for two hours MAXIMUM with each additional hour being charged at $175 + tax. Large jobs may be quoted by the day instead.

Balcony netting is the main form of exclusion used for residential customers in condo or apartment buildings dealing with pigeon problems. The cost for balcony netting ranges depending on the size of the balcony, starting at $365 for balconies between 0-10 ft.

We also offer other exclusion services including bird spikes, flex track, bird slide, bird wire, and netting for areas other than balconies. All of these exclusion methods can be used to prevent pigeons from perching or nesting in problem areas around your property. These products range greatly in price and the prices are determined based on the size of project, equipment required, man power required, and materials required. These projects can range from a few hundred dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and will be quoted individually on a case to case basis. To obtain a quote or to learn more about the products we offer please visit our website at hawkeye.ca or contact us at 416-HAWKEYE.


Now with 7 Locations (6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in ActonTorontoOshawaBowmanville, two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.
Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest bird control and/or pest bird removal.

Pest Birds like CormorantsCrowsDucksDovesGeeseGrackelsSeagullsPigeonsRobinsSparrows and Starlings.


pigeon control and removalFeral pigeons (Columba livia domestica)  are descendants from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild rock dove, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. Rock, domestic, and feral pigeons are all the same species and will readily (and successfully) interbreed.

Having adapted to urban terrain, pigeons claim roof tops and ledges as nesting grounds and are seen in towns and cities everywhere. In addition to leaving highly unsightly and massively corrosive excrement, pigeons are also carriers of diseases transmittable to humans.

Hawkeye specializes in the removal (abatement) of nuisance birds, or pest birds, such as pigeons. We use a variety of methods to help control the number of pigeons in urban settings.

How do I permanently get rid of pigeons?

Contrary to what you may hear or read, tin foil, plastic owls, or noise makers are temporary, at best. These type of  ‘repellents’ may work for a few days but, the birds learn quickly that there is no real threat and ignore them in short succession. A multiple method approach is your best bet for a long term solution. The key to getting rid of pigeons is to make the area unappealing to them. The least invasive and most effective way to do this is with the use of falconry. Birds of prey are highly effective,  scaring a large number of pigeons away from any area. Falconry, combined with other methods such as trapping, shooting, and physical changes to their roosting and nesting areas are effective long term solutions.  We alter their nesting areas or restrict access to them  through the use of ledge protection systems and netting. Coil, spring wire, spikes, bird points and netting are all additional solutions for pigeon control, but it takes an expert to know when, where and how to use them to have an impact and it depends solely on the type of pressure the birds are causing. We are equipped to provide solutions for any type of bird pressure. 

Hawkeye is the #1 Pigeon Control & Removal Specialist in the Toronto and Greater Toronto/Golden Horseshoe areas.

Why do pigeons keep coming back to my house?

Pigeons are known for their strong homing sense. That is the ability to find their way back to their roost no matter where they are. That’s why we had carrier pigeons. Studies have shown that pigeons use the Earth’s magnetic fields for orientation. Pigeons also use their keen sense of smell to locate their roost, their mate, and/or food sources.

Once they’ve settled and begun nesting in one location, their biology calls them back over and over.

What is the best way to scare pigeons?

Falconry – Birds of Prey.
Taking advantage of the natural relationship between predator and prey, we are able to scare away large flocks of pigeons by simply releasing a raptor in the area. No birds need to be killed; the pigeons will happily relocate to get as far away from the bird of prey as possible. We do this several times, and a previously suitable nesting spot is no longer safe or attractive and will be abandoned for good.

How do you get rid of pigeons legally?

It very depends on where you live. Generally speaking, in Ontario it is not illegal to kill a feral pigeon. Of course, you may not discharge a firearm in city limits –any city limits. But individual municipalities have their own sets of rules. In Mississauga, for example, IT IS ILLEGAL to kill pigeons or any other wildlife. You could remove pigeon nests and eggs but chances are, the parents would just start all over. To truly take control of your pigeon problem you will need the help of professionals – such as Hawkeye.

Is it illegal to remove a pigeon nest?

In Ontario it is no illegal to remove a pigeon nest or its eggs. Depending on where you live, there may be municipal bylaws concerning further measures, though.

When can you remove a pigeon nest?

The best way to eliminate bird nests from your property is to prevent them from being built  in the first place. The best time to remove a nest is when it is still in the building stage. After that, remove the nest before eggs are hatched and again when the nest is inactive.

What do pigeons hate?

 Pigeons hate the sight or presence of birds of prey. This is what makes falconry such a successful deterrent in getting rid of pigeon populations. Additionally, pigeons do not like strong smells, such as cinnamon or hot pepper juice or spray. Ledge protection systems that prevent landing or nesting are also disliked by pigeons.

What home remedy gets rid of pigeons?

Again, anything in terms of noise or movement will not have a lasting effect. Once the pigeons realize that there is no real threat, the effect is gone. There are some smells that seem to deter pigeons, at least for a while. Pigeons are thought to dislike anything spicy or sour… you might try something like chili powder or vinegar.

Additionally, make sure you are not unintentionally feeding them. Secure your trash, keep an eye on bird feeders and frequently clean up any spills.

How much does it cost to remove a pigeon?

The cost to remove pigeons very much depends on the bird pressure (how many pigeons), the affected area, and the control methods used. Control methods will be dictated by bird pressure, location, and other environmental factors.

Contact us to determine the most effective way to rid you of your pigeon problem.


Health hazards associated with Pigeons

Pigeons pose a health hazard to humans as they carry Salmonella and Chlamydophila psittaci, a bacteria that causes psittacosis, a serious, although rarely fatal disease for humans.


Physical damage caused by Pigeons

Pigeons cause millions of dollars of damage in urban areas every year. Their feces have uric acid which is extremely corrosive. Pigeon flocks nesting or roosting on a roof will seriously corrode the roofing materials, cutting its life in half. They cause extensive damage to rooftop machinery like air conditioning units. Other economic costs include slip and fall liability, product contamination and risk to company/building reputation as buildings are seen as unclean and dirty.


Now with 7 Locations (6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton, Toronto, Oshawa, Bowmanville, two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.
Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest bird control and/or pest bird removal.

Pest Birds like CormorantsCrowsDucksDovesGeeseGrackelsSeagullsPigeonsRobinsSparrows and Starlings.


Bird Control Services in West Palm Beach, Florida »  | Please contact us for services in other Canadian Provinces and the U.S.


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