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Dan Frankian is an accomplished falconer, using his skills to provide a natural alternative to chemical and product driven Bird, Animal, and Pest Control in the Toronto and Golden Horseshoe Area... Read more »

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Pigeons might seem harmless, but they can be a real nuisance if they decide to make your property their home.

The reasons for their return are often rooted in their natural behavior and the environment we provide for them. Understanding pigeon behavior is crucial for effective control and prevention. By knowing what attracts them and how they live, you can implement strategies to deter them from returning.

Pigeon flying against blurred background

So if you’re wondering "Why do pigeons keep coming back to my house?" you're not alone, but there are solutions!

Understanding Pigeon Behavior

To effectively deal with pigeon problems, and answer “How do I keep pigeons away from my house?” it's essential to understand their natural habits and instincts.

Pigeons are highly adaptable birds that thrive in urban environments. They are attracted to areas that provide easy access to food and shelter, which is why they are often found in cities and towns.

The Attraction of Food and Shelter

One of the primary reasons pigeons keep returning to your house is the availability of food and shelter. Pigeons are not picky eaters and will feast on anything from leftover human food to seeds and insects. Accessible food sources, such as open trash bins or spilled food on the ground, are like a buffet for these birds.

To prevent this, you’ll want to ensure that your garbage is securely covered and clean up any food spills promptly. Shelter is another significant factor.

Pigeons seek out safe, warm areas to roost and nest; unfortunately, our homes provide plenty of such spots. Attics, ledges, and areas under solar panels are perfect for pigeons looking for a cozy place to settle down. To deter them, consider installing physical barriers like spikes or netting in these areas to make them less accessible.

Social Habit

Pigeons are social birds that thrive in the company of their kind. Their flocking behavior is a key aspect of their survival, as it provides safety in numbers and helps them locate food sources.

They communicate through coos and body language, sharing information about food and shelter.

This social nature means that once a few pigeons find your property attractive, more will likely follow. They tend to return to areas where they find other pigeons, creating a cycle that can be hard to break. Disrupting their social gatherings by removing food sources and roosting spots can help reduce their numbers.

Nesting Instincts and Reproduction

Pigeons have strong nesting instincts, which drive them to seek out safe and sheltered spots for laying their eggs. Once they find a suitable location, they are likely to return to it repeatedly. This behavior is why you might notice pigeons consistently nesting in the same areas of your property.

Moreover, pigeons reproduce quickly, with the ability to raise several broods of chicks each year. This rapid reproduction rate can lead to a small pigeon problem turning into an infestation in a short period. Managing their nesting sites and deterring them from breeding on your property are crucial steps in controlling their population.

But even knowing this all, you might still be asking “Why do pigeons keep coming back to my house?”

Why Do Pigeons Keep Coming Back To My House?

To effectively address the issue of pigeons repeatedly returning to your property, it's crucial to understand the specific reasons that attract them to your home.

By identifying and mitigating these attractants, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of pigeon infestations.

Available Food Sources

Pigeons are attracted to a variety of food sources commonly found around homes, including grains, seeds, bread crumbs, and even discarded food scraps. To deter pigeons, it's essential to secure these food sources.

Use sealed containers for storing pet food and birdseed, and avoid leaving food scraps or trash exposed. Regularly clean outdoor eating areas and ensure that garbage bins have tightly fitted lids. You’ll also want to avoid having bird feeders if you notice a pigeon problem, as this is an open invitation for them to stay.

Safe Roosting Spots

Pigeons seek out safe and sheltered spots for roosting and nesting. Common roosting spots around homes include ledges, window sills, roof eaves, and balconies. If you’re asking around wondering “Why won’t a (homing) pigeon leave my house?” it might be because it simply needs a safe roosting spot.

To make these areas less appealing or inaccessible to pigeons, consider installing physical deterrents such as bird spikes, netting, or wire mesh. These barriers prevent pigeons from landing and nesting in these spots.

In addition to physical deterrents, regular maintenance and inspection of your property can help identify potential roosting areas before they become a problem. Seal any openings or crevices that pigeons could use for nesting, and trim tree branches that provide easy access to your roof or balcony.

Familiarity with the Area

Pigeons have a remarkable ability to develop a sense of familiarity with their surroundings. Once they find a location that provides food, shelter, and safety, they are likely to return and even bring others from their flock. This familiarity with an area can make it challenging to deter them once they've established a routine.

To disrupt this routine and make your property less attractive to pigeons, it's important to make changes to their environment. Altering feeding patterns by removing food sources, changing roosting spots by installing deterrents, and generally making the area less hospitable can break their cycle of returning. Consistency in these efforts is key, as pigeons may take some time to adapt to the changes and seek out new locations.

spikes on home to prevent birdsPreventing Pigeon Infestations: How to Get Pigeons Away From My House (For Good?)

Preventing pigeon infestations requires a proactive approach to control. By taking steps to make your property less appealing to pigeons, you can avoid the problems associated with these birds.

Now that you know how to answer “Why do pigeons keep coming back to my house?” Here are some actionable steps to prevent future infestations:

Removing Food and Water Sources

Ensure that trash bins are securely covered and that garbage is not left out in the open. Pigeons are attracted to easily accessible food sources. Additionally, you’ll want to clean up any food spills immediately, especially in outdoor dining areas or where food is prepared or consumed.

If there’s standing water on your property, remove it, as pigeons will try to go to it for drinking. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to fix leaky outdoor faucets and ensure that gutters and drains are clear to prevent water accumulation.

If you have outdoor pets, try feeding them indoors or clean up any leftover pet food outside, as pet food can attract pigeons looking for an easy meal.

Installing Physical Barriers

Bird spikes on ledges, window sills, and other flat surfaces where pigeons are likely to perch will make it uncomfortable for pigeons to land, likely deterring them from staying.

On top of this, use netting or wire mesh to block off areas under eaves, attics, or other potential nesting sites. This prevents pigeons from accessing these sheltered spots.

Regularly inspect and maintain these physical barriers to ensure they remain effective. Repair any gaps or damages that pigeons could exploit. Also consider professionally installing barriers to ensure they are properly placed and secure, providing long-term protection against pigeons.

Using Repellents and Deterrents

In addition to physical barriers, using repellents and deterrents can be an efficient way to keep pigeons away from your property.

Visual deterrents, such as reflective tape, shiny balloons, or decoy predators (like plastic owls or hawks), have little to no effect.

Auditory deterrents, such as ultrasonic devices or bird distress calls are also ineffective methods.

Chemical repellents are available to be applied to surfaces where pigeons roost. These are effective, but only licensed professionals can apply these chemical agents. These repellents create a sticky or uncomfortable sensation on the birds' feet, discouraging them from landing. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the proper application and guidelines for safety of these products.

When using repellents and deterrents, it's crucial to rotate and combine different methods to prevent pigeons from becoming habituated to any single approach, as well as understanding your local laws.

STOP FEEDING THE BIRDS!  Did you know it is actually illegal to feed pigeons in Toronto?

Contact Hawkeye for Humane Pigeon Removal

Wondering “how can I get rid of pigeons around my house?” You might need professional help.

Hawkeye specializes in humane pigeon removal and can provide effective solutions through various approaches for controlling pigeon populations and to get rid of pigeons for good.


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