Feral pigeons (Columba livia), also called city doves, city pigeons or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Pigeon, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. All three types readily interbreed. Feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs, and have become adapted to urban life and are abundant in towns and cities throughout much of the world.
Many city squares are famous for their large pigeon populations, for example, the Piazza San Marco in Venice, and Trafalgar Square in London.
Pigeons breed when the food supply is good
IPM for Pigeons Pigeons not only make themselves a nuisance by their roosting and nesting activity and their noisy behavior, but they also carry and transmit a variety of human and avian diseases. Pigeon droppings deface buildings and statues and their acidity can hasten the deterioration of these structures. Droppings that accumulate on stairs, fire escapes, or other walking surfaces make these areas slippery and dangerous. Pigeons are known to carry and transmit diseases to humans through their droppings, especially when the feces dry and particles become airborne. Diseases spread by pigeons include aspergillosis, candidiasis, cryptococcosis, encephalitis, histoplasmosis, Newcastle disease, ornithosis, salmonellosis, and toxoplasmosis. Detection and Monitoring Absolute Pest Control will complete a detailed and accurate survey of the problem site, before designing a management plan. Public Relations When birds are managed, it is important to remember that the “pest” might be regarded fondly by nature enthusiasts. Good public relations are an essential element in the success of a school IPM program, but particularly where birds are concerned. Management Options A number of management options are available, including habitat modification, exclusion and physical controls. Eliminating Water Sources Determine where pigeons are drinking and deny them these sources. Repair outside water leaks. Exclusion With all exclusion devices, it is essential to treat each roosting, nesting, and loafing area on the building to completely exclude pigeons from the structure. Otherwise, pigeons will simply move to any untreated areas. Piano-type Wire, Monofilament Line Protect narrow beams, roof edges, cables, and pipes by installing a tightly stretched 16 to 18 gauge wire or 80-lb. test monofilament line one to two inches above the surface. This wire interferes with bird perching and take off. Electrified Wires or Tracks These wires can be used on rooftops and other areas where people will not encounter them. Electrified wires are an expensive, but permanent exclusion device. 45º Angle Ramps Pigeons cannot land or roost on surfaces with a 45º or steeper angle. Use sheet metal, concrete, stone, wood, Styrofoam blocks, or other materials to retrofit ledges with a ramp of the desired angle. Bird Spikes Pigeons cannot use a ledge that has Bird Spikes applied Netting Excluding a protected area that pigeons are using with netting is efficient, cost effective and permanent. Trapping Trapping programs for the control of pigeons is a “moderate to excellent” way to control the birds.