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Pigeons
(Columba livia var)

Pest Extermination Plymouth Since the 1960s, Britain's Feral Pigeon population has been steadily increasing. Feral Pigeons have thrived in our cities – particularly in London. The Feral Pigeon is uniquely adapted to life in the capital, because it can roost and breed in the limited and seemingly inhospitable spaces provided by its buildings, and survive on the foods available to it in an urban environment. Other natural checks and balances which limit the pigeon population in their natural cliff habitats – adverse weather, limited roosting sites, and predators – have little effect on city birds. Pigeons can breed throughout the year, peaking between March and July. Young pigeons become independent after around five weeks and up to about 18 can be reared during a year.

Pigeons have become a pest, fouling buildings and pavements where they nest or roost. Pigeon fouling is not only unsightly but also its acid content may be destructive, eroding stonework. Nest droppings and feathers can block gutters, rainwater and down-pipes and cause potential slipping hazards on pavements, ladders and fire escapes. Pigeons are also a source of substances which cause allergies. These can cause respiratory ailments like pigeon fancier's lung and allergic skin reactions.

The one overriding factor that controls city pigeon populations is the supply of food, and people provide the most important source of food for pigeons in the city. The growth in food outlets that has occurred since the 1960s, particularly those of the 'fast food' variety, means that more people are on the move and eating outdoors than ever before. Many of these people, whether deliberately or accidentally, drop food in the streets and open spaces. Without this food supply, the pigeon population would be far smaller and, arguably, healthier. Deliberate feeding of pigeons by a small group of people has been an important cause of the increase in the pigeon population in London. There are a number of reasons why this increase is not good either for the pigeons or for our residents and visitors.

Five reasons not to feed pigeons:

  1. It affects their health Feeding pigeons does not keep them healthy. The food they get from people may lack essential nutrients, which pigeons require for overall good health. Giving pigeons more food can lead to them breeding almost all year. This can place considerable pressure on breeding sites making many of them unhealthy, crowded places. Mites and other parasites in overcrowded breeding sites can spread disease easily among young pigeons. Fledglings are at risk of attack by mice and rats attracted to permanent breeding sites.
  2. It makes them dependent on humans Feeding pigeons can be harmful because it makes pigeons dependent on people. If they were less dependent they would arguably be less susceptible to disease and other health risks. Pigeons are wild birds and are capable of fending for themselves.
  3. It affects other birds Feeding feral pigeons can deprive other birds of food and might scare them from your garden. Smaller birds such as thrushes and finches are often frightened off when numbers of much larger pigeons arrive. Feral pigeons can also carry viruses that can be spread to other birds causing death.
  4. It attracts other pests People who feed pigeons often end up feeding more than they bargained for. If food is too plentiful, pigeons may not always eat everything that is left out for them. The remaining food may attract rats and mice.
  5. It puts human health at risk Humans are also at risk from unhealthy pigeons. Pigeons can carry a number of potentially infectious diseases such as salmonella, tuberculosis and ornithosis (a mild form of psittacosis).

COMMON PESTS:

Ants
Bed Bugs Cockroaches
Fleas
Mice
Moles
Moths
Pigeons
Rats
Squirrels
Wasps

Woodworm