Pigeons – Pests or Pets - PEST UK

Providing pest control services in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Midlands, West Sussex, Wiltshire. Est. 1985.

PEST UK / Bird & Pigeon Proofing / Pigeons – Pests or Pets

Pigeons – Pests or Pets

In Bird & Pigeon Proofing

Walking past the local fish and chip shop the other day I saw a sign that said “Please don’t feed the pigeons”, and it got me wondering about our attitude to these birds.

Pigeons – Pests or Pets

Pigeons were domesticated by man over 5,000 years ago for food, pets and racing. Over time escaped domestic pigeons have evolved into the modern feral pigeon that inhabits our towns and cities.

There are a lot of people who see pigeons as an integral part of the landscape of our towns and cities. These are the people that will feed pigeons in parks and town squares. There was a time when most city squares had a pigeon food seller close by, none more famous than St. Paul’s Cathedral – most of us know the iconic “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins!


Those days are long gone and people are actively encouraged NOT to feed the birds.

Feral PigeonThere are others who see pigeons as the so-called “rats with wings”. In most cases these are people who have had pigeons roosting in or near their homes. The mess and noise that these birds bring can drive even the most tolerant homeowner crazy! Feral pigeons can also carry diseases and their dried excrement is unsightly, and causes damage to buildings and cars.

Pigeons can breed up to 8 times a year, and each breeding brings two new pigeons into the world. The success of their breeding is largely dependent on the availability of food and good roosting. Urban pigeons have no natural predators, the bigger birds of prey are not found in towns and cities, so the pigeons are left to breed uncontrollably!

Some pigeons are bred for racing, and although essentially the same species, there is a huge difference. Racing pigeons have been bred for stamina, speed, strength, and homing instinct. They are usually much slimmer than feral pigeon, and will always have a leg ring.

If you have a problem with pigeons on your property, call PestUK for help and advice in getting rid of them. There are deterrents such as spikes and netting than can be used without resorting to culling, which is only done in extreme cases


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