Effective Strategies to Get Rid of Pigeons on Your Roof

Homeowners and property managers often face a common yet frustrating challenge: pigeons settling on their roofs. These birds, while seemingly harmless, can cause significant issues. From incessant cooing noises that disrupt the peace to unsightly and potentially hazardous droppings, pigeons can turn a serene home environment into a less desirable space. Moreover, their nesting habits can lead to blocked gutters and damaged roof materials, escalating maintenance costs and efforts.

The presence of pigeons is not just a superficial nuisance (it’s even worse if you have solar panels!). Their droppings are acidic and can corrode building materials, leading to long-term structural damage. Health concerns are also paramount, as pigeon droppings can harbour harmful pathogens, posing a risk to human health.

The challenge intensifies as these birds are known for their persistence and adaptability, making them difficult to deter once they’ve found a comfortable roosting spot. This situation leaves many homeowners feeling helpless and frustrated, seeking solutions that are both effective and humane.

In this guide, we delve into proven strategies to address the pigeon problem on your roof. We’ll explore a range of solutions, from simple DIY remedies to more advanced methods like bird netting and ultrasonic devices. Our focus is on humane and effective approaches that respect wildlife while protecting your property and learning how to get rid of pigeons on roof. Whether you’re dealing with a few pesky pigeons or a full-blown infestation, this guide offers practical, actionable advice to reclaim your roof and restore tranquillity to your home.

Understanding Pigeon Behavior

To effectively tackle the issue of pigeons on your roof, it’s crucial to first understand why these birds are attracted to such spaces. Pigeons, much like other pests such as garden rats, seek out environments that meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and safety. By comprehending their behaviour, we can devise strategies that are not only effective but also humane and considerate of the natural habits of these birds.

Attraction to Food Sources

One of the primary reasons pigeons flock to residential and commercial properties is the availability of food. Pigeons are not particularly fussy eaters and are drawn to a variety of food sources. This includes bird feeders intended for other birds, pet food left outdoors, and even food scraps in open garbage bins. Understanding this, it becomes clear that managing and securing these food sources is a key step in discouraging pigeons from congregating on your property.

Roosting and Nesting Preferences

Pigeons prefer areas that offer protection from predators and the elements. Roof spaces, with their elevated position, provide a safe haven for these birds. Features like roof tiles, solar panels, and balcony railings offer ideal spots for pigeons to roost and nest. They are particularly fond of flat surfaces where they can gather in groups, as pigeons are highly social creatures.

Adaptability and Intelligence

Pigeons are remarkably adaptable and intelligent. They can quickly learn to navigate around simple deterrents and are known for their ability to return to familiar roosting and nesting sites. This behaviour underscores the need for a comprehensive and persistent approach to pigeon control. It’s not just about deterring them; it’s about making your property less attractive to them in the long term.

Social Behavior

Pigeons are communal birds, often seen in flocks. This social nature means that where one pigeon finds a hospitable environment, others are likely to follow. It also implies that solutions targeting individual pigeons might not be as effective as those addressing the flock as a whole.

Physical Barriers for Prevention

Implementing physical barriers is a highly effective and humane method to prevent pigeons from roosting and nesting on your roof. These barriers work by making it physically challenging or uncomfortable for pigeons to settle in these areas, encouraging them to seek out other locations. Here are some of the most effective physical deterrents:

Bird Spikes

One of the most common and effective solutions is the installation of bird spikes. These spikes do not harm pigeons but make it impossible for them to land and perch on treated surfaces.

Ideal for ledges, rooflines, and window sills, these spikes are a simple yet effective way to deter pigeons. They are easy to install and require minimal maintenance, making them a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties.

Bird Netting

Another highly effective method is the use of bird netting. This involves creating a physical barrier to discourage pigeons from accessing preferred roosting spots, such as under solar panels or in roof spaces. Bird netting can be tailored to fit various architectural features, ensuring that it blends seamlessly with the building’s aesthetics while providing a robust barrier against pigeons.

Anti-Roosting Spike Strips

Similar to bird spikes, anti-roosting spike strips can be installed on surfaces where pigeons commonly roost. These strips are designed to be uncomfortable for pigeons to land on, effectively discouraging them from staying. They are particularly useful in areas where bird spikes might not be suitable, such as on curved surfaces or in more visible areas where aesthetics are a concern.

Roof Modifications

Sometimes, simple modifications to your roof can make it less attractive to pigeons. This could include altering the angle of roof tiles or adding sloping covers to flat surfaces where pigeons tend to gather. These modifications can be subtle yet effective in preventing pigeons from finding comfortable roosting spots.

Balcony and Window Sill Guards

For those living in apartments or buildings with accessible balconies and window sills, installing guards or small barriers can be an effective way to keep pigeons at bay. These guards can be designed to blend with the building’s architecture, ensuring they do not detract from the aesthetic appeal of the property.

By incorporating these physical barriers, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of pigeons settling on your roof. It’s important to note that while these methods are effective, they are most successful when used as part of a comprehensive control strategy that includes deterrents, repellents, and habitat modification to repel pigeons.

Repellents and Sensory Deterrents

how to get rid of pigeons on your roof

In addition to physical barriers, repellents and sensory deterrents play a crucial role in discouraging pigeons from roosting on your property. These methods target the birds’ senses, making the environment less inviting for them. Here are some effective sensory deterrents to scare pigeons away from your roof:

Gel Repellents

These are non-toxic substances that can be applied to surfaces where pigeons roost. The gels are designed to be sticky and uncomfortable for pigeons, thereby deterring them from landing. Some gels also have a visual component, appearing as flames to the pigeons’ eyesight, which further helps to repel pigeons.

Ultrasonic Devices

These devices emit sound waves at frequencies that are unpleasant to pigeons but are inaudible to humans. They can be strategically placed around areas where pigeons are a problem, such as near feeders or on rooftops. The ultrasonic waves create an uncomfortable environment for pigeons, encouraging them to move elsewhere.

Pigeon-Proof Bird Feeders

If you enjoy having other birds around but want to deter pigeons, consider using pigeon-proof bird feeders. These feeders are designed to prevent larger birds like pigeons from accessing the food, while still allowing smaller birds to feed. This helps to reduce the attraction for pigeons without impacting other wildlife.

Visual and Auditory Scare Tactics

Objects that move, reflect light or make noise can be effective in scaring pigeons away. Reflective tapes, wind chimes, or even old CDs hung near roosting areas can create a dynamic environment that pigeons find unsettling. The movement and reflections can scare pigeons, making them less likely to settle in the area.

Chemical Repellents

There are various chemical repellents available that can be sprayed in areas where pigeons congregate. These repellents usually have a strong smell that pigeons find offensive, thus helping to repel pigeons from the treated areas. However, it’s important to choose repellents that are humane and safe for the environment to stop pigeons nesting.

Visual Deterrents and Decoys

Visual deterrents and decoys are an integral part of a comprehensive pigeon control strategy. These methods leverage the visual sensitivity of pigeons to deter them from nesting and roosting on your property. Here’s how you can use these tools effectively:

Reflective Objects

Pigeons, like many birds, are deterred by bright, reflective surfaces. Installing items such as reflective tape, old CDs, or even small mirrors around your property can help deter pigeons. The light reflections disorient and confuse pigeons, making the area less appealing for them to nest or roost. This method is not just effective for pigeons but can also deter other birds that might cause similar issues.

Decoy Predators

Pigeons are naturally afraid of predators. Placing decoys, such as fake owls or hawks, in areas where pigeons are a problem can be an effective way to keep these pests away. For the best results, move these decoys around periodically to prevent pigeons from getting used to them. This method plays on the pigeons’ instinctual fear, making it a powerful tool in pigeon control.

Wind Spinners and Foil Balloons

Objects that move with the wind, such as wind spinners or foil balloons, can startle pigeons and deter them from approaching. The unpredictable movements of these objects can make birds feel unsafe, keeping pigeons away from your roof.

False Nests

Placing false nests or similar structures can sometimes trick pigeons into thinking the space is already occupied, which can deter them from attempting to nest. This method can be particularly effective in areas where pigeons nest.

Colorful and Moving Objects

Pigeons are known to be deterred by certain colours and moving objects. Brightly coloured flags, pinwheels, or even lightweight kites that move in the wind can be effective in scaring away not just pigeons but other birds as well.

Professional Solutions

get rid of pigeons on roof

While DIY methods can be effective in managing a pigeon problem, there are situations where professional solutions become necessary. This is particularly true in cases of severe infestation or when pigeons roosting on your property have led to significant damage or health hazards. Professional pest control services offer specialized expertise and solutions that can be more effective and long-lasting.

Expert Assessment and Customized Plans

Professional pest controllers can provide a thorough assessment of the pigeon problem on your property. They have the expertise to identify key areas where pigeons are roosting and the reasons behind their attraction to your property. Based on this assessment, they can develop a customized plan that addresses the specific challenges you face.

Advanced Deterrents and Repellents

Professionals have access to a wider range of deterrents and repellents that may not be available to the general public. These can include more advanced ultrasonic devices, professional-grade bird netting, and chemical repellents that are both effective and safe for use around homes and businesses.

Long-Term Strategies

One of the key benefits of professional pigeon control services is their focus on long-term solutions. This includes not only immediate removal and deterrent strategies but also advice and measures to prevent future infestations. They can provide guidance on how to maintain your property in a way that discourages pigeons from returning.

Roof Cleaning and Repair

In many cases, pigeons on a property can lead to the accumulation of droppings and debris, which can damage roof materials and clog gutters. Professional services often include roof cleaning and repair as part of their pigeon control solutions. This ensures that any damage caused by the pigeons is addressed, and your roof is restored to its optimal condition.

Health and Safety Compliance

Dealing with pigeon infestations can sometimes involve health risks, particularly when it comes to handling droppings or nests. Professionals are trained to handle these situations safely and in compliance with health regulations, ensuring that the process is safe for both the inhabitants of the property and the environment.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

To ensure long-term success in keeping pigeons away from your property, ongoing preventive measures and maintenance are essential. These steps not only deter pigeons initially but also discourage them from returning.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping your property clean, especially areas where pigeons are likely to roost, is crucial. Regularly clean roof spaces, gutters, and ledges to remove any pigeon droppings or nesting materials. This not only reduces health risks but also makes the environment less inviting for pigeons.

Secure Food Sources

One of the main attractions for pigeons is easily accessible food. Ensure that all potential food sources, such as garbage bins and compost areas, are securely covered. Be mindful not to feed pigeons, as this encourages them to return and potentially bring more pigeons with them.

Habitat Modification

Alter your property in ways that make it less appealing to pigeons. This can include installing pigeon-proof feeders, modifying landscaping to remove comfortable roosting spots, and ensuring that potential nesting areas are inaccessible.

Regular Inspections

getting rid of pigeons on roof

Conduct regular inspections of your property to identify any new potential roosting or nesting sites. Early detection allows you to implement deterrents before pigeons become a problem.


Dealing with pigeons on your property requires a combination of immediate action and long-term prevention. By understanding pigeon behaviour and employing a mix of physical barriers, repellents, visual deterrents, and professional solutions, you can effectively manage and deter pigeons.

Remember, the key is to create an environment that is unattractive and inaccessible to pigeons without causing them harm. Regular maintenance and preventive measures, such as securing food sources and not encouraging pigeons to feed, are essential in ensuring that your property remains pigeon-free. With the right approach, you can enjoy a clean, peaceful, and pigeon-free environment.