Feral pigeons (also called rock doves, rock pigeons, city doves, city pigeons, or common pigeons) have become a regular sight, and continue to spread in our High Desert region. Pigeons are not native birds, they are an introduced species. They carry numerous diseases, external parasites, and create massive amounts of excrement, Commercial buildings, crops, homes, barns, patio covers, protected roofs, attics and sheds are all favorable to feral pigeons. Locally, they often find food on properties where livestock and/or poultry are kept, and will use any source of water they can find. Pigeons are a nuisance, and are an invasive pest, causing over a billion dollars in property damage in the USA yearly, and are the #1 bird pest world-wide. Pigeons are labeled as an invasive species in North America by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Pigeon waste is particularly caustic, and can damage (or even eat through) concrete, wood, roofs, air conditioners, and can etch and remove car paint.
Property damage is far from the only concern regarding pigeons.
Pigeons have been found to be vectors (carriers) of over 60 diseases, many of which are transmissible to humans and other animals. An infestation in the attic of a residence, or anywhere people live is a serious situation. Some of these diseases can be fatal. Some of the external parasites carried by pigeons can end up in the home. Even if overtaking a barn, for example, pigeons easily contaminate livestock feed and hay, as well as the soil wherever they leave droppings.
Some of these diseases are: Histoplasmosis, Psittacosis, and Cryptococcosis, E. coli and Salmonella. They may also carry other diseases such as Virulent Newcastle Disease which they can easily spread to other species of birds, especially poultry. VND is fatal in poultry, and is highly contagious.
Pigeons aren’t “clean nesters.” They will use the same nest repeatedly, without regard to cleanliness, and do not clean out the feces created by nestling birds. Over time, pigeon nests can literally become hardened due to excrement, and they’ll build one flimsy nest on top of another.
Pigeons also carry numerous species of ectoparasites (parasitic insects that live on, and feed on pigeons.) Some of these (lice, mites, and flies) are transmissible to humans and to other animals. Ectoparasites can easily migrate from nesting areas such as attics, lofts, or loafing areas and into homes, or areas where animals are kept outdoors. Did you know that pigeons can transmit bedbugs?
As the human population in the High Desert region grows, so do pigeon problems, many of them serious. With farms, ranches, homes, and shopping centers, pigeons can readily find plenty of food and shelter, and they have learned not only to survive, but to thrive locally. Urban, suburban, and rural areas are all experiencing significant pigeon problems.
We take pigeon infestations seriously, and offer trapping and exclusion services to help you control pigeons on your property before they cause what can amount to many thousands of dollars in damage.
Factoid: Did you know that you can release trapped pigeons from their roosting/nesting sites many miles away, and they’ll return-often within hours?