Bullet Pigeons - Rats with Wings

img

California PEST PROFILE: RATS WITH WINGS

Pigeons are not migratory. Their breeding habits produce an expanding population that continues to grow because they have no natural enemies in urban areas. Their natural instinct is to stay near their birth site. This trait gives the pigeon a very determined personality when it comes to roosting at a particular site . Their life span may be as long as 15 years. One female is capable of laying eggs (usually in pairs) seven to eight times per year. T he daily cycle of a pigeon is to roost at night, feed in the morning and loaf in the afternoon. The seasonal cycle is; courtship in the early winter, nest building in late winter and breeding in the spring. However, in warm climates, breeding will occur year round. Pigeons molt once a year in late summer.

Nesting areas chosen are generally those that offer a sense of security, such as recessed, sheltered areas on roofs and beneath eaves. Roosting areas are visually adjacent to the nesting sites, on the same or neighboring buildings. Roof ridge lines, roof edges, ledges, sills, chimneys, etc., are the areas of choice.

The reasons for ridding buildings/homes of pigeons are many. Among them:

They often produce bacteria that cause respiratory and gastric problems, and they also often carry parasites (such as mites) that can cause skin irritations. Mites can be carried from one location to another such as a work place to home.

 

Bird and Rodent Mites

Parasitic mites that occasionally infest buildings are usually associated with wild or domestic birds such as pigeons or rodents. Bird and rodent mites normally live on the host or in their nests, but migrate to other areas of the structure when the animal dies or abandons the nest. Rodent mites often become a nuisance after an infestation of mice or rats has been eliminated. People usually become aware of the problem when they are attacked by mites searching for an alternate food source. Their bites cause moderate to intense itching and irritation.

Rodent and bird mites are very tiny, but usually can be seen with the naked eye. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Pigeon droppings, nesting debris and dead birds attract other pests that are equally unwelcome, creating additional health hazards.

Droppings are highly acidic and can cause corrosive deterioration to exterior surfaces. Bird residue is especially damaging to car paint, and can cause color fading on tile roof areas and fabric awnings.

 

Debris often blocks roof gutters, which can lead to rain drainage backup, and often causes water penetration damage to building interiors. Leaking metal rain gutters are often the result of delayed response to pigeon problems.

Other problems include unsightliness of contamination, odor, flies, and noise produced by birds.

Successfully ridding buildings of pigeons is not a simple task. They are extremely persistent in remaining active near areas they have established as their own.

A thorough, detailed cleanup of active areas is essential. Odors and contamination must be eliminated to remove the attraction. We accomplish this by detergent washing and flushing (with water at high pressure) of all target and adjacent surfaces, followed by the spraying of an environmentally safe odor‑neutralizing anti‑bacterial enzyme mist. Then a long‑lasting bird deterrent material is installed to exclude them from the area.

Based on pigeons' roosting and nesting behavior, most areas are treatable with the installation of long‑lasting low‑visibility netting, bird wire, spikes and/or shock track that will provide a barrier against further pigeon intrusions into areas where exclusion procedures would be appropriate.