Birth Control for Pigeons

Twenty-six pounds of poop! That’s the amount of waste one pigeon produces in a year. Sounds about right. If Hector doesn’t clean up his act, I’m thinking of evicting him.

Hector spends his winters on a small ledge at the top of my porch pillar. He was one of a cadre of noisy pigeons born a few years back in the eave of my roof. I’ve since repaired the eave, but Hector believes in the old saying about pigeons coming home to roost. He’s returned to my porch every fall for the past three years, and every spring I find myself hosing and scrubbing.

Pigeon poop is like trying to scrape concrete off brick. When it dries and falls on the porch, it produces a fine, caustic dust that can aggravate allergies and asthma. Droppings can ruin buildings and automobiles. Pigeons carry more diseases that are harmful to humans than rats, including encephalitis, histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and toxoplasmosis. Add in fleas, ticks and mites and it’s time to roll up the welcome mat.

Unfortunately, once they pick your ledge, pigeons are hard to get rid of and the help of a wildlife control specialist may be necessary. Some cities are experimenting with a new product, Ovocontrol. It’s a birth control food pellet for birds designed to prevent egg fertilization. It doesn’t harm the birds, but it keeps them from multiplying. Since 5 pigeon pairs can produce up to 400 pigeons in just 2 years, that’s a good thing.