How To Scare Away Pigeons (But Not Other Birds)

How do you scare away pigeons but not other birds? Otherwise known as “rats of the sky” (okay, only I say that), pigeons are an annoying pest that most of us will deal with at some point or another. If you’re a fan of watching cool birds like hummingbirds or bluejays, you’re likely tired of the endless hordes of pigeons scaring them off. Luckily there are a few good, humane, ways to get rid of pigeons without ridding your yard of other birds.

Keeping your yard clean and bird feeding areas small is the best way to prevent pigeons from making a home of your yard. It stops them from being able to find or steal food, discouraging them from returning.

Keep reading for a list of the best and most affordable ways to rid your yard of just pigeons.

6 Ways to Scare Away Pigeons and Not Other Birds

Whether you have a true vendetta against pigeons, or you simply want to see a different bird for once, we’ve got you covered. And before you ask – yes, you could just kill them. But that’s not what we’re about here at DreamyHomes – no, we’re all about humane and environmentally friendly ways to live.

Without further ado, here’s how to rid your yard of pests and scare away pigeons (but not other birds).

Cleanliness (Is Next to Pigeonlessness)

Remember when I called pigeons “rats of the sky?” There was a reason for that, aside from my true hatred of those little suckers with dead eyes. They thrive in dirty environments because they’re lazy little buggers who only like to eat garbage off the ground. So if your yard is dirty or your feeder is regularly knocked loose, scattering bird feed, you’re just asking for a flock of pigeons to show up.

This may seem obvious and rather implied for homeownership, but keeping your yard clean is the best way to rid it of pests.

Feeding Pigeons

Another seemingly obvious one on the list – don’t feed pigeons! Whether it’s on purpose or by mere happenstance, feeding them encourages them to come back. And yes, I’m sure some of you have heard that feeding them rice will make it expand in their stomach, causing them to explode. While that’s a really funny urban myth, it’s just that – a myth.

All that feeding pigeons rice will do is get them to come back with their friends for the dinner party you told them you’re hosting. That’s it – don’t feed pigeons, ever, period.

Make it Hard for Them to Eat

Pigeons are fat little pests, meaning that their size can be used against them. If you have a birdfeeder (or several) out, remember this – try to make it so they can’t fit on the feeder. This means ridding your yard of ground feeders and picking feeders that are hung high with small perches.

While this may not be the ultimate solution, it will allow smaller birds to still perch on your feeder, while making it nigh-impossible for the feathered fiends to feed. Along this same note, if you notice perches that pigeons favor, make it harder for them to rest there. Whether this means removing the surface or putting spikes along it for the low price of £14.44, they’ll stop coming back in as large of numbers. (Don’t worry, pigeons are dumb, but not so dumb as to actually sit on these.)

Bird of Prey Statues

You can also purchase a statue made to look like a bird of prey, such as a hawk or owl. This is a good solution that works temporarily, but the pigeons will learn that it’s fake with time. The downside to this is that other birds will also notice this statue and may choose to leave. While it depends on where you place the statue, be prepared for all birds to leave for a bit before they start to return.

At the very least, this will give you breathing room to prep your yard against the pigeons’ inevitable return. And as a bonus, you have a cool bird of prey statue now!

Repellants

There are a number of pigeon repellants that you can purchase commercially. They vary in effectiveness, but if you can’t take the sound of a pigeon cooing one more time, this may be a good solution.

There are multiple different types, though the two most common styles of pigeon repellants are sprays/gels, and electronic deterrents. The former is cool because it’s a “place and forget” type of repellant that you apply to various surfaces. The upsides to a spray or gel include:

  • It looks better than spikes (you can’t really even tell it’s there)
  • It lasts a full year
  • It won’t harm the birds, rather, it will make them uncomfortable
  • Again, this isn’t a sticky “live trap” that will kill them slowly. It just makes them want to move.

The other option is an electric deterrent for only £39.95. These function by emitting a high-pitched sound (and lights) that you can’t hear, that will make pigeons want to leave. Beware, though, other birds could be affected by both of these as well. It really depends on where you place them.

Provide Food That Pigeons Won’t Eat

This is a rather self-explanatory solution. Simply provide food that pigeons don’t like! These include:

  • Peanuts in their shell
  • Striped sunflower seeds
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Suet
  • Nyjer

And that’s that! If you provide things like bread or oats, you can count on pigeons showing up, so just… don’t give them things they like!

Final Thoughts

In short, there are a lot of ways to rid your yard of pigeons. If you’re wondering how to scare away pigeons (but not other birds), there are a lot of good solutions. Whether you use repellants such as spikes or gel, change their food, or make it harder for them to get to the food, you’re likely to see them leave in time.

Just remember that pigeons are fat, annoying little pests that like easy food. Keeping your yard clean and keeping their favorite foods far from your property will generally do the trick. If not, you can move onto things like scarecrows/statues designed to scare them off. And don’t be afraid to use spikes or gel – they won’t kill or hurt the birds, just make it hard for them to be comfortable. And if you’re into birdwatching, check out our articles on the best birdwatching cameras and binoculars.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.