As well as being incredibly unsightly, pigeon poop is actually responsible for a lot of actual damage to your property, that could in turn lead to even more damage to your property, especially if the poop goes undetected and not removed. If that's not a jolly good reason to eradicate a pigeon problem from your back garden, we don’t know what is. And if you're having a problem with pigeons in YOUR back garden, this is the kind of thing that you’ll need to put up with (and then put right) as a direct result of bird feces:
1 - It's Unsightly
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: no one likes the way that pigeon poop looks. It’s bad enough when a passing bird drops a load of it on your vehicle in the parking lot outside your place of work, but when the damn birds are leaving the stuff on your back garden patio, your roof, and even your home windows, it’s even worse.
2 - It Burns
Okay, so, pigeon poop doesn’t actually burn, but it is very acidic. This means that enough of it built up will actually start to corrode away the materials it touches. If they’re pooping all over your roof, it can seriously affect the protection the roof offers, and very bad cases of pigeon poop build up have lead to entire roofing systems being replaced in double the time they would usually take. In short, pigeon poop can reduce the “natural length” of the roof by as much as half.
3 - It Doesn't Come Off
Have you ever tried to remove pigeon poop from something? Like, your clothes or a patio table in the back garden? The stuff is almost impossible to remove, with a tar-like consistency to it that is very much unlike any other bird feces on the planet. There's a reason their feces is created in this way, of course, and it's not just to make life difficult for humans. They use the droppings to actually create the nest, almost like you would with cement for bricks on a house. When everything dries, the droppings mixed in with the other nesting material sets solid, and gets more solid with more droppings.
It's gross, but it works for them.
4 - It Clogs Gutters
If you have pigeons pooping on the roof, it’s only going to be a matter of time before some of that poop comes into contact with leaves and other debris that gets blown up there, and then ends up blocking something. Blocked gutters can be incredibly destructive during periods of heavy rain, causing leaks right into the home or building. This, once again, could shorten the protective structure of the roof and walls, and could even affect floors and ceilings, causing them to become dangerous. This tends to only happen in quite heavy cases, of course, but if you don’t deal with a pigeon infestation, or you don't notice a problem for a long period of time, this is the reality you could be faced with.
5 - It's Riddled With Disease
They don’t call pigeons the ‘rat of the sky’ for nothing. Just like rats do, pigeons spread around a bunch of rather nasty diseases in their droppings, and if you come into contact with the mess you could then put yourself at risk. Your family, friends, and even pets are also in danger from picking up something particularly unpleasant from these birds.
Because of the inherent risks, pigeon poop must be cleaned away safely and properly, often requiring a number of different pieces of equipment and cleaning agents to get it done. It would be nice if you could just grab a spray jet cleaner or garden hose and then wash it all away, but all you're doing then is washing away the risks into the rest of your garden and surrounding area. Pigeon poop must be removed in such a way that you avoid spreading it into the local environment.
Bird excrement is just one thing that you'll need to deal with when you have a pigeon problem on your property, and you will need to deal with it, too. It's not the kind of thing that you can just leave there and hope nature does its job, washing the stuff away. Pigeon excrement is very unlike the excrement left behind by many other birds, because of the way it hardens and acts as a cement-like material when it dries. It's so strong that the birds use it to reinforce nests. The longer pigeons have been living in a nest — and pooping in there — the more reinforced the nest is.
Even if the problem is quite a small one, you must still learn how to safely clean away pigeon excrement to remove all risks associated with the bird. With fungi and bacteria having a whale of a time in there, you're not going to want to leave it littering your garden or property for long. Not only that, it looks incredibly unsightly.
There are a number of steps that you must follow in order to clean up pigeon excrement the right way:
Step One - Safety Equipment
You might not believe it, but there are potentially deadly risks associated with direct contact with pigeon excrement, so we recommend that you suit up. If you have protective coveralls, wear them. If you don't have protective coveralls, buy them. If you can’t do that, be prepared to dispose of the clothes you were wearing to do the job. You're not going to want to throw it all in with the other washing, no matter how many times you wash it. Wear old clothes for the job, and that includes footwear.
You will need thick, rubber gloves, for obvious reasons, and we also recommend that you get yourself some protective eye goggles, and also a breathing mask. This process isn’t just recommend for pigeons, but other birds, bats, and a number of other wild animal removal jobs, too. They’re all responsible for the spread of disease, and should be removed and cleaned up after properly to reduce the chances of it happening.
Step Two - Investigation
You're going to want to know every inch of the property that has been affected by pigeon excrement so that you can deal with the job in one go. You're probably not going to want to get your full protective clothing cleaning equipment out every five minutes. Get the job done right the first time and you’ll thank yourself for it later on.
You should inspect your property to find out not only where the birds are getting in and out, but also where they’re roosting, flying, and landing. These are areas in which the excrement is likely to build up. You will need to know these areas when removing the birds, and putting preventative measures in place to stop them from returning.
Step Three - Removal
The removal of pigeons (and other birds) takes just as much work, preparation, and safety equipment as the cleanup operation does, so this is also a job that you're going to want to get right the first time. In many cases, it is both cheaper and faster to hire a professional to remove a pigeon problem than it is to try and attempt it yourself.
You cannot skip this step. If you don't remove the birds themselves, there's very little point in removing the excrement. They'll just leave more as soon as you clean it away.
Step Four - Preventative Measures
You're still not on to the actual stage of cleaning up the pigeon excrement yet, and there's still quite a fair way to go before you can call this job done. Once again, this is perhaps why it is a better idea to let a professional come in and get this job done, rather than trying to work it all out by yourself, and then buying all the necessary bits of equipment that you'll need.
Preventative measures for pigeons can range from very simple, like a scarecrow, to the more complex, such as fogging systems. The latter is only really advised for great land masses, which your garden is unlikely to be.
Again, just like step three, it is pointless to attempt to clean up pigeon excrement if the birds themselves can still return. If you have not put measures in place to stop their return, they WILL return.
Step Five - Cleanup
It's now time to do the big cleanup operation, and you'll need a number of items to get this right, too.
You can’t sweep and jet-wash pigeon excrement because of the bacteria that can then be spread into the surrounding area. Instead, you should use a specially-designed filter vacuum to suck the debris into a container, before then disposing of it properly. You will also find that slightly damp feces will retain less of a disease-spreading risk than very dry feces.
Nests and nesting material will need to be removed at the same time as the feces, as will any other traces left behind by the animal, such as feathers, eggs, etc.
Once most of the bulk of the material has been removed, you can use cleaning agents to disinfect and remove biological traces. Bleach can be used, although must be used with great care, especially in areas of low ventilation. Strong cleaners that contain antibacterial properties are a great choice after that, alongside anything that offers disinfectant properties or antifungal properties. You will need to make sure you're not mixing cleaning products, however, as this could create toxic gases that could then make the environment dangerous for you to work in.