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Spice as a detterent??

24346 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ApartmentGuy
I live in an apartment building on the top floor and had some pigeons decide to nest on my balcony since I hadn't really been out there due to work and the weather wasn't very nice. A pair of pigeons had laid some eggs, I let them use the space thinking that after the birds could fly, they would all just move along since I began using the balcony again. I would make sure to go out there frequently just to make sure that they were aware of me being there, and it would scare them off.

Well the first batch left the nest a while ago, but the birds werent scared off, and laid another set of eggs. The second set have already grown to where they can fly, and now I go out to scare them off every so often. I remove any nesting material that they lay down, but they are persistent and rebuild and try to lay eggs again. They laid a third set of eggs, which was the last straw for me, I took the eggs, and put them out in the courtyard where the birds could see them on the ground floor, thinking that they would attempt to find a more suitable location. They were in the same spot for a couple of days, and then they were gone. I am assuming the gardener probably removed them and not the birds.

Again the birds have tried to nest and lay eggs, this time there was only one, and I removed it and placed it on the ground level immediately. I go out every so ofte to scare them off, but they are there the next day.

I have thrown out almost all of the things that were on my patio since they were in such bad shape, and there is feces all over my balcony. I initially tried spraying vinegar thinking that the birds would not like the odor, it worked for about 30 minutes, and then the balcony actually just smelled better, and they probably liked it more.

I am trying to find a humane way to let the pigeons know that they are not welcome here, and ran across your website when I was looking for a safe way to remove them. The area has alot of debris and such from garbage that they eat from, and there are alot of places that they can nest, I am not trying to remove them from the entire area, just keeping them off my balcony. One website mentioned that the use of strong spices such as garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper would be a good detterent, and I figured I would ask here if this is a good method, or if there is another solution to my problem. The property I live in does not want any visible things displayed on the balcony, so it would be difficult for some of the other ideas I have read, as far as shiny mobiles, or string to disrupt perches.

Thanks for any advice that you give.
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Well birds dont have taste buds so the hot pepper wont effect them. birds actually eat hot peppers because of the little seeds inside so that wont do. Can you try a balloon with the weight tied to the bottom of it and sit it on the floor of your balcony? I know they aren't real crazy about balloons. the other thing is a very real picture of a hawk taped to your window would probably deter them away. Hot soapy water and a brush will remove the poo they have left behind. If they have a nest with eggs in it then they will continue to come back to lay on their babies. If you throw the eggs out it is like they have a body clock... they know how long it takes for the egg to hatch and they will lay another. Keep the nesting things out of sight so they cant build and try the stuff I mentioned. Thank you though for allowing them to use your balcony for a couple of nest and not hurting them. They are seriously very smart birds, and great pets. Let me know.

Thanks for trying the humane way to do things first.
Have you tried to block the area they are nesting in? Maybe put a six-pack (Soda only, don't need these birds drinking beer and raising Cain) of soda into the area they are nesting in?
I do not know from reading your post if they are in a cavity, or on a ledge. You have access to the birds nest, if you are having trouble getting rid of them, try going out at night and plucking the birds off their nest. Put them in a box and take them elsewhere. (If people see you release them and complain, tell thm they are homing pigeons.) If you do this, please, take all the birds and please release them where there is, or you have seen, another flock of birds.
Best of luck. They can be persistant, but they can be removed with-out use of lethal force.
Thank you for your patience and your humane treatment of our wonderful noble feral pigeons.

When you went out there each day while they nested, they just adapted to your presence, that is why they are not afraid.

You have to cover any areas where they can nest, as they will try if there is any place to nest. You might try screening off the area for awhile, and they will get the message.
They are nesting right in the corner of my balcony, no ledge or anything, though some sleep pried up in the little overhang that is there.

I put down some cayenne pepper last night after doing a bit of research on the internet and posting here. Naturegirl said that they don't have tastebuds, but i think the capsaisum (what makes peppers spicy) will still have a displeasing warming effect on them, and possible irritation with prolonged exposure. I put down a good amount on the railing and in the corners where they try to build nests. It has been about 10 hours and havent seen them at all. I will check later tonight to see if they try to roost for the night. I had heard that it is a good way to keep dogs from digging in certain spots, and to keep insects away by placing strong spices on door seals etc. I'll let you know if it works, and if you are interested I can post again, if the spice turns stale and they reappear.

I figure you all probably have alot of contact with bird lovers, as well as those that aren't as fond of them as you are, so it may be an easy humane suggestion for you to pass along to those that need it. Most of the informaion that I found via googlesearch for natural ways to get rid of pigeons suggested spikes, ultrasound or chemicals to dissuade the pigeons from that area. Here is one of the better links that I found:


Also for you pet owners and gardeners, spice may be a viable solution to keep your gardens or certain areas you want left undisturbed safe from birds, cats, dogs, racoons, insects and most any other living creature. I'll see how the cayenne works for now, but if it winds up needing to be refreshed, I may see if black pepper works since it would me more economical.
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Pepper, as said before, will be useless, birds have very little reaction too the heat of pepper, Parrots love it , and it is used to help color "Red factor" canaries, if memory serves me. Just make it uncomfortable for them, move things around put Crumpled up chicken wire in the spots they want to nest in.
The ultimate if not the least kind way. is to spook them on the nest at night. THEY hate that, It is not hard to stop there habits if you try!!! JMHO, Dave
Well, they havent been roosting at night, and except for once the other day, they haven't been on my balcony at all, after constantly chasing them away for several days, only to have them back the next. So I think that the cayenne was uncomfortable enough for them to find another spot. Even when I would go out and disturb them during the day and night, they would come back and try to build a nest in the morning.

The corners where they would try to build the nest i dosed pretty heavily, and Even just walking out there I feel a bit warm and irritated by the cayenne still after 2-3 days. Now they don't try to build a nest, though I noticed a couple new branches, nothing like they used to do, they would have almsot a full nest built between when the sun rose and I went out to throw it away several hours after sunrise. So it seems they keep trying and then figure it isnt a good spot.

I think the pepper had a better effect then me going out and constantly bothering them, since they seemed pretty used to my presence and wouldnt even move unless I actually touched them with something (a plastic coat hanger in my case (I used it gently though just to let them know I wouldn't just leave them alone))

So problem solved I think, my next option was to hang up some string to make it uneasy on landings and even just trying to fly on to my balcony. I am sure I would have gotten a notice to remove it from my apartment managers, but it looks like I am ok with the current situation. Now just to clean up the poo and enjoy my spring.

Thanks for yor help and I hope that you all enjoy the beautiful weather.
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