While having laws in place are necessary if we want to live in at least a semi-civilized environment. The problem is the whole UK legal system is very confusing and can be a right minefield for anyone other than a highly trained and highly skilled lawyer. If you’ve ever tried to search for any legal definitions, acts, or laws, etc. then you’ll know what I mean.
Even though all the information is all there in black and white, who has hours upon hours to search through it to find the exact answers you need? Sometimes you just need things spelled out a little more clearly. And, that’s what we’re here to do in regards to pigeon pest control.
Why are Pigeons Considered Pests?
Pigeons may look pretty friendly and in reality, they aren’t all that bad if adored from a distance. However, they are still considered to be a pest. The reason for this is that pigeons are extremely unhygienic, and as a result, carry a whole host of diseases. Nearly all pigeons carry the bird mite, which if humans come in contact with, could make them itch. Pigeon poo also prevents its own problems. When dried, the airborne bacteria that emanates from pigeon poo can cause major problems for anyone who suffers from respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Pigeon Pest Control and the UK Law
As you may have guessed, with us having such a complex legal system in the UK, there is an area of the law that deals specifically with pigeon pest control. While the powers that be do recognize that pigeon infestations are serious and cause a whole range of problems, they also recognize they are still living, breathing animals, and as such, should be treated with a little respect.
Rather than give you the whole section relating to pigeon pest control, word for word, all the legal terminology included, I’ve summarized some of the main points to make things a little easier to digest:
- Responsibility lies with you. The first thing to bear in mind, is that if you are the one experiencing the pigeon problem, whether or not you are the one who subsequently fixes the issue, you are deemed to be responsible to ensure it is done so within the parameters of the UK law. People often think that if a professional company is employed to deal with a pigeon infestation, the onus is then passed to them in how they choose to deal with the situation. But this is not the case. It is still your responsibility, as the owner of the property, to ensure the procedures carried out are humane and carried out within the realms of the law. If lethal control is used where strict conditions and terms are not adhered to, you would be liable for prosecution under both the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
- Licence to kill. If you’ve exhausted every other non-lethal method and you’re still suffering with a pigeon infestation, you may want to consider applying to the government for a General Licence for Wildlife Management. This will enable you to cull the birds without the risk of prosecution. These licences are free, but strict rules must be followed, and will only be issued once these conditions have been met.
Dealing with Pigeons Humanely and Legally
Provided you have the necessary safety equipment, and the affected area is one that you can easily get to, there’s no reason as to why you can’t deal with a pigeon infestation yourself. Here are some of the most common and most accessible deterrents used currently:
- Bird spikes. These are good for placing on areas such as fences, rooftops, and window ledges. They’re relatively easy to apply and can be picked up at your local DIY shop.
- Bird gel. If you don’t fancy the look of bird spikes, why not consider some bird gel? This stuff is really sticky and makes it uncomfortable for those feathered creatures to settle.
- A lot of people who have allotments use scarecrows to scare away birds from their crops, and they work really well, provided you change their clothes every few days. Pigeons are actually quite intelligent and will soon get comfortable with the new addition if it looks the same and stays in one place all the time.
- Get reflective. One thing our feathers friends don’t like, and will tend to shy away from, is anything reflective. So, anything like an old CD, or even some aluminum foil could make all the difference when it comes to keeping the pigeons at bay.