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Why do city pigeons gather on rooftops?

why do city pigeons gather on rooftops- Project Multi Pest

Pigeons fly virtually everywhere in search of a nesting and perching spot. But unlike other birds, it seems like pigeons mainly enjoy gathering on rooftops. The rooftops in which pigeons roost can range from residential housing units, tall buildings, restaurants, shops and more. So why do pigeons gather on roofs across the city?

Pigeon behaviour can be strange and unorthodox to other birds. Pigeons tend to gather on urban roofs due to their circular and grouped flying patterns. These birds also gather on city roofs to be near a food source and out of reach from predators or other nuisances.

Are you currently experiencing a pigeon problem in your area? Thankfully, there are resources that can prevent pigeons from congregating on roofs, which can affect the quality of life and business in an urban environment.

In this guide, we will discuss all the reasons why this happens and how we can help fix the issue. You can also contact us for bird and pigeon removal services across London and Kent.

What does it mean when birds congregate on a roof?

When feral pigeons fly in circles above the urban skyline, this typically indicates that the birds are looking for ideal and safe roosting areas.

The heights of a roof on a building are attractive to pigeons, largely because the areas provide safety and a good spot to keep an eye on any food sources down below.

A flock of city pigeons will often nest or sit on a roof, as it provides a great escape from predators and can also help the birds avoid pest control which may be concentrated on the ground or gardens below.

Ample amounts of food and water will also keep pigeons perched on a roof, since they can easily swoop down to feed and hydrate before returning to their safe spot.

This is similar to falcons and raptors who will also sit and wait on the eaves of the roof to look for prey and take advantage of the aerial views.

But this can cause a wide array of issues with droppings both on the roof and the ground below, as well as pests on the roof and subsequently inside of the building, the spread of pathogens, structural damage, and more.

This is why removing pigeons through bird control measures is so important.

Let’s take a closer look at when this could become a problem.

When does this become a problem?

City pigeons become a problem when entire flocks group together and make a roof their home. As a roost grows bigger, they will spread from one spot across the entirety of the surface if the roof is big enough to hold more than one flock.

The more pigeons there are around, the more their faeces will begin to saturate the surface. Not only is this horribly unsightly, but it is also potentially dangerous and can make you sick thanks to diseases and pathogens.

This species expels a lot of waste, which only increases the danger of disease transmission and structural damage. Not to mention, cleaning this mess can go far beyond what is capable with home remedies or what you can buy at the convenience store.

Now that you know the dangers that pigeon faeces pose to humans and the structural damage these birds cause, let’s explore how you can get rid of pigeons on roofs.

How to prevent birds from congregating on my roof

As mentioned, pigeons fly to high up areas that are near to food sources and away from humans. But thankfully there are some home remedies you can take to prevent this behaviour.

prevent pigeons on roofs with bird netting- Project multi pest

Bird netting for roof

Bird netting is widely used in urban areas such as London and provides a long term, effective bird control solution.

Bird netting may not be the most aesthetically pleasing remedy, but it is by far one of the most effective ways to get rid of pigeons from the same spot and even an entire roof. This will also work for crows, starlings, seagulls, and practically any type of bird.

It can be fixed to roofs, fascias, ledges, eaves, and chimneys to form an impenetrable barrier to pigeons and other pest birds and works by connecting to poles or suspended structures on the top of the building.

The nets then lay across the surface of the building, and this prevents pigeons from being able to roost and nest comfortably across the roof.

Netting does not do much for preventing faeces and waste from falling to the surface of the roof. But the advantage of this system, is that it prevents and discourages pigeons from setting up their homes on the roof or even crawling into the attic.

But with this in mind, netting may not be a great solution for every situation. Many people find the nets to be too distracting and an eye sore on their home or business.

Additionally, the nets may not discourage all pigeons, as they are a clever and stubborn species of bird.

If that is the case, spikes may be a better solution.

pigeon spikes for preventing pigeons gathering on roofs

Bird roof spikes for pigeons or other birds

Look up at almost any London building and you will see anti-roosting spikes. These are also a great way to get rid of pigeons but unlike netting, spikes deter pigeons from landing at all thanks to the obstructive points on the tops of the spikes.

Spikes work by being placed in a group, typically on uneven surfaces, and the design of the spikes deter pigeons since the birds cannot land on the structure and comfortably roost along the surface.

Roosting is prevented since flocks have no place to rest and no place to perch and look for food.

Roosting is what leads to the massive amounts of faeces, feathers, and more across a rooftop, and if the spikes are lined strategically, it is highly unlikely that city pigeons, seagulls, or crows will land at all.

There are some other remedies that you can try as well, such as gels and decoys, but nets and spikes have been found to work best thanks to how the products prevent roosting in the first place.


Are birds in lofts a problem?

It is common to think that having birds in your loft is no big deal, but this can become a problem once their numbers start to rise.

Additionally, there are the matters of bird waste, noise from constant flying and cooing, pest and disease transmission, and structural damage to take into account.

Pigeons are not a reviled pest in the lives of humans, certainly not along the lines of cockroaches or bed bugs, but they can cause problems.

A pigeon population in your loft could also attract rodents since these pests are attracted to the food droppings pigeons can leave on the ground.

And trust us, as bird control experts, this is certainly not something you want to let get out of hand!

Are birds nesting on the roof a problem?

Birds nesting on the roof pose similar problems to nests being set up in a loft. You will be able to hear the noise that birds make, and this will quickly become problematic at night when you are trying to sleep.

Furthermore, unlike the inside of a loft, the roof is immediately visible to the outside world.

This means you will have to deal with structural damage that the birds are causing to the surface of the building and if you are in close proximity to other premises this could become a health hazard for them too.

Do bird feeders in gardens attract pigeons to rooftops?

Bird feeders located in a garden are one of the primary attractants for pigeons. These birds are seeking shelter that has a convenient and easy access point to food sources as well as water.

Pigeons are not a species of bird that forages often, so they will look for areas that have everything at their disposal.

This is one of the reasons these birds travel in circles so they can quickly acquire what it is they need and return to their roosting. In fact pigeons are often quite lazy.

Why Choose PMP for bird control?

At Project Multi Pest, we offer pest bird control in London and around the charming seaside locale of Kent. We have extensive experience when it comes to battling a pigeon invasion, and we can offer our services to you for a pigeon-free roof.

If you suspect your home may have fallen victim to a pigeon invasion, then please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us a line.

Call us on 0800 1933351 now or email us today for help and advice.

Picture of Matthew Blackwell

Matthew Blackwell

Matt is an experienced and professional pest control technician and falconer serving London and Kent.

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About Project Multi Pest
PMP is an experienced pest control company serving the London and Kent areas. It’s owned and operated by Matthew Blackwell. For pest control advice please call or use our website contact form.

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