Pigeon Control


Photo of a gray rock pigeon standing among rocks
This is the common pigeon of city parks, downtown buildings, barns, and cliffs.

Learn more about Pigeons

The pigeon or rock dove (Columba livia) is common throughout the U.S., especially in urban areas. Pigeons carry diseases that humans can catch, and their droppings are unsightly and damage buildings and other structures.


Because the pigeon is not native to the U.S., it is not classified as wildlife and therefore is not protected by either the Wildlife Code of Missouri or federal regulations. Consequently, there are few restrictions on control. NOTE: Pigeons look similar to mourning, Eurasian, and white-winged doves, all of which are protected by the Code and federal regulations. Identify correctly before taking control action.

Nest removal

Reduce pigeon populations by destroying nests and eggs at two-week intervals during spring and summer months. Use a hook fastened to a long pole to tear down nests.


Exclude pigeons from buildings by blocking access to indoor roosts and nesting areas. Discourage roosting on ledges by changing the angle to 45 degrees or more by forming and fastening sheet metal, wood, plastic foam blocks, stone, or other materials. Use polypropylene netting to prevent access to roosting, loafing, and nesting sites. Porcupine wires (Cat ClawTM, NixaliteTM) can make flat surfaces inhospitable. Several well-known pest-control companies specialize in pigeon exclusion. Search the Web for offices in your area.

Fumigants and repellents

A number of sticky surfaced, non-toxic, chemical repellents are available, but effectiveness is usually short-lived, especially in dusty conditions. The strong odor produced by mothballs and flakes may repel pigeons temporarily, but the naphthalene they contain is toxic and the vapor harmful to humans. Special toxicants are available, but their use is restricted to properly licensed pest control operators. Search the Web for pest-control specialists in your area.


Pigeons can be effectively controlled by capture in large colony traps designed for this purpose. Plans for constructing these traps are readily available online. As with exclusion, a number of companies specialize in this service.


Where use of such guns and firearms is allowed, you may shoot pigeons with a BB or pellet gun, conventional firearm such as a rimfire, or small-bore shotgun. Check with local city or county authorities. However, this method is usually effective only for small flocks and when used in conjunction with other methods, such as exclusion.

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