It’s no big secret that pigeons are among the most annoying types of birds on the planet. Most people don’t like them because they’re very dirty and they can make a mess on your property.
If your barn has been infested with them as of late, you might be worried about what can be done. Pigeons nesting or roosting in your barn will create problems, and it might make it tougher for you to use your barn as intended.
Read on to learn about the best methods for getting rid of pigeons in your barn. These ideas should help you to get things back to normal so that you won’t have to worry.
Why Pigeons in Your Barn Is Such a Big Problem
Before going further, it’s going to be important to understand why pigeons in your barn will be such a big problem. You see, when they enter buildings such as barns, they aren’t usually going to arrive in groups of just one or two pigeons.
You’ll often find that your barn will be inhabited by flocks of pigeons that are as large as 10 to 30 birds. With this number of birds, it’s going to be hard to keep things under control.
A group of 30 pigeons is going to leave a huge mess behind that will be difficult to clean up. This can turn your barn into a smelly and messy wasteland that you won’t even want to enter.
This is why it is so imperative to try to take care of pigeon issues as soon as you can. The faster you get the birds out of your barn, the better.
What Attracts Pigeons to Barns?
Pigeons seem to be very attracted to barns, and this makes it more likely that you’ll have to keep taking steps to keep your barn protected. Pigeons like to enter barns because they are good sources of food.
Barns often have leftover food that pigeons are able to eat, and they’re also spacious enough for them to be able to spread out a bit. Some barn owners even make the mistake of setting up bird feeders that are meant to feed beneficial birds.
Even if you don’t have bird feeders in your barn, pigeons will likely be able to find food from leftover sources. For example, there might be leftover grain on the floor, and there could be water in the barn that the pigeons can utilize.
Spilled grains are going to be like a beacon that calls out to the local pigeon population. If you want to keep them out, you’ll need to be careful about keeping your barn clean.
The first thing to do is to eliminate any bird feeders if you happen to have any. Next, you’re going to want to clean the barn meticulously so that no food is on the ground that will attract them.
If you do a good job of keeping your barn tidy, pigeons will be less likely to want to enter. This will take some effort on your part, but it’s going to be worthwhile.
Killing the Pigeons Might Not Be the Best Choice
Your first instinct might be to kill the pigeons so that they won’t ever come back to your barn. As understandable as it is to want to eliminate pests, this is likely not the best route to take.
In America, federal laws state that you can kill pigeons, but some local laws will differ. Depending on where you live, the legality of killing them might come into question.
Aside from this, it’s notable that killing the birds might only create more work for you. The pigeon population is going to continue to grow, and you’re going to keep killing them and disposing of the bird corpses over and over again.
This creates a cycle that won’t solve your problems, and it just doesn’t make sense to go about things in this fashion. Likewise, trapping the pigeons isn’t a good idea because releasing them somewhere away from the barn will not guarantee that they won’t come back.
The best thing that you can do is learn how to deter them from entering the barn. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can do just that.
1 – Set up Decoy Predators
Setting up decoy predators is a good way to scare pigeons away from the barn. If you set up decoys of predators that pigeons fear, they’re going to be less likely to want to enter.
One of the best ones that you can purchase will be an owl decoy. Owls are natural predators that will scare pigeons severely, and you can get a very realistic owl decoy without having to spend too much cash.
Since barns are quite large, it might be wise to set up several decoys like this to try to keep pigeons away. Place the decoys at specific points in the barn that they might use to try to enter.
The only issue with this method is that pigeons might become wise to the decoys over time. You can mitigate this issue by moving the decoys around from time to time to make it appear more realistic.
Some people even swap out decoys every few weeks to try to keep the pigeons scared. It isn’t hard to place them in your barn, and it won’t cost you a lot of money to own several of them.
2 – Hang Reflective Materials in the Barn
Reflective materials will also scare birds and keep them from wanting to go near specific areas. Birds aren’t able to process reflections very well and they cause their brains to become confused.
This is very useful since you can use this weakness to keep birds from wanting to go near your barn. Many people will choose to hang what is known as reflective scare tape as a bird deterrent.
You can hang this scare tape at various points throughout your barn to try to keep pigeons from wanting to go near it. Generally, this method works well, and it should help to make them think twice before trying to enter.
There are other things that can work if you don’t wish to go out and buy reflective scare tape. You can actually just hang up some hand mirrors or old compact discs because they will have the same effect.
This is a very simple way to keep birds away that works just about as well as using decoys. Many people choose to use reflective tape alongside decoys to really keep birds scared.
It’s also worth noting that many people place tape like this outside the barn as well. If you’re growing crops near the barn, using some tape near the crops might keep birds from even getting close to it, and it’ll protect the crops from birds that might wish to feed on them.
3 – Special Noise Makers
Special noise makers are worth considering as well since they can keep pigeons away. Most people who decide to go this route will purchase ultrasonic noise devices that can be heard by birds.
The idea is that you will play noises that the birds won’t like, and it’ll keep them from wanting to get too close. Some of these ultrasonic devices will play predator noises on a loop that will scare pigeons.
There are various types of ultrasonic noise devices on the market that you can look into. They’re fairly cost-effective, and some of them even run on solar power so that you won’t need to be concerned about batteries.
It might be best to set up multiple ultrasonic noise devices in your barn if it is particularly large. Setting these devices up at both ends of the barn and in the middle should produce good results.
4 – Special Gel
Some barn owners choose to use a special gel to keep birds from wanting to try to roost in the barn. Essentially, this gel feels nasty to the birds and they will slip when they try to step on it.
You can coat the top of the barn in this gel and use it on the rafters as well. It should make it so that hanging out in there will be inconvenient for any bird that chooses to stop by.
The practicality of using special gel throughout the barn might not be there, though. You would need a lot of gel to cover all of the areas that a pigeon could land on, and this might make it a less than ideal solution.
Even so, this could work for some people to help deter pigeons from wanting to roost in the barn. It isn’t hard to apply the gel to surfaces, and pigeons definitely don’t like it.
The only issue with this gel is that it can be somewhat cruel to the pigeons. It won’t kill them or anything, but it might make it tough for them to fly if it gets stuck on their feathers.
This could make it so that they won’t be able to get away, and it might cause them to die due to being easy prey for a predator. Take this into consideration when you’re choosing which methods to employ.
5 – Pigeon Spikes
Pigeon spikes will be another thing to consider when you don’t want to use the special gel method mentioned above. This does the same type of thing as the gel, but it doesn’t cruelly prevent the pigeons from flying if gel gets on their feathers.
You can buy these spikes that you can wrap around various surfaces that pigeons might land on. This makes it so that they won’t want to land on different spots because it is uncomfortable for them to do so.
The spikes won’t directly harm the pigeons, but they won’t be able to properly roost on spots that have them. Many barn owners will choose to place pigeon spikes on the roof as well as the rafters.
You’ll need to cover all of the likely spots that pigeons will land for this to work out well, but it can help a lot. If you do things right, it should make it far less likely that pigeons will want to stick around.
6 – Seal Barn Entrances with Nets or Mesh
One good idea is to try to keep the pigeons from being able to enter the barn in the first place. You can seal the entrances as well as you can, and using nets to keep pigeons from entering the top portions makes sense.
Many barns have entrances at the top that can be reached by climbing a ladder, and these spots will be close to the rafters. Pigeons often enter barns from this location, but you can make it so that they can’t get in if you place nets there.
The pigeons won’t be able to move past the nets to get in, and you won’t have to worry so much. It’s a pretty easy way to take care of your issue, and nets aren’t all that expensive to purchase either.
You could also just use wood to secure the barn and keep unwanted pests out. Some people like being able to let air into the barn from the top, though, and it’s really up to you which route you’d like to take.
7 – Poisoning Pigeons
Poisoning pigeons is an option as long as it is legal to kill pigeons in your area. The problem with this is that it might not be a permanent solution even if it’s legal for you to do this.
The idea is to place types of poison in your barn that will kill the pigeons when they try to eat it. There are all sorts of poison that you can use, but it’s easy to buy one that is specifically meant to kill birds.
Just keep in mind that this is considered to be cruel and unnecessary by many people. It might even be outright illegal in your area, and this could backfire anyway.
It’s very possible that the pigeon poison will only kill a few pigeons before the flock flees. They will then breed and replace the pigeons that you managed to kill before coming back.
This is the same reason why shooting the pigeons is unlikely going to be an ideal solution. Getting all of them would be tough, and they can replenish their numbers faster than you might realize.
8 – Get a Barn Cat
Getting a barn cat could help you to keep pigeons from wanting to come around as well. This is potentially a good solution to the problem because pigeons will certainly be afraid of cats.
A cat is going to have a natural predator instinct kick in when it sees pigeons come around. The cat will chase them and it might even kill some of them if it happens to catch them.
Most likely, the pigeons are going to flee in terror at the sight of a cat. You could even choose to keep multiple barn cats around for the purpose of scaring off birds and keeping mice at bay.
This is a pretty common thing that barn owners do when they want to keep birds away. You might even have fun taking care of a cat and having it live in the barn.
It’s simply going to be important to give the cat everything that it needs to thrive. So long as it can have a good and happy life living in the barn, it’s going to be a good thing to look into.
As the cat gets older, it might be less likely to want to chase pigeons, though. This can be remedied by bringing in new cats from time to time.
Some farmers will retire barn cats and bring them to the house and then put new ones in the barn. You can decide what the best thing to do will be in your situation, though.
Now you know a lot more about what it takes to keep pigeons out of your barn. You can scare them away and try to kill them, but they will likely just keep coming back.
Using the deterrent methods mentioned above will be the best option you have. You can do your best to keep them from wanting to enter the barn because of how inconvenient it is for them.
Cleaning the barn is a must, and using the right scare tactics makes it more likely that pigeons won’t come around. You won’t be able to rest on your laurels once you’ve gotten rid of the pigeons that are giving you problems right now, but at least you’ll know what to do in the future if they come back.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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