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How to Scare Pigeons & Seagulls From Buildings

Updated July 20, 2017

Birds such as pigeons and seagulls are beautiful, fun for your kids to feed and have necessary functions in the environment. But, for many homeowners, business owners and building superintendents they also cause damage to roofs, are health hazards, destroy plants around buildings and ruin the aesthetics of buildings because of their nests and excrement. Killing the birds is not a viable option and is illegal in many places, so the best way to remove them from buildings is to install a number of protective and deterrent systems.

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  1. Watch where the birds roost, nest and spend their time on the building. Find out the main times of the day they arrive and spend time on the building. Look for nesting areas, arrival and exit zones and where the largest quantities of faeces exist.

  2. Decide on what forms of protection and deterrents you need. If you have large open awnings, then measure them all before purchasing wire mesh. Locate all openings in the building that are over 1/2 inch in size where the birds roost and spend the most of their time. Measure roof ridges and roof edges if you want to install porcupine wire.

  3. Make notes on all the sizes and shapes of the openings so you know how much material you need.

  4. Go to your local hardware store and buy all the necessary wire mesh, stakes, reflective surfaces and other items.

  5. Staple wire mesh over all open awnings and all other openings the birds use.

  6. Tie fishing line to reflective items (old CDs or reflective tape) and nail them to wooden stakes - they can be pointed or flat, they are meant just as holders for the reflective devices.

  7. Install the four wooden stakes to corners of building. Some larger buildings will need more than four stakes. Do not attach them directly to the roof as they could cause leaks. Nail or hook them with metal strips and screws to the fascia of the building. Also hang reflective items from chimneys, air vents or other tall structures on the roof such as antennas to help deter the birds. You can also use whirligigs or bird spiders hooked to the stakes to add extra moving items. Some bird spikes are made from metal, but wooden stakes are cheaper and easier to hang the other items from.

  8. If the problem is severe, install porcupine wire across the roof ridges and along the roof edges. Porcupine wire usually comes in 2 to 5 foot lengths. The actual wire looks like the spikes on a porcupine and stands 3 to 8 inches tall depending on the kind of wire. It comes with an installation kit and should be installed to your building's fascia or gutters.

  9. Tip

    If you don't want to spend the money or wire mesh and reflective tape, then plastic mesh and old CDs work well. Make sure any reflective or other deterrent devices hooked to chimneys and other surfaces will withstand high winds. You can also add motion sensor audio devices if the problem does not get better. They work in the same way as motion sensor lights. Read and follow all the instructions for them to make sure they work correctly.


    Do not work on your roof if you are not comfortable with heights or have physical problems climbing a ladder, it can lead to physical harm. Call a professional for help. Do not use chemical deterrents, many can kill plants, poison the birds, other wildlife in your area and the groundwater. Wear gloves and other protective clothing to guard against injury

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire mesh
  • Reflective items
  • Wood stakes
  • Fishing line
  • Staple gun
  • Porcupine wire
  • Measuring tape
  • Wire cutters

About the Author

Charles Roe started writing in 2009, specializing in technology, history, education and travel writing. His articles appear on eHow, Trails, Answerbag and other Web sites. Roe has a Master of Arts in history from the University of Cincinnati and a Diploma of English Language Teaching to Adults from Cambridge University.

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