Keep Pigeons off Your Balcony: Safe & Humane Techniques and Tips

You’ve scrubbed, shooed, and maybe even shouted, but still, they treat your space like their own personal lounge. When pigeons invade your balcony, they leave an unsightly mess, a trail of droppings, and feathers that seem to find their way into every nook. The constant cleanup is far from the relaxing balcony oasis you had in mind.

Frustrating, isn’t it? 

But here’s the good news: you can still reclaim your space with some effective pigeon control methods. Here are some practical, humane, and safe pigeon-free balcony tips that keep pigeons at bay:

Prevention Tips

Since pigeons aren’t picky eaters, that bag of trash you left on your balcony is a treasure trove to them. The first step to preventing a pigeon invasion is ensuring a clean balcony. First, seal all your bins to deny them access to food. An even better approach would be to empty your bins regularly.

Remember, pigeons seek out water as much as food, so eliminate any water sources to prevent their visits.

Humane Deterrent Techniques

Even with the best prevention methods in place, pigeons may still manage to find a way onto your balcony. So, how can you effectively get rid of them without resorting to harsh measures? 

1). Physical Barriers

If you’re already dealing with persistent pigeons, the first step to discouraging their visits is to make your balcony less accessible and uncomfortable for them. This is where physical barriers come in. There are three main types of physical barriers: bird netting, spikes, and bird wire.

Bird Netting: Made from durable, UV-stabilized polyethylene or polypropylene bird netting is designed to withstand the elements, providing a long-lasting barrier against pigeons. You can install it over the balcony to create a physical block that prevents pigeons from entering. The mesh size is small enough to stop pigeons but large enough to not obscure your view, making it an effective and unobtrusive solution.

Bird Wire: This is a series of thin, tensioned wires placed just high enough above the railing or other roosting spots to make pigeons uncomfortable trying to land. It’s a subtle technique, but very effective in keeping pigeons at bay without changing the look of your balcony.

Bird Spikes: Spikes are made from stainless steel or plastic and are attached to balcony ledges, beams, and other perching points. Their pointed tips are spaced and similar to bird wire, they create an uneven surface, making it impossible for pigeons to land comfortably. Though they appear sharp, the spikes are totally harmless. 

2). Reflective Materials and Objects

Pigeons, like many birds, are easily disoriented by unexpected light reflections. Simple items such as old CDs, reflective tapes, or even small mirrors can serve as a bird-repelling tool. When light hits these objects, it bounces off in various directions, creating patterns that interfere with the pigeons’ sense of security, encouraging them to seek out a more stable environment.

3). Decoys and Scare Tactics

Deploying decoys is a strategy that capitalizes on pigeons’ natural aversion to predators. You can therefore use lifelike models of birds of prey, such as hawks or owls to scare away pigeons. 

These decoys should be positioned prominently, where they’re highly visible to any incoming pigeons. For increased efficacy, choose decoys with reflective eyes or those that can move slightly in the wind to simulate a real threat.

Scare tactics also extend beyond decoys. You can use wind chimes or motion-activated devices that make noise or spray water when triggered. The sudden noise or water spritz is often enough to startle pigeons and discourage them from returning. 

4). Chemical & Natural Repellents

When physical barriers and scare tactics aren’t quite cutting it, or you’re looking for an extra layer of defense, it’s time to consider repellents. 

If you’re looking for a quick and easy fix, non-toxic chemical repellents can be an effective solution. These repellents usually come in the form of sprays or gels and contain natural ingredients that are safe for both the birds and the environment. 

Some common non-toxic substances used include methyl anthranilate, a grape extract that pigeons find unpleasant. 

Nature also offers its own set of pigeon repellents in the form of certain plants and herbs. Pigeons tend to stay away from strong scents, making herbs like lavender, peppermint, or lemon balm excellent choices for your balcony garden. Not only do they keep pigeons at bay, but they also add a pleasant aroma and greenery to your space. Plant these herbs in pots around your balcony or use their essential oils in diluted form to create a spray for areas where pigeons frequent.

Repellents can be applied to the edges and surfaces of your balcony where pigeons land most often. They will need to be reapplied periodically, especially after rain or heavy winds.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda Thompson is an expert in dog behavior with over a decade of experience, and she is also passionate about working with cats and birds. In addition to contributing pet content to, she is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Brenda received her Bachelor of Science in Biological and Biomedical Sciences & Philosophy from Colorado College in 2014. She has taken classes in writing and remote animal behavior consulting, as well as courses on how to manage aggressive dogs and litter box issues. In 2016, she obtained her dog behavior consulting certification and joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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