Pigeons can be removed from a home or building with physical barriers such as netting, fishing line and cardboard. These barriers work to block access to roofs and potential nesting sites. Inclined slopes placed on flat surfaces such as roofs or sun decks can also prevent pigeons from landing and building nests.
In addition to barriers and slopes, pigeons can also be deterred from nesting with bird sound devices. These audio units emit bird distress calls that disturb pigeons and cause them to keep their distance.
Plastic and metal bird spikes are another common deterrent that are considered safe and humane, as the pigeons simply change their route when they encounter the spikes. Spikes are placed on surfaces where the birds frequently gather such as windowsills and roof gutters. Glue and sticky traps are not recommended, as they contain chemicals that are irritating to the pigeon and might harm the birds.
Pigeons are attracted to human food and trash, so homeowners should safely seal garbage bags and outdoor trash cans. It is important for apartment dwellers and homeowners to clean windowsills and the surrounding area if pigeons have gathered there prior to installing the deterrents. While cleaning, respiratory protection should be used as inhaled dust from pigeon droppings can cause a debilitating lung illness called histoplasmosis.