Pesky Pigeons: A Solution for Behavior and Control

By Mark S. Kuhar

Did you ever go out to the plant and find a line of pigeons sitting on the conveyor? That’s never good. Before you’re tempted to get out the shotgun, consider a long-term plan for controlling the population.

Effective pest control relies heavily on pest behavior to get the job done. For example, when baiting a pest, any pest, the bait must be highly attractive to ensure the pest goes to the bait as opposed to something else. 

“While we cannot interview pigeons, we know for sure that they like OvoControl since they will eat it equally vigorously as cracked corn, one of their favorite snacks,” said Innolytics, a La Qunita, Calif.-based company developing contraceptive technology for wildlife.

There are a variety of behaviors that the company relies on to ensure that the OvoControl system of baiting attracts pigeons.

  • Flocking – Pigeons form flocks that represent a social unit, effectively their extended family. Once paired up, pigeons are monogamous and stay with their mate for life. Pigeons tend to eat as a flock eliminating the risk of non-target birds. 
  • Resident – As opposed to migratory birds, pigeons are sedentary and will only move as far as necessary for food, water, and quality nesting habitat. This behavior ensures that they come to the automatic feeder each day. 
  • Routine – Pigeons are creatures of habit. For example, once accustomed to a reliable food source, they will return every day to the same spot. We rely on this behavior to ensure that the birds come back to the feeder every day. 
  • Breeding – Nearly as prolific as rats, under the right set of conditions, pigeons will breed all year long. Their rapid breeding, however, can be effectively offset by a birth control program.
  • Life Span – The good news is that feral pigeons have a relatively short life expectancy of just two to three years. The short life span contributes to the efficacy of a contraceptive product and allows the population to decline at a rate of 50%, annually!

All of these common characteristics and behaviors make pigeons ideal candidates for contraceptive control. 

OvoControl is a ready-to-use bait, dispensed on flat rooftops with an automatic wildlife feeder. This effective and humane technology is especially useful for managing birds in larger areas without having to resort to poisons or labor-intensive trapping programs.

For more information on OvoControl or Innolytics, please visit the company website at