The Q&A Archives: Deterring Pigeons

Question: Last year was my first attempt at a container gardern on my 12th floor apartment balcony. Using cages I was able to keep the wind at bay (thought not always!) but the pigeons will not leave me alone. I've given serious consideration to building a small greenhouse for plant 'protection'. Are there any other methods to detract birds and am I crazy to attempt a container garden at this altitude?! Thank you for your time! Heather Peplinski Schaumburg, IL

Answer: You might take a tip from orchardists trying to scare away starlings--they sometimes use "scare-eye" balloons. These are mylar baloons with various markings on the sides intended to frighten the birds. You can also try mylar streamers, which flutter in the wind (and it sound like you have plenty of wind!) and frighten birds. Another trick is to use an owl decoy. Since owls are predators of many birds, it just might be enough to deter those pigeons. These products are available from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (916-272-4769) and Pest Management Supply (413-549-7276)..

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