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Pigeon Poison

Peter M; Arlington, VA asks: What poison best works for killing pigeons? Someone told me that gopher poison works well.

Dear Peter: Yikes! Gopher poison? You don't have gophers on your roof. You have birds. The product used must be labeled for the target pest. Imagine if you were to use gopher poison and it did, in fact, kill the pigeons. The birds fall from the sky on streets and the backyards of your neighbors. A pet finds the dead bird and is poisoned by eating the dead pigeon. Somehow, the authorities track the dead bird back to you and you are sued for a million dollars. Get the picture? Don't do it!

Okay! That said, there is a pigeon poison sold as Avitrol, but you need to be a licensed pest control operator or bird control professional to purchase this restricted product. 

Avitrol is not listed as a pigeon poison, but rather as a pigeon dispersal product. The active ingredient in Avitrol baits, 4-aminopyridine, is an acute oral toxicant which acts on the central nervous system and the motor nervous system. It is used to disperse large flocks of pigeons, not one or two. It requires three weeks of distributing non-poisoned corn to attract the pigeons to feed on the poisoned bait corn. Depending upon how the product is mixed, you usually kill about ten percent of the flock and the rest of the flock flies away, not to return. Avitrol is seldom used to treat birds in residential areas.

If you are only trying to get rid of a few pigeons you may want to consider excluding them using netting to close off the area where they are roosting and/or nesting. That's a whole other email.

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