Monday, May 21, 2012

Social engineering doesn't work on pigeons.

I have some uninvited houseguests -- The feathered, cooing kind -- bunking down in the eavestroughs and soffits on the south side of My home.  The eaves are slated for repairs this year, but in the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to evict these dulcet-toned squatters without resorting to something drastic and/or lethal.

So, as I am the kind of Goddess who thinks pigeons would be Real Cute If Only They Weren't So Messy and Destructive, I'm trying the holistic approach.

To wit:  How do I, Astreja K., go about convincing a clan of pigeons that the eaves of My house are not a good place to raise their young?

Well, the obvious answer (to Me, anyway) was "Try to sound like something that eats pigeons."

So I started out by making skittery noises up and down the wall with a pair of rubber gloves, trying to evoke images of a really, really hungry rodent that eats pigeon eggs in mass quantities.

That shut the pigeons up for, oh, maybe 30 seconds.

Then I remembered that pigeons allegedly have an aversion to owls, and occasionally to plastic scare owls.  Rather than installing an owl-shaped hunk of plastic on the roof, I gave a hoot or two to see what would happen.

The pigeons quieted down; then I heard them muttering to one another:

"'Zat an owl?"

"Nah; it's that weird lady who stands on the back stairs at midnight and yells "Kittens!  Greyscale!  Waaaalter!"

I think they're on to Me.  But I'm not ready to dial 1-800-DED-BOID just yet.