Pigeons – pests? nightmare?
Forget about all the romantic associations with this winged creature. Songs like kabutar jaa, jaa or the more recent masakali, masakali… must be for people who haven’t seen what a pain these apparently innocuous birds can actually be. Over the past one year or so, the open spaces between our flats have become home for these pests. I never imagined that the design of our flats (with no common walls) could actually land us in trouble with several birds perched on the most unimaginable spots – windowsills, drain pipes, balconies, AC units.
Because of this menace, my flat is deprived of good ventilation. The doors and windows need to be closed all the time because leaving them open would mean inviting them to create more nuisance and dirty the place. The only way to keep away these birds would be covering the balconies with a mesh. And I don’t think I accept this as the solution, perhaps when all else fails, I might consider meshing it up.
But till then, I wanted to try other ways to shoo them away. Once I saw a note put up on the notice board of our apartments. It suggested a natural and harmless way of keeping away the pigeons. The idea was to keep some chillies, pepper and cinnamon in a plate where the birds usually perch. I followed the instructions only to find that the next minute the plate in which I kept the stuff and its contents were thrown down promptly by the birds. Next, my domestic help told me that she would catch at least one of them and then take it far away and leave it there. I thought this was a rather hurtful method so did not encourage her. But, one day she actually caught one of them and put it in a bag and carried it away. Her idea was that this would make other get scared and stop them from entering our house. Sadly, this didn’t work either! Now what? The other day I had left the bedroom window open and went to have my bath. When I was came out I was taken aback…there was a pigeon pecking on the neatly ironed dress which was on the bed. And when they enter inside they can be anywhere – on the cupboard, on the fan, on the paintings – how menacing! what a nightmare!
I was reminded of the “Durbar Hall” of the Kothi Women’s College where I studied. It had hundreds of pigeons. During our exams the pigeons would become such a nuisance - it was common to see pigeons dirtying the exam papers and making us rewrite on a fresh page!