How it works

Bird Free is a pigeon repellent formulated to stimulate three senses of the bird: sight, smell and touch. These three stimuli combine to create avoidance learning in birds.


Bird Free’s proprietary gel mixture contains pyranine, the same colouring agent used in highlighters. This fluoresces when excited by UV radiation, causing the gel to glow with ultraviolet light. Invisible to humans, the UV light creates an impression on the bird similar to shimmering fire (hence the name Fire Gel™), causing it to avoid landing on surfaces treated with Bird Free. This avoidance reaction is observed immediately after Bird Free is applied.


Bird Free contains peppermint oil, long known as an effective bird repellent. Studies have shown that the menthol contained in peppermint derivatives acts as a primary repellent in birds due to its action on olfactory and trigeminal nerve endings located in the bird’s nose, mouth and eyes. (The trigeminal nerve is closely related to the olfactory nerve. It conveys facial sensations to the central nervous system.) The odour quality and pungency of the menthol is sensed by the olfactory and trigeminal systems of the bird, respectively, and creates a strong aversion response.

Synergy between visual and olfactory stimuli

In effect, these two stimuli, visual and olfactory, act together in synergy, warning the bird not to approach. As a result, birds quickly learn to keep away from surfaces treated with Bird Free repellent.

In the video showing the avoidance reaction, pigeons that used to sit on the chimney every morning learnt within a day of Bird Free being installed not to go near it. A video of the same chimney taken in October 2016, three years after Bird Free was applied, shows many pigeons flying over the chimney, but none land on it.


While the vast majority of birds are deterred by Bird Free's visual and olfactory stimuli and will not come into contact with the gel, where nests have been removed and treated with Bird Free a nesting bird will often be seen attempting to return to the nesting site immediately after Bird Free has been applied, causing it to touch the gel, which is very sticky. Due to the gel’s high viscosity the bird will not be harmed. However, birds abhor anything sticky on their feathers, so the bird only needs to touch the gel once and it will never return.  


Pigeons had been nesting on a junction box inside this underground car park for many years, resulting in damage to cars parked below. The nest was removed, and the surface of the box was disinfected. Dishes of Bird Free were then fixed where the nest had been at 15cm centres. Dishes were also fixed around the edge of the box at 25cm centres. The pest controller who carried out the treatment inspected the box three days later, and reported:

“There had been a pair of pigeons nesting against the wall for an extended period of time prior to clean-up and installation of Bird Free. After hree days the top of the junction box was inspected. It was clear that there had been an attempt to reoccupy the habitat. There was a footprint in the Bird Free and a trail of gel was visible across the top of the box. There was evidently only a single attempt. Now there is no sign of pigeons in the vicinity of the junction box.” 

Ten reasons why Bird Free has proved to be the best solution to pigeon problems

  1. Birds avoid the treated site for good  

A site treated with Bird Free will automatically be perceived by pigeons as abhorrent immediately after installation. The visual and olfactory stimuli created by the fire gel causes the resident pigeons to abandon their habitat without physically harming or obstructing them. Within a maximum of 48 hours they will learn to keep away from the treated site completely. Thereafter there will be no more pigeons and no more droppings at the site.

  1. Birds will abandon long-standing habitats

The efficacy of this bird repellent is not limited to the birds that may be looking to occupy a site. It repels all birds that currently infest the site. A pigeon’s instinct to return to its nesting site is strong, but, unlike bird control methods that act as a physical barrier that birds will always try to overcome, Bird Free will alter the bird’s behaviour in such a way that it will abandon its erstwhile habitat. 

Due to perceived danger birds will be forced to leave and will have to look for another place to nest. Bird Free gel banishes pigeons from their habitat; even birds that have been resident for years will completely abandon the site. Many customers have stated that our bird repellent gel has succeeded in solving pigeon problems which they had repeatedly tried, and failed, to solve with traditional bird proofing methods.

  1. Eliminates even the most severe infestations

Another advantage that Bird Free has over other pigeon repellents is its consistent efficacy irrespective of the level of pressure. Many bird control methods will be more or less effective depending on the severity of the infestation.  Bird Free gel, on the other hand, will have a consistent repellent effect regardless of the severity and duration of the infestation, as long as the cleaning and spacing guidelines in the installation manual are followed.

All resident birds will abandon the treated area within a day or two, after which they will not return. Nor will new birds try to occupy a site treated with Bird Free

  1. Immediate results

Clients are surprised at the immediate aversion response created by our pigeon repellent. Immediately after application of the optical gel they will often observe birds that try to return to the site shying away from the Bird Free.

With traditional bird control methods, such as nets and spikes, that create a physical barrier pigeons can be seen attempting to return to their habitat for several weeks. The aversion reaction created by Bird Free, on the other hand, will cause even the most persistent nesting pairs to completely abandon the site after a couple of days. In other words, Bird Free’s multi-sensory repellent gel offers a more immediate solution to pigeon problems by altering the behaviour of the bird.

  1. Causes no harm to birds 

Bird Free gel will not harm the bird in any way. A site treated with our Bird Free repellent will be perceived as a no-go zone by the pigeon due to the multi-sensory stimuli described above. 

While the vast majority of birds are deterred by Bird Free's visual and olfactory stimuli and will not come into contact with the gel, where nests have been removed and treated with Bird Free a nesting bird will often be seen attempting to return to the nesting site immediately after the repellent gel has been applied, causing it to touch the gel, which is very sticky. Due to the gel’s high viscosity the bird will not be harmed. However, birds abhor anything sticky on their feathers, so the bird only needs to touch the gel once and it will never return.

  1. Non-hazardous for humans 

Bird Free gel is authorised under the simplified authorisation procedure of the Biocidal Products Regulation, the first condition of which is that its active substances must be of a category classified by the Regulation as low risk: in the case of Bird Free the active substances are peppermint oil and citronellal.  In addition to being a bird control method that is not harmful to wildlife, it is non-hazardous for humans to work with. 

Under the terms of its authorisation there is no requirement to wear PPE when handling Bird Free. However, because facial contact can cause skin or eye irritation we recommend the use of disposable gloves. 

  1. Other animals  

Customers sometimes ask if Bird Free can be used to deter bats or squirrels, for example. The simple answer is no. The gel is formulated to affect the senses of birds, and is for use specifically in bird control. It is not suitable for use against other pests. 

Because it can be harmful if ingested it should be kept away from children and pets.

  1. Proven to be effective over a minimum of four years 

Latest test data shows 100% efficacy after four years, while case studies confirm that Bird Free gel will remain effective for up to nine years.  

Irrespective of climatic and ambient conditions you can be confident that a site will be avoided by pigeons for at least five years once Bird Free repellent gel has been applied in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.  

  1. Invisible from below 

Visible bird deterrents and pigeon control strategies will create changes in the aesthetic appearance of a treated site that may be problematic for historical sites or places of business. 

At only 8mm high, Bird Free is hard to spot from below and in many cases it will be invisible. As shown in the following video, Bird Free is an ideal solution for keeping signs and facades free of pesky pigeons.

  1. A discrete and uniform finish 

Even when visible from above the uniformity of the small pre-dosed dishes of gel results in a more discrete finish than traditional bird control methods such as spikes or nets. 

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Bird FreeOptical Gel and Fire Gel are registered trademarks of Bird Free Ltd.