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19th April 2013
The very cold winter has resulted in a situation that we had not encountered in the past. We found that the hot air emanating from the hot tub was getting trapped in the roof so that the area was some degrees warmer than the outside. The doves are roosting on the cross beams and that would be fine, unfortunately that is not all they are doing as they naturally have to complete their bodily functions so are messing on the tub.
The solution used to solve the issue was to utilise a variation on the system used to exclude feral Pigeons from buildings and fit two wires about 2 cm apart along the top of the offending beam and connected to a battery powered electric fencing energiser. The one wire is the live wire and the second the earth return. No insulators have been used as the wood is permanently dry so is not a risk.
The bird now lands on the beam and virtually immediately connects the two wires and gets a shock. This causes him to fly off. I do feel for the doves - they are also cold but they should learn to poop elsewhere.
24th. May 2013.
The question is - has it worked? I can report that the top of the hot tub has been clear of droppings for a month now and the weather has been miserable most of the time.
This is still working. The wire is not switched on until they begin to roost in the warm air. The pigeons do not return.