Families are spitting feathers about an army of pigeons on their doorsteps.

Tenants living in Goodland House, New Malden, want Kingston Council to rid their flats of the flocks of feral birds that coat their homes in droppings.

They have now presented a petition calling on the council to act over what they fear is a health hazard.

Residents were first angered when father Neil Froggatt was told the council, which axed its pest control services on April 1 in a bid to save £30,000, could not help remove nests from his balcony but could only offer advice.

He could now face prosecution under the Wildlife Act after removing the nests himself to protect his children, aged five and 10, from inches of faeces on their first-floor balcony.

Mr Froggatt said the pigeons needed to be culled or other urgent action taken.

He said: “I don’t know if there is a more humane way, but we need something that works, because the deterrents clearly are not.

“It is not just affecting us, it is affecting everybody.

“It is disgusting. The amount of nets and spikes going up are increasing by the week.

“Residents have taken the council’s advice to heart and are doing what they can, but there are areas of the flats that residents have no control over, but Kingston Council is doing nothing about it.”

Councillor David Fraser, who handed the petition to the Malden and Coombe neighbourhood committee on Wednesday night, said: “It is up to the council to get rid of them in any way they want, whether that is culling or otherwise.

“As far as residents are concerned they just want rid of them.

“It is a disgrace to expect people to live in these conditions. It is a public health hazard.”

Afeter the meeting, fellow councillors agreed it was an urgent matter, due to the health risks, and asked the council to provide an update on action taken by the next meeting.

Simon Oelman, the council’s head of housing management, said: “In normal situations, where there is a pest problem that relates specifically to a communal area in council housing, the council would take action to clear it.

“Although we do not yet know the exact details of this particular case, we will be sending an officer to assess the extent of the problem.

“If it is found the problem does indeed affect the communal areas, we will act accordingly.”

A spokesman for Flypast Bird Control, which charges from £180 an hour for a culling service, said the matter was site-specific and not always the best option.

Mark Bigwood, director of pest control service A&M Hawk, advised using hawks to deter the pigeons.

He said: “Hawks just scare the pigeons away, it is the most humane solution.

“Shooting does not work because they will just keep coming back. Hawking is a very good long-term solution and one that works.”

Have you been affected by pigeon droppings?