Storm Lake's serene downtown has become caked with pigeon poo. It's on roofs and on sidewalks. The city says it's time to take care of this defecation desecration.
"We take great pride in our downtown retail area. We think it's very important from a health and safety stand point to do what we can to try and mitigate those issues," said Public Safety Director Mark Prosser.
They've contracted the help of a man whose specialty is getting critters. In fact, that's his title. David Sanders, professional Critter Getter.
"I'm licensed by the DNR for any kind of nuisance wildlife," said Sanders.
That includes pigeons. It's Dave's job to rid the city. He's got repellant, fake owls, inflatable eyes.
Perhaps one of the most important tools in the Critter Getter's arsenal, bird birth control. You heard right, birth control. Dave laces pigeon feed with it.
"I'm kind of Planned Parenthood for pigeons. I feed Oval Control. It's Humane Society approved. It's birth control for pigeons where their eggs are unhatchable," said Sanders.
Dave also uses traps. Birds he catches, he hands over to people who train hunting dogs. Sorry to say it's bye-bye birdie because he can't release them.
"Iowa State did a study. No matter how far you take them, they don't know what it is, but it's like a magnetic field in their brain that will always bring them back," said Sanders.
Officials estimate their pigeon problem won't be solved anytime soon.
"We anticipate working with Mr. Sanders for many, many months. We know this [problem] didn't present it self over night and it's not going to be fixed over night," said Prosser.
Sounds good to the Critter Getter. For him, the time will fly by.
"I've been trapping, hunting, fishing my entire life, since I was three. I love it," said Sanders.
The Critter Getter is based out of Alta, Iowa. He says he may be up to his beak in pigeons right now, but he'll be going batty as soon as the weather gets warmer.
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