DESPERATE business owners are looking to armed pest controllers to rescue them from feral pigeons that are creating a serious health and safety threat.
After Salisbury Council washed its hands of the problem, restaurants and cafes in Mawson Lakes have turned to professionals cleaners, including one firm which says it can shoot up to 100 birds an hour.
O’Shea’s Carpet and Cleaning Services specialises in permanently removing pigeons by shooting them or installing netting and spikes, and cleaning the droppings. Pigeon droppings are toxic, highly corrosive and can spread disease.
Owner Kirsty O’Shea said Mawson Lakes was notorious for pigeons.
“People should consider prevention to stop the birds from coming in, like netting and spiking, and also to clean the faeces because it is not sanitary to live amongst it,” she said.
“There is also the more controversial removal method of shooting them – we can shoot up to 100 birds an hour, take away the bodies and clean up.”
Ms O’Shea said her businesshad a licence to shoot pigeons, even in suburbia, as long as it informed police before taking action.
Partner Sean O’Shea, who describes himself as a “greenie with a gun”, said he used a precision air rifle to kill the birds as “quickly, safely and humanely as possible”.
Bellezza Gourmet Chicken owner Bob Dahdah said pigeons had invaded the garage of his Mawson Lakes business.
“It is a great issue for us and it always has been because the birds are everywhere, they drop all their rubbish and dropping on the cars below,” Mr Dahdah said.
“Every building in Mawson Lakes has this issue and it’s a big health and safety concern.”
Mr Dahdah asked building management to install netting from the top of the fence in the garage to the roof, but he said it would cost too much.
La Vita Fresh Pasta owner Michael Vannini said pigeon droppings were a concern.
“Droppings around food is definitely a health and safety concern,” Mr Vannini said.
“I also hear it is a problem for one of my customers, specifically, who lives in The Bridges (estate) across from us and has spent a fair few dollars with pest control people to sort out the problem because pigeons have been on their roof with droppings and also dying.”
Salisbury Council says it is not its job to clear pigeons from private properties.
A council spokesman said staff believed the number of pigeon complaints made by members of the public was fewer than 10 each year.
Mayor Gillian Aldridge said complaints about wild or feral pigeons on private property were the responsibility of the landowner, not the council.
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