groups clash with exterminator over pigeon deterrent
say birds died near mall sign
by Paul Matthews
Saturday, April 22, 1995
[Mesa, Arizona --] Wildlife groups
clashed with an exterminating company Friday, alleging a bird deterrent
placed atop a strip mall sign
Monday in Mesa was responsible for killing
at least four pigeons
The incident occurred at Poca Fiesta
Mall, 1130 W. Southern Ave, about 1 p.m. Friday, and pitted members
of Arizona Wildlife Rehabilitation Relocation and the Urban Wildlife Society
against Western Exterminating Co., which placed the deterrent on the sign.
Janice Baker, a member of the Wildlife
group, said she was called to the Poca Fiesta Mall Thursday afternoon about
pigeons struggling on the ground under the mall sign facing Southern Avenue.
"I came out here and there were nine
pigeons covered in this glue here," Baker said pointing to a gel-like substance
on the ground. "I found three (more) today."
Baker said four pigeons died
before she got home.
 A member of the Urban Wildlife
Society said the birds got stuck in the gel -- called hotfoot -- and died
when they tried to preen themselves.
'They ingest it and suffocate
themselves,' she said
Michael Eckels, a service coordinator
for Western Exterminating, denies hotfoot is to blame for the birds' death
"The stuff we're putting up there
is not killing them," Eckels said, adding that his company has been using
the deterrent for 10 years.
Still, Eckels agreed not to use the
deterrent on the sign anymore and helped Urban Wildlife Society officers
and Mesa fire fighters  rescue the remaining pigeons from the sign.