Saturday, April 22, 1995 
Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe, and the East and Northeast Valley

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  • Animal groups clash with exterminator over pigeon deterrent

    Advocates say birds died near mall sign

    by Paul Matthews
    Tribune Writer
    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.