June 22nd, 2018

Pigeon droppings an issue at transit terminal

By Gillian Slade on March 13, 2018.

The fallout from pigeons is droppings, and in this case at the transit terminal where passengers are walking to change buses.--NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

The fallout from pigeons are droppings, and depending on where that lands there can be a big mess, especially if people are walking on it.

The transit terminal is just one location pigeons favour leaving deposits on the surfaces riders use to transfer to different routes.

“Droppings are monitored routinely. The Medicine Hat Transit Service Workers clean up the droppings when they do their routine maintenance rounds. Between service worker rounds, transit drivers are responsible to inform maintenance if there is a particular build up,” said Jeff Hoglund, manager of facilities management.

There are hundreds of birds on the roofs of adjacent properties, too, says Hoglund.

“We are successfully doing what the city deems reasonable and practical to control pigeons on our properties,” said Hoglund.

A wide variety of methods for bird control are being used, and they are rotated for maximum impact.

At the transit terminal, bird plastic and stainless steel spikes are used, metal or plastic is put on edges and ledges to deter birds from sitting, there is also something called “bird spiders” that look like wobbly umbrella frames and a tangle foot gel can be used in the summer. There is also netting, bird magnets, predator kites, a predator sound machine, traps and shooting as a last resort. Shooting requires a permit from Medicine Hat Police Service with very strict controls, said Hoglund.

Recently a transit rider suggested chicken wire mesh or netting could be an effective way to keep pigeons from sitting on the ledges and pipes at ceiling height in the terminal.

“We are investigating adding additional netting at the main level ceiling height to prevent nesting in these spaces. One of the challenges of netting is access to the infrastructure that will be behind the netting — light fixtures, junction boxes, cameras, HVAC, plumbing, etc. New on the market are zippers for netting that allow access through netting,” said Hoglund.

The possible cost is still being investigated, he said.

Currently the droppings can be tracked on passengers’ shoes into the buses creating some challenges in keeping buses clean, too.

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