The city of Hannibal has decided upon a way to reduce its pigeon population without having to utilize poison. The City Council approved entering into a contract with Big River Pest Control during its Tuesday night meeting.
After coming under intense criticism for considering the use of Avitrol, termed an “alarm bait,” to reduce its pigeon population the city went back to the drawing board. In recent weeks city officials reviewed five proposals from four different entities.
Costs ranged from $5,500 to $38,332. Time lines proposed to get rid of a majority of the birds also varied greatly, ranging from 30 days to two years.
“Aside from cost, other factors considered are methods by which pigeons will be removed, intrusiveness to residents and businesses, the time element necessary to achieve the desired outcome and humane factors,” wrote City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo to the Council.
Big River Pest Control’s proposal estimates that it will need just 60 days to deal with the birds. The Hannibal firm’s bid was $5,500.
“Aside from providing the lowest cost, their approach will combine trapping and shooting with air rifles; an extermination method acceptable to the Missouri Conservation Department and United States Department of Agriculture,” wrote LaGarce, stressing that no poison will be used. “Big River Pest Control is also local, which provides them easy access and proximity to this problem. Several other companies would need to travel here 16 to 20 times over the next few months, which undoubtedly had some impact on their cost.”
During Tuesday night’s meeting, LaGarce reported being told by a Big River Pest Control representative that a pigeon breeder has expressed interest in the birds that are trapped.
In addition to accepting Big River Pest Control’s proposal, the Council authorized the firm to begin preliminary work. A formal contract is expected to be brought before the Council at its Tuesday, Dec. 4, meeting.