The number of pigeons filling the sky over Hannibal is dropping, according Larry Hodson Jr., co-owner of Big River Pest Control, which began capturing the birds earlier this week.
“We are live trapping. We are doing what we were hired by the city to do,” he said. “We’ve got well over 100.”
While the actual trapping only began on Monday of this week, the prep work started weeks ago.
“There was some pre-baiting, but again, we’ve used no alarm baits ... the poisons. But you do have to use something to get them in the cage,” said Hodson.
Traps have been set up at a handful of sites.
“There are about five rooftops we’re concentrating on right now. There’s probably going to be some others that we will bring into play once we get a little more into it. But we’ve got about five we’re working pretty steady every day,” said Hodson, who has two members of his staff focused on capturing pigeons.
In addition to traps, some of the birds have been caught using nets. A couple were even caught by hand.
The work has at times been a challenge.
“It’s been a process. The weather hasn’t helped a whole lot. Obviously the snow and ice are making it a little more, I don’t want to say difficult, but interesting to get to the locations. Some of the roof tops are inaccessible until some of this melts off. Most of them are still accessible, but not as convenient to be on,” said Hodson.
Despite the snow and ice which fell on New Year’s eve day, Hodson is pleased with the pace of the project.
“We’re making good progress. We’re right on target in fulfilling our obligations,” he said.
When the Hannibal City Council accepted Big River Pest Control’s bid at its Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting, the local company estimated it would need just 60 days to deal with the birds. It was estimated Friday that a few more weeks of work remain to be done.
The birds that have been captured so far are being fed and watered by a member of Big River Pest Control’s staff until arrangements can be made to deliver them to breeders in the tri-state area.
“We’ve got a short window from when we got them trapped to get them delivered,” said Hodson.