A Seagull Solution

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

    A Wind Lake-based company can install a system to keep seagulls away from buildings.

    Critter Control of Milwaukee is in the business of nuisance animal removal, including raccoons, squirrels, seagulls and geese. In April, the company installed the first BirdTec Bird Hazer using Fog Force system in Milwaukee. The system runs off compressed air, placing a fine grape-scented mist called Rejexit in the air that birds dislike.

    Waterfront Condos, owned and operated by Hunt Management on the corner of North Water and East Erie Streets, contracted Jerry Herning, franchise owner of Critter Control, to install the first Rejexit system in Milwaukee.

    “Rejexit is a derivative of grapes, but when seagulls get near it, they act as if somebody doused them with pepper spray,” Herning said. “It’s one of the best systems out there.”

    Last year, 60 seagulls created their homes on the rooftop of Waterfront, constructing 30 nests. This year, only one pair of seagulls has even attempted to nest and was unsuccessful.

    Hazer was developed by Michigan-based BirdTec in 2003 and is most often used at landfills to keep birds at bay.

    After negotiating a test with BirdTec, Jeff Hunt, president and general manager of Hunt Management, contracted Herning to install the system.

    “I’m the only one around who knows how to install (the system),” Herning said. There’s a trick to them, but it’s a neat system.”

    A comparable system, Guardian Bird Haze, utilizes an 18-inch round tube, whereas Hazer’s half-inch aluminum tubing offers a more aesthetically pleasing product. Mesh wiring and other comparable systems cost around three times the amount Hazer does and require significantly more upkeep.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has regulations in place for migratory bird depredation, including written authorization for the removal of birds and their nests and eggs. Unless otherwise specified, nets and eggs must be turned in or properly disposed of, and detailed records of all activities must be documented.

    All bird work is expensive, but grid systems are labor-intensive and costly to maintain, Herning said.

    Because other systems involving mesh wiring require maintenance, Hunt is dissuaded from utilizing them, he said.

    “This year, we haven’t had a problem,” Hunt said.

    “Right now, seagulls are nesting. The closer the eggs get to hatching, the more aggressive they get. When air conditioners and other rooftop units need maintenance, literally they’ll attack the people,” Herning said. “Besides, their droppings are filthy.”

    “We certainly don’t have a problem with the gulls we had last year, where you couldn’t even get up on the roof,” Hunt said. “They dive bomb you. You have to go up there with a stick and a flag on the end to try and waive them off.”

    Hazer eliminates sanitary problems that birds create.

    “Workers are constantly cleaning feathers off their intakes and units. They have to work in (bird) excrement,” Herning said.

    Hunt recommends the system to other businesses with foul problems. Beyond the grape-derived chemical that repels the birds, and some minor tweaking Herning performed on the system, there should not be much maintenance or future costs associated with the system, he said.

    In Chicago, O’Hare International Airport and Wrigley Field are other businesses with the Hazer system currently in place.

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