Company to spray trees to discourage bird roosting

Organic, chemical-free compound causes birds to seek other places

January 04, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |

HAGERSTOWN — Some trees in downtown Hagerstown will be sprayed this week to discourage birds from roosting.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control Services will spray trees in the public right-of-way along Franklin, Jonathan and Potomac streets with a substance that repels birds.

Spraying will be from 5 to 10 p.m. today as well as from 5 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 10, 12 and 17, Tissue said.

Tissue said the spray is an organic, chemical-free compound called Rejex-It.

He said he is not certain exactly how it works, but Rejex-It, which is sprayed on to trees in a fine mist, causes birds to look for other trees in which to roost.

Each year, starlings and crows migrate to trees downtown during the winter, creating a nuisance and a mess, he said.

The City of Hagerstown has had a few complaints this year about the birds.

While the compound forces the birds to find other trees, it does not harm the birds or other animals, Tissue said.

The city will only treat trees in the public right-of-way, Tissue said. Trees on private property will not be treated, he said.

For the last 10 years, the city has sprayed trees each winter to cut down on the bird population.

The annual round of treatment costs the city about $2,500, which Tissue said is far cheaper than the cost to clean up what the birds would leave on city sidewalks.

According to a city news release, the city will treat trees in the following blocks:

  • West Franklin Street, from Potomac Street to Jonathan Street
  • East Franklin Street, from Locust Street to Potomac Street
  • Jonathan Street, from Franklin Street to Bethel Street
  • North Potomac Street, from Franklin Street to Church Street
  • South Potomac Street, from Public Square to Antietam Street.

Anyone with questions may contact the Department of Parks and Engineering at 301-739-8577, ext. 125, according to the release.

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