Birds Causing Problems in Blytheville

DECEMBER 7, 2004 -- Posted at: 10:45pm CST

BLYTHEVILLE, AR - Most of the foliage on Dale Briggs trees have fallen off, but leaves aren't the only thing that now litters his land.

"Oh it's terrible," said Ed Dickey, a tree expert who deals with pesky birds on the side.
Bird bombs, dirty droppings -- no matter what you call it, what birds leave below is making a mess of magnolia trees and just about every other object in Blytheville, including Ed Dickey's green shirt.
"No tree is safe," Dickey went on to explain. "It's just once they take up that area as a roosting area, you'd better get rid of them or they're in there for a good while."
The birds start looking for a place to roost about 30 minutes before darkness. That's the best time to scare them away, but acting as a neighborhood or community is the only way to completely rid them from the area. One method is to make loud noises.
Dickey said people have used, "An air rifle or shot guns or whatever."
Another technique is to play an audio mix called Roost Buster on a portable stereo. It's something Ed Dickey created about four years ago.
"I came up on a yard and the elderly lady was beating on a garbage can, trying to get them out of the back yard and she was kind of frail anyway, and I thought there ought to be a better way than this," he recalled.
The noise is a mix of injured bird sounds, other animals and music, and should be played four or five nights in a row. Protecting us is Ed Dickey's main reason for wanting to blast away the birds.
"The bird droppings is such a health hazard," Dickey said.
The droppings can cause histoplasmosis. It's a lung disease caused by a fungus that's in bird droppings. Younger and older people, those who have chronic lung disease and cancer and AIDS patients are at highest risk.
Most people don't develop symptoms and don't require treatment, but fever, chest pain and a dry cough can develop 10 days after exposure. Victims can be treated with medication.
Ed Dickey's Roost Buster CDs and cassettes can be found in most public libraries in the area. If you can't find a copy, give him a call at 800-521-8034.
(Kathy Morris was bombarded with bird droppings a couple of times in order to bring you this report.)