Aldinga Uniting Church chairman Jim Lee stands amid thousands of pigeon droppings outside the church. Picture: Roger Wyman

Aldinga Uniting Church chairman Jim Lee stands amid thousands of pigeon droppings outside the church. Picture: Roger Wyman

ALDINGA traders have called for a pigeon cull to stop hundreds of the birds from causing havoc in the town.

They say the demolition of the service station at the corner of Main South and Port roads two weeks ago, where the pigeons had been gathering, had sent bird numbers out of control.

Derrick Mathewson said he predicted the pigeons would flock his way and had installed measures, including a fake owl on a pole, at his Old Coach Rd business to deter them.

“The old church, the bakery and the pub have really copped it though,” Mr Mathewson said.

“What really needs to happen is the birds need to be trapped and culled humanely … it’s the only thing to break the cycle.”

Aldinga Uniting Church chairman Jim Lee said the birds had been a problem for eight years, but it had been worse since the service station was bulldozed.

“There’s thousands more here and there are droppings all over the pathway in front of the church around to where we have our coffee and meals,” Mr Lee said.

“We’re having to sweep the pathway of droppings every second day.

“We’ve had owls up there but it doesn’t make any difference … we’ve tried just about everything.

“Culling the birds hasn’t been a consideration yet, but we may have to look at that as this is not something we can continue to deal with.

“It’s a health and safety issue and we don’t want our congregation walking through the

droppings.”

The traders had wanted Onkaparinga Council to trap and remove the pigeons before the service station was demolished, to make way for a new 24-hour On the Run.

But the council said the pigeons were the property owner’s responsibility.

Home Grain Bakery owner Toff West said he was approached last week by an exterminator, but was yet to consider the offer to eradicate the birds.

“If it was any other pest (culling them) would be the right thing to do and I agree with Derrick,” Mr West said.

“I definitely support the idea of controlling them, or managing them somehow, and I’m happy to do our part to contribute to make that happen.”

Licensed pest controllers have the power to trap, shoot and poison feral pigeons, which can pose potential health risks, including the transmission of histoplasmosis – a lung disease.

On the Run chief operating officer Michaela Webster previously said a pest controller at its site a few years ago had tried to rid the birds by using bait, but to no avail.

“Whilst it is not in my nature generally to do this, I thought it might work but I was wrong, so we continued the trapping process,” Ms Webster said.

“I have offered to keep working on the issue and it is a community challenge and I am sure if we work together with experts we can fix it.

“Experts say the birds are likely to return to our site when it is rebuilt so I am also working on that.

“I would love to fix the issue.”

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