One way to fix Caldwell's crow problem: Zap them out of trees

One way to fix Caldwell's crow problem: Zap them out of trees »Play Video

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - The city of Caldwell is trying out a potential solution to its crow problem after a company saw a story KBOI 2News aired in early February.

Police have been shooting the birds at night, but Flock Free Bird Control says its equipment is a better option because it's science-based and humane.

Thousands of crows roost in the trees surrounding Walmart, but they're unwelcome neighbors because they leave a mess behind for local businesses.
"The police department had some problems because they got frustrated and actually decided that shooting might be an option, which really upset a lot of people," said Steve Rehberg, sales manager for the bird control company. "We specialize in environmentally safe products that will not harm the birds. We're here to actually drive them away."
Rehberg implemented four types of equipment to deter the crows Monday, including a spray that birds can see but humans can't. The goal is for the crows to associate that solution with some of the other irritants he's putting in the trees and the air.
"Shock sticks" wired between tree branches are solar-powered and provide a jolt to birds that land there.
"We're not going to try to get rid of the crows," Rehberg said. "We just want to bring them down to a manageable level where they're not causing the problems that they're causing now."
"Hazers" that blow a solution similar to grape juice into the air and reflectors, which are placed on rooftops and spin in the wind, also irritate birds. Rehberg said the idea is that the four pieces of equipment will work together so that the crows associate one deterrent with another and eventually move farther away from populated areas.
The new equipment would cost between $6,000 and $7,000, Rehberg said. The Caldwell Police Department says they believe these methods could be the key to solving the city's crow problem and they plan to buy the tools if they're effective so that everything is in place for next winter.