City pays more than $20,000 to vulture-proof water tower

Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM
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LAKE ALFRED, Fla., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A Florida city is paying a pest control company $20,332 to humanely displace the vultures that have made the city's water tower their home.

Officials in Lake Alfred said the vultures started perching on the water tower more than a year ago and $2,000 has been spent during the past eight months on trying to get the birds to find a new home, The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., reported Tuesday.

The city accepted a $20,332 bid from pest control company Terminix, which said it will install low-voltage electric tracks on the tower to shock the birds without injuring them. The company said it will also use "bird spiders," pieces of plastic that resemble spider legs to reduce the amount of available surface area for the perching birds.

Officials said the urine and regurgitated fluids of the vultures are highly corrosive and can be harmful to the tower, which costs more than $500 to power wash and cost about $20,000 the last time it was painted.

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