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Flocks of feathery pests plague local businesses

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LAWTON, Okla. - Thousands upon thousands of birds are making the lives of Lawton citizens miserable, especially in one area along Sheridan Rd. near Wal-Mart.

The feathery pests affect neighborhood businesses, stores, and shoppers alike.

"The power lines from one end to the other [have] birds all over it.  The sky turns black and they all start to fly in," said car salesman Justin Lamb.

The blackbirds fly in around 5:30 each night and roost on the power lines and in the trees.  When they leave the next morning, they leave behind a big mess.  It is not only dirty, noisy, and annoying some say it is also expensive.

It is not only the number of birds that is a problem for locals; it is the mess of bird droppings they leave behind. 

"Oh, yeah, people come in and notice the bird poop on everything," said Lamb.

Lamb says they make a terrible mess on all the cars and trucks at the dealership where he works.

"They just roost all in the power lines and in the trees across the street and as you can see they defecate all over the cars," Lamb.

The cars are constantly covered in bird poo, some needing to be washed on a daily basis.  Something Lamb says gets to be expensive.

"You need to get to it as soon as you can before it causes any damage to the clear coat," said Lamb.

Contractor Scott Shellenburger knows all about trying to avoid the droppings, not on his car, but on himself.  He has to walk up and down Sheridan Road to get from job to job.

"You can't walk down the sidewalk.  Can't walk down the sidewalk you have to walk out in the grass closer to the street," said Shellenburger.

That is because he wants to get to his next job with clean clothes.

"You gonna maybe get pooped once or twice," said Shellenburger.

Lamb says they even tried a predator birdcall to keep the birds away.

"They just seem to keep coming anyway," said Lamb.

Shellenburger has a theory as to why the birds have taken up residence in the area.

"This used to be open lots here...this might have been their migrating path," said Shellenburger.

The Health Department says the only risk posed comes mainly from touching or coming into contact with the excrement.  Lamb also says another idea might be moving the power lines that the birds roost on, but he says he thinks that is a long shot.

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