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Pest Control: Historic Lighthouse Wins the Battle Against Birds

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After years of combat with pesky seagulls, the historic DeTour Reef Lighthouse found a way to use today’s technology to save a little piece of yesterday. The DeTour Reef Lighthouse is located at the head of Lake Huron in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Having been built in 1847 and moved to its current location in 1931, the actual structure is over 150 years old and serves as a testament to the region’s shipping and social history.

After being placed on America’s Most Endangered Historic Places list in 1998, the lighthouse was ‘saved’ by the Detour Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society. In fact, the DRLPS has a unique program where volunteers can stay at the facility as weekend keepers, performing all the duties necessary for preserving the structure and hosting visitors. Over the years, the lighthouse staff encountered several unwelcome critters. But the longest and fiercest battle has been against the “donations” that seagulls and other birds leave on the deck.

The birds themselves were annoying the tourists and keepers, while the bird droppings were defacing property and placing a burden on volunteers to keep the walls and walkways clean. The power washer got quite a workout during the summers, and although the deck always looked great after cleaning, the seagulls were soon visiting and leaving their marks behind again.

DRLPS tried a variety of attacks on the visiting seagulls—including rubber snakes—without success. In the summer of 2010, property managers decided to invest in a bird control solution from Bird-X.

They ultimately chose the BirdXPeller PRO—an electronic bird repellent device that emits naturally recorded bird distress signals and predator calls to frighten, confuse, and disorient birds within a 1-acre range (up to 4 acres with the 4-speaker system). Once installed at the DeTour Reef Lighthouse, seagulls quickly learned to stay away.

One weekend keeper said, “Seagulls avoid landing here! The recording of desperate gulls is incredibly effective.”

Another shared, “In so many ways it has decreased the work and increased the quality of the lighthouse stay!”

The BirdXPeller PRO is a perfect solution for historic buildings like the lighthouse for many reasons, a few of them being: it is a small, weatherproof device that can be installed without changing the appearance or damaging the structure, and it can be used even when property managers are away during off-seasons. The DeTour Reef Lighthouse was the ultimate victor of this battle.

As one worker observed, “Those who have never been here before will never know the miracle of it [BirdXPeller PRO]. Those who have been here before REJOICE and never forget our fight against the seagulls. The battle is won!”



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