ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's an unsightly problem that's been plaguing Rochester since the early 90s: crow poop. A simple fix-all solution for the issue has yet to be discovered.
The Rochester Downtown Alliance and other agencies such as Rochester Public Works, the Parks Department, and Mayo Clinic are meeting Thursday to discuss more options for clean-up and prevention.
Getting rid of the bird poop is a two-part issue. Part one, is preventing the crows from roosting at night. Teams go out at dusk and use measures such as lasers, clapping plastic shovels, and making birds of prey noises to scare away the creatures. In past years, a group works on a large mitigation effort in November to scare crows out of the city before the start of the season. Because of budget cuts, that didn't happen this year.
Part two is cleaning up the mess left behind when crows do roost. They leave splatters all over the sidewalks and streets below trees. Powerwashing is the most effective removal method, but it can only be done by Clean and Safe Ambassadors when the temperature is above 32 degrees to prevent freezing. Some cities have found powerwashing with a saltwater mixture effective, but Rochester is trying to be as eco-friendly as possible.
It's possible you may notice more poop than usual right now, because there's been little snow so far this season. When it snows, the crow poop is easily cleaned away when snow is cleared off the sidewalks and streets.
"we're going to keep trying," says RDA Executive Director Holly Masek. "I think what's important is that we continue to talk and coordinate with Mayo Clinic, with the City of Rochester, with their public works department and stormwater team, as well as the parks department which has a lot of experience with the crow mitigation efforts."
Rochester is trying a new brush and method Duluth has found effective, but if you have any other ideas for prevention or clean-up, the RDA welcomes input.