Hawks are among the unconventional methods being used in certain parts of Japan to drive away crows and other pests that spread garbage in residential areas or damage farmers’ crops.
About a year ago, a building management company in Kobe that was long troubled by pigeon droppings around one of its condominium buildings sought help from Green Field Co., a bird pest-control company in Osaka.
Green Field sent out a falconer on a regular basis to fly a trained hawk around a building to chase away the unwanted birds.
For years, the condo management company had tried nets and other equipment that cost it ¥8 million. But the effects proved short-lived and the birds kept coming back.
But thanks to the rent-a-hawk service, which costs about ¥1.5 million a year, the pigeons have vanished and complaints from the residents have declined, according to an official of the building management company.
Green Field’s service is “doable considering the maintenance costs for nets and other equipment,” the official said. “We are going to use the service for now.”
Explaining that birds soon get used to conventional methods, Green Field President Keisuke Ikoma said, “We came up with an idea to take advantage of birds’ instincts, instilling fear in birds by using hawks.”
Ikoma said his company has seen orders climb, especially in the Kansai and Tokai regions. Its four hawks, he said, are all busy working.
A security firm has also entered the pest control market. Last August, Tokyo-based Sohgo Security Services Co., better known as Alsok, started using a surveillance device to send text messages to clients whenever a wild boar gets caught in a trap. The service is so far being used by farmers in five areas around Japan.
The Aikawa and Nashizawa districts in Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, are among them. Farmers there have been troubled by boars eating their sweet potatoes — their main crop. Area farmers formed a prevention team, which installed nearly 30 traps in their fields, catching roughly 150 boars a year.