DEAR JOAN: I have a serious problem with pigeons destroying a new composition roof.
The tar and gravel roof was replaced (they were nesting on it and displacing the gravel). The roof was old, so I replaced it with a composition roof, which did away with any entries. But the birds are back and working on the composition roof.
They are not being fed, although someone else might be feeding them. The city has no laws against feeding them and I have no idea who is doing it.
Any help you or readers could give me would be greatly appreciated.
DEAR MARY: Because your roof has a history as a nesting site, it makes it more difficult to discourage birds that consider the roof their own. Difficult, but not impossible.
There are a number of products on the market that you can buy. Metal and plastic spikes, coils of wire, chicken wire, netting, shock wires, scarecrows (devices that move and make noise) and chemical repellents. Any one of these products will work, but the key is finding the one that will work for you.
I'd do an Internet search -- look for "bird deterrents" -- to see what's available, what matches your roof and your problem, and what fits into your budget. You've already made a hefty investment by replacing the roof, so don't try to go too cheaply on the fix. On the other hand, it's not like you're facing a Hitchcockian onslaught.
Some people will tell you to stick a plastic owl on your roof. This will probably work for a day or so until the birds figure out it's not real and poses no threat. Some recommend feeding scrub jays and crows and allow these aggressive birds to drive away the pigeons. This could work, but then you've got jays and crows to contend with.
If readers have suggestions for what's worked for them, let me know and I'll share.
DEAR JOAN: I fostered three cats that were about 5 months old. Not sure what I was thinking, but I decided to keep all three. Now I have foster's remorse.
I can't keep them off my kitchen counters, table, bedroom furniture. It's driving me crazy. They are not kittens anymore. They are about 2 years old. I have tried everything I know.
They know that they are not supposed to be up there. I love them, but I want them to behave.
DEAR KAREN: You say you've tried everything, but I don't know what that everything is. Here are some ideas, though.
Place mouse traps on countertops, tables and bedroom furniture, and then cover the entire area with sheets or newspapers. When the cats jump where they shouldn't, the traps will snap. They won't harm the cats, but it will scare them.
Use double-sided tape (they make a product for this purpose) on the areas you want them to avoid. Cats don't like the stickiness and they'll quickly hop down.
When you're home and see them, give them a squirt from a water bottle while saying "No" loudly.
You have to be consistent. If they revert to their old behavior after you've removed the deterrents, you have to start again.
Hang in there. I'm confident your sanity can be saved. Readers, any other suggestions?
Time for a change
Starting this week, I'm adding a fourth column -- Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. You'll find the "Best of Bogue" on Tuesdays only.
Contact Joan Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org; or P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.