Santa Monoca Daily Press Article:
"County health officials say it (Exterminating) is necessary because the squirrels carry fleas which can lead to bubonic plague."
- Yeah, about one chance in a billion. Why don't they kill the fleas as the County and State's own literature recommends and not harm the squirrels? One of the problems is the County's changing definition of "infestation," which is now 3 visible per acre. That means if 5 squirrels are visible along the park from Broadway to San Vicente on the cliff side of the fence, the park is infested. (I think the acrage on the West side of the fence is about 1.5 acres for that stretch, maybe less.)
"I’m not about killing squirrels, but about preventing disease,” Ayers added. “I know there are a lot of people who don’t like what I’m doing, …but it is a matter of public safety." (Sounds Republican, doesn't it? Use fear to justify anything.)
In January …City Hall was served a summons from the county health department regarding non-compliance with the health and safety code. City Hall was ordered to kill the squirrels or face legal action. The squirrels were poisoned with aluminum phosphide, which began Feb. 6 and lasted for four days.
From an undated POWERPR article (featuring Ayers and his "Rodenator" system of killing):
Poison can also take the form of gas. Over the years, a common gopher poison is Fumatoxin, placed underground. For the gas to be contained, the moisture content in the earth must be at a certain level and, if not, the gas escapes through cracks and not only does nothing to handle the gopher problem, it can be harmful to humans. Fumatoxin contains aluminum phosphide, a dangerous Federal-Restricted-Use pesticide.
Obviously, in a heavily-used area such as a park or a golf course, poisonous gasses are a health hazard to be avoided. Ayers, also a recent adopter of the Rodenator system, says, "In talking with agencies such as public works departments, what I'm hearing over and over is that they cannot use and are having to completely get away from poisons."
Well, the City, out of concern for public safety, allowed Ayers to use a dangerous, Federally-Restricted poison gas that can leak out of the burrows and harm passers-by. Go figure. He is alleged to have done this within 15 feet of the Senior Center, which is illegal because the gas can migrate to structures. He also, I understand, did so without signage, which is illegal.
Maybe they will shoot the homeless next out of concern for public safety.
Oh yes, in the article he says "I'm not about killing squirrels, but about preventing disease." However, many, if not most of his clients are farmers and golf courses. So Ayers is sometimes killing squirrels to prevent disease, sometimes he kills squirrels to protect corn and sometimes he kills them to protect golf greens' grass, but never about killing squirrels. Seems he is all things to all clients.
By the way, the Rodenator system uses explosive gases (propane and oxygen) pumped into the burrows, after which he uses a flamethrower to ignite the gas, which burns the ground squirrels alive. Guess Ayers is an animal lover after all.