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Old 09-22-2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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Neighbor issues - help!

I love my house. I love my street. I love my neighbors.....well, all except one that's driving me batty.
There's a big wall between my back yard and her house. Every morning she puts out bread pieces for the birds, on this wall. (about 4' worth of crumbles) She's rather old and tiny, so that all you see is this "hand" putting out the bread. Reminds me of the addams family's "thing".
Anyhow, she doesn't just attract the birds. She attracts every other living creature you can imagine. Because of that, I'm having problems with keeping all the pests out of my yard. I hung a polite note on her side of the wall one morning, and the bread ceased....for the day. A few days later I wrote a more firm note, which she took down and paid no attention to. Today I wrote another note and she flipped it back onto my side of the wall. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Any ideas as to what I can do?

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Old 09-22-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like it's time to bring in the pup squad! Darling little ol' ladies just want to help the birds but they don't seem to understand that their 'treats' bring in rats, squirrels, mice, strays etc.

Borrow a dog. You are way too nice to hurt a little ol' lady's feelings..............unless she was driving a semi tractor trailer today.

Ask a friend to bring her dog over. That's the only suggestion I have, sorry.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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Do you have mediators there jkath? Here in Edmonton the police service has a mediator unit who will come out and work with the neighbours who are having issues.

Other than that, I can't say I have any thoughts that would be productive. I've got some vengeful, spiteful maybe, but NOT productive.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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The best approach I can think of is to know what types of birds are in your area and, if you dont mind the expense, buy her a bird feeder and some food, that should warm her heart a bit, and then explain that while you love (even if you dont) the idea of feeding the birds, it's really caused alot of damage to your yard in terms of critters digging in the grass to get to the crumbs.

Could work right? Catch more flies with honey
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:46 PM   #5
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Jan - I have a dog - however, we are considering getting a cat who may like to "hunt" the creatures.
Alix, if we had mediators, I'd be thrilled, but the police are too busy for that sort of stuff.
Amber, you are sweet!!! I thought of that....but then I pictured bird seed weeds sprouting beneath my apple and pear tree....(which is right next to where she feeds them!)

Did I mention this was the same woman who complained that our cypress trees (which are 60' high) needed to be cut to the ground because she was sure they'd fall on her house? (PS - cypress are a windbreak tree)
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:11 PM   #6
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Jkath, I feel for you. That is a tough situation to be in. Do you belong to any type of association? We bought a plastic owl to keep the birds from pooping on our pool cover and trying to make nests in our pergula. I must say, it did work. If you do get an owl (or two), make sure you get the one that has a moving head - sorta bobs. They are hard to find (I think several people in our area had the same problem). We got ours at Ace Hardware. Other than that, I don't know what I would do - an outdoor cat might do the trick but thats just another thing to take care.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:33 PM   #7
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Great idea from Amber. An act of peacemaking. If it continues to be problematic then it might merit other steps. Are there any outdoor cats in the neighborhood. Once they figure there's a source of food (and entertainment) then the little old lady might stop feeding them.

I used to feed the birds from my deck and made friends with some (don't get out much), but inevitably came the neighborhood cats and I had to stop. Felt bad, but didn't want to make it too easy for the cats. Ces't la vie.

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Old 09-22-2006, 08:56 PM   #8
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If you haven't reached the stage when you want to kill each other, consider inviting her over for tea and explaining the problems her feeding the birds causes.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:22 PM   #9
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I like the idea of the bird feeder, we do feed birds from one during the winter and the seeds (the commercial bags of wild bird food) do not seem to germinate (they are supposedly treated not to). But we live in the country and I cannot assure that those seeds will not attract vermin. And she might just fill the feeder with bread crumbs anyway. But at least that stuff would be in her yard.

She might find the feeder a delightful gift and improve relations between the two of you.

Or she might both fill the feeder and throw the stuff on the wall.

Are there other neighbors who are bothered by this? If so, maybe y'all can get together and approach the local neighborhood association who may be able to exert more clout than just yourself.

Or, if she is attracting enough pests maybe the local pest control or health department (or some such) might be willing to intervene. She may be a bit intransigent to discussion, but a ticket or two (or threat of that) might make her stop.

It would seem to me that you have a right to keep your wall clean, if it belongs to you or is shared, and could always wash the stuff away after the hand is through depositing the crumbs. But that seems like a bit of a pain and will increase her animosity.

If the wall is yours, could you put up screening or something elso that would make it impossible for her to deposit the crumbs?

It is a difficult situation and perhaps you will just have to live with it, no matter how upsetting it may seem to you.

She may be just a little old lady who is lonely and gets little pleasure in life other than watching a few birds feed. And whose behavior no one else is going to be in a hurry to stop.

I don't know your situation but do know how frustrating such matters can be.

I certainly wish you well and Godbless.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
If you haven't reached the stage when you want to kill each other, consider inviting her over for tea and explaining the problems her feeding the birds causes.
Good advice. These neighbor issues can be so intractable. If so, I'd consider slipping a little something into that tea.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:29 PM   #11
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Talking jkath

Since notes are not helping I would put some dog poop over the wall and into her back yard.

I know this is not nice but it the only suggestion that I can come up with.

Have a happy weekend.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:28 PM   #12
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Oh you guys are great! Auntdot - I'd not thought of the health dept! I forgot to mention we've spent $150 in the last 2 weeks on pest control.

I think I'll also go to the hardware store and find some of the bobbing headed owls. My grandma used to use those to ward birds out of her fig tree and they do work - great idea, MicheleMarie!

Thank you!!!
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:58 PM   #13
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I feel for you, too. I like the bird feeder idea, but I doubt whether she would want to use it, or else she'd see it as one more expression of dissatisfaction from you. If only you could use a bird feeder to lure them away from the wall. Have you tried taking a broom and whisking off the wall from her crumbs? If you're trying to combat all sorts of vermin from entering your yard, you have to get rid of the source. Your neighbor sounds stubborn. I like the owl idea. If it would work, it's worth a try. If not, I would look for a city agency that could intervene. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:39 AM   #14
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Have you tried taking a broom and whisking off the wall from her crumbs?
I actually took the leaf blower to it earlier today!
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:45 AM   #15
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As soon as she goes back in the house, hose the wall down. I would be tempted to do it before she went in, but I'm not that mean! LOL All the suggestions about making friends with her are great, but she doesn't seem to want to be reasonable about it. James said you can buy this cat urine spray stuff that you could spray on the wall and the birds may not want to come around.

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Old 09-23-2006, 01:47 AM   #16
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ooooooooooooooooh! I'm picturing myself at the hardware store, bobbing owl tucked under one arm, leaf blower under the other and holding a can of "eau de cat pee". Nice.
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:07 AM   #17
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[quote=jkath]There's a big wall between my back yard and her house.[quote]

One wall, two houses. To whom does the wall actually belong? Who built it?

This is familiar stuff here in Greece. The courts have plenty of boundary disputes clogging the works, although usually because a wall's been around forever and everybody wants to claim it as theirs (to add 40 centimeters to their property ...).

I don't mean to say that if it's hers you have no cause for complaint, but if it's yours on the other hand, surely you can tell her "not on MY wall, lady!"

My mother-in-law does this on one of our walls, too, but it's her son/my hubby who yells at her (for the very same reasons).

I sympathize!
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:56 AM   #18
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I would leave the old lady alone.
If all u ever see of her is her hand. Then she probably does not get out, and is alone and lonely. Let her feed the birds, for Gods sakes.

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Old 09-23-2006, 08:35 AM   #19
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Mel, that would be nice, if she wasn't feeding the rodents.
As for being a nice little old lady, I wouldn't say that either. Her next door neighbor calls her a cranky meanie. (This is coming from another senior citizen)
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:39 AM   #20
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I like the owl idea. Stick that think right up on the fence to show her you mean business.

I also like the idea of inviting her over for tea. Once she meets you she will love you just like everyone else and will not want to do anything to upset you.
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