Company enlists a hawk to sort out the pests

Maximus the hawk with handler Marcus Giusti and Sean McAuliffe of ISS Facility Services.

Maximus the hawk with handler Marcus Giusti and Sean McAuliffe of ISS Facility Services.

When companies operate a ‘recruit a friend’ scheme for employees, recommendations rarely come with measurements of wing span, but Maximus is no ordinary recruit, he is a Harris hawk.

The demand for alternative ‘greener’ methods of pest prevention has grown and ISS Ireland, which has offices in Ballybrit, has taken the initiative and responded to the changing market demands by enlisted the services of Maximus.

In populated and sensitive locations such as power stations, landfill sites, hotels and town centres, the hawk has proven its effectiveness as an alternative means of removing and deterring avian pests such as pigeons, seagulls, and starlings. There is no bait or trap and in most cases the mere presence of the hawk can prevent a recurrence of pests in the area.

Marcus Giusti is a falconer and marksman with ISS Pest Services and has been training Maximus for several months, building what he describes as ‘a relationship of respect’.

“The hawk demands respect from his handler and commands respect from the skies,” he says, “and when Max spreads his wings, he is the most innovative pest deterrent in the Irish market.”

 

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