DEAR SUN SPOTS: I live in a residential area in Lewiston and I was wondering if there is some type of ordinance to the problem in our neighborhood. A neighbor fills her front porch planter with peanuts and bird seeds for the squirrels and birds. We now have lots of squirrels and an abundance of birds.

At first the birds were tolerable, but now we get flocks of nearly 50 pigeons as well, a nuisance to say the least. If not feeding, they perch on power lines, so now we are getting poop all over our cars, in our driveways and even on our clothes because we have to walk under them.

I have fed the squirrels and birds at times, it’s not that I am not against helping God’s critters out, but it has gotten so out of hand that many of us are fed up. Can anything be done? — No name, Lewiston.

ANSWER: The first thing to do, if you have not done so already, would be to inform your neighbor of the problem and see if they have an idea of how to solve it. Hopefully they are understanding and see the correlation between their actions — leaving out an abundance of food — and neighbors’ concerns.

Some suggestions that you could make would be to use a feeder that prevents squirrels and large birds from getting food. Once their reliably easy meals are taken away, these animals should not be hanging around in such large numbers. Another option, now that spring is around the corner, would be to attract birds with a birdbath instead of with food. A bird bath should not interest the squirrels as much, which could keep them from returning.

As far as city ordinances, there does not seem to be anything directly related to your problem, at least not compared to some towns in other states that have strict wildlife and bird feeding regulations.

In the Lewiston’s Code of Ordinances, section 14-44, it says, “It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow an animal to produce odors or unclean conditions sufficient to create a public nuisance,” with “owner” being defined as any person, partnership, corporation or association that harbors, shelters, keeps, controls, manages, possesses or has whole or part interest in any animal.

This seems to relate specifically to domestic animals that are controlled by a person, therefore that person can be held responsible for the mess. You can view Lewiston’s ordinances and report your concerns online at www.lewistonmaine.gov/index.aspx?nid=114. If you feel that the situation warrants it, you can reach out to a community support police officer by calling 207-513-3010.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the question on Feb. 25, here is what I do with empty prescription bottles: I peel off the label from the bottle and reapply it to paper. I then cut out my name and address and cut it into small pieces into my recycle bin. I put the bottle, cap and rest of the label into my recycle bin.

ANSWER: Thank you for this helpful response. It is important to be careful with personal information.

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