A SPECIALIST pest control team have been brought in to tackle an out-of-control pigeon population at a former supermarket.

Work is set to start to convert the former Kwik Save in Holker Street into a bingo hall after planning permission was granted in January.

Equipment and plant has been delivered to the site by contractors Thomas Armstrong but the developers first need to deal with a large number of pigeons inside the building.

EnviroGuard Pest Control, based in Kendal, were at the site yesterday and are understood to have air rifles to be used on the birds if necessary.

EnviroGuard's website refers to the service they offer in widespread removal of guano - bird droppings.

They state a number of diseases, including histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and psittacosis, are associated with bird guano and any removal of large quantities should be carried out with care.

Workers at the site refused to comment when approached by The Mail.

The Mail has also attempted to contact Graves Cumberland, the Workington-based firm behind the Opera Bingo brand.

The former supermarket has remained empty for more than a decade following the demise of household name Kwik Save.

The new bingo hall is set to create 25 jobs.

During a planning meeting in January Nick Smith, managing director for Graves Cumberland, said the bingo halls were “friendly and safe” and provided social interaction for people who lived on their own.

Mr Smith said: “It’s a significant investment in the area and will contribute to the local economy.

“ It will utilise and bring back to life an empty building. Hopefully once it is in operation any anti-social behaviour on the site should cease.

“In any case, we will have an experienced local manager and his team on site.

“There are no anti-social issues at any of our other clubs, and it is not generally an issue in bingo.

“Bingo is a form of social entertainment that doesn’t have a heavy drinking culture.”