Feathered fiends move in

Muscovy ducks gather under a truck in the Limehouse Villas neighborhood in Lasdon. Resident Montina Lee wants the waddling gang of troublemakers, whose behavior she says is extremely foul, ousted from her neighborhood.

Ladson woman feels 'terrorized' by ducks that chase her, leave mess on her property

LADSON — They moved onto Montina Lee's cul-de-sac a few months ago, and since then it's just been one big flap after another.

They leave their trash lying around her yard, vandalize her porch furniture. She's had to move her car to keep them off it, and even caught them getting frisky in her backyard.

Lee has been chased, menaced, intimidated. These days she is afraid to go out in her own yard.

That's how it is: Ducks move in, there goes the neighborhood.

"I feel like they are controlling me. They are terrorizing me," Lee said Wednesday. "These are not my pets. I should not be responsible for them. But they are eating through my air conditioner and dropping their weapons of mass destruction on my car. That stuff will ruin your paint, you know."

Since this flock of fowl Muscovy ducks settled in to the pond next to Lee's Limehouse Villas home, she has called everyone she knows to call, and it seems to her that everyone is just ducking the issue.

The developer's homeowners association says it didn't put the ducks there, and can't do anything about it. Animal control agencies say the ducks are the neighborhood association's jurisdiction.

Muscovies are clearly ducks from the wrong side of the pond, "trash ducks," Lee calls them. They can be aggressive and seem to enjoy chasing Lee into the house, wings stretched high, squawking like the red-beaks they are. Clearly, these are the low-rent cousins of that AFLAC guy on TV.

And they live like it. These days, Lee's yard looks like the site of a fairly serious pillow fight, feathers covering the ground like a light dusting of snow. The remnants of Muscovy meals mar the landscape, and these fat, feathered fiends lay up on the shrubs like they are at some kind of suburban spa. Every time she finds a broken eggshell on the ground, she knows there are new hoodlums moving in.

Lee says she pays the homeowner's association $55 a month for yard maintenance, and she feels like she's living in a chicken coop. If she let her yard look like that, the developer would complain, she notes. But last week, The Behling Co., the property manager for Limehouse Villas Homeowners Association, sent her a letter that has Lee crying fowl.

"While we are sorry for the problems you have encountered and can understand your frustration, neither the developer or the (homeowners association) placed the ducks on the property," the letter said. "To date, we have had no other complaints from homeowners about the presence of the ducks; therefore at this point, no action to remove them is planned."

Some of Lee's neighbors say the ducks drive them daffy too, but they did not particularly want to get involved — or be quoted. But other people, presumably the ones who don't have to deal with the aftermath, come by and feed the ducks. Lee says they "bring their little kids by and sit at the pond and throw them bread."

A few hours later, she has to deep-clean. Lee says she feels cheated by the developer — she would not have moved in if she'd known they didn't screen residents better than this. "I am disgusted by my yard," Lee says. "You would at least think somebody would say 'I'm sorry.' "

But all she's gotten so far is someone flapping their bill.