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Chemical Fogger Chases Birds From Buildings
Here's a bird-chasing idea developed by a Michigan company that they say works better than any method ever developed for getting pest birds out of buildings.
  The BirdHazer installs up in the rafters or any confined space where birds are a problem - and emits a fog of irritating smoke that sends sparrows, starlings, pigeons, and other flying rodents packing.
  But it comes at a price that might be hard to justify - about $4,000 for machinery and $200 to $250 a year for the chemical, depending on the barn size and bird problem. The company says the rising cost of diseases transferred from one farm to another makes it pay off. Birds also eat a lot of feed. For example, 1,000 starlings can eat a ton of feed a month.
  The unit is basically a 10 by 10-in. stainless steel box that weighs about 28 lbs. and comes with an automatic timer that dispenses Fog Force, a compound containing Methyl Anthranilate (MA).
  It's a chemical that birds can not get used to, says BirdTec president Bruce Vergote.
  MA comes from Concord grapes and orange blossoms. It's USDA and EPA approved and safe for all other creatures, including humans. It's basically artificial grape flavoring.
  When BirdTec began working with MA, they learned it would get into the lungs of birds and mucus membranes around the eyes through the holes in their beaks.
  "It's like the irritation we feel when we cut an onion open. You can't see it but your eyes start to water," he says, adding that MA affects birds the same way.
  While there isn't a species of bird that the compound doesn't affect, how long it takes to affect them varies.
  MA works on starlings immediately, Vergote says. It takes longer to scare off pigeons because of their homing instinct. If they've already nested, it's tougher to make them go. All other birds move fairly quickly out of treated areas.
  When farmers ask how often they need to run it, Vergote tells them every situation is different. You just run it as often as necessary.
  When beginning use, Vergote says customers turn it on when the birds are at their peak, which is right after feeding and just before dusk. During those times you would turn on the BirdHazer for two hours with the haze set to run 20 to 30 sec. with 3 to 5 min. breaks in between. After that, the machine turns off automatically until the next day.
  After most of the birds are gone, you set the machine on a maintenance schedule which could be half the original time.
  When prospective customers order a BirdHazer, Vergote has them draw a diagram of their barn with information about any prevailing winds. After that, BirdTec designs a unit with the proper hardware for that installation.
  A gallon of Fog Force costs $120. The BirdHazer takes about a quart of chemical at a time.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bruce Vergote, BirdTec, 4074 155th Ave. Hersey, Mich. 49639 (ph 866 247-3832 or 231 832-1943; email: birdtec@yahoo.com; website: www.birdtec-usa.com).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5