2013 - Volume #37, Issue #3, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Spray-On Product Keeps Pest Birds Away“We pioneered this bird repellent product with a company in the landfill industry and had no idea how big a problem birds were in agriculture,” says Steve Stone, president of the company that produces Avian Control™. “During the government approval process we learned that bird damage to crops results in millions of lost revenue, so now we’re focusing on marketing to agriculture and the fruit industry.”
The primary ingredient in Avian Control is methyl anthranilate (MA), which has been used as an effective bird deterrent since the 1960’s. MA is a naturally occurring extract found in Concord grapes. Stone’s company used that as the base ingredient and refined its formula with other select and proprietary food grade components. Avian Control is a non-lethal product that repels nuisance birds such as starlings, pigeons, geese and waxwings.
Avian Control can be fogged or sprayed onto field crops such as sunflowers and sweet corn and on fruit crops such as cherries, grapes and blueberries. Golf courses, lawns and parks can be sprayed with Avian Control to deter nuisance geese, ducks and birds. The product can also be fogged in large buildings like airplane hangars and machine sheds to repel birds. Avian Control has EPA approval in 49 states and is awaiting approval in California as of early 2013.
Stone says that tests done in the fruit industry showed that trees and plants sprayed with Avian Control had 87 percent less damage than those left untreated. Sunflower growers in North Dakota used Avian Control in 2012 with excellent success. Rugby, N. Dak., farmer Mike Christenson sprayed half of an 80-acre field with Avian Control and says that by the day after the application, he watched flocks of birds swoop toward the field and veer away from the sprayed area. Coleharbor, N. Dak., farmer Tim Eslinger treated 50 acres of sunflowers and says birds moved on without damaging his crop.
Stone says that Avian Control deters birds because the product creates an ultra-violet staining effect on plants that only birds can see. “Once they’ve had a bad experience where it’s sprayed, they won’t be back,” Stone says. He’s also quick to point out that Avian Control doesn’t physically harm the birds, doesn’t affect the product it’s applied to, and doesn’t harm other animals, humans, pets or insects.
“For bird control it’s important to treat an area early, when scout birds are checking for food and resting sites,” Stone says. “If scouts have a bad experience, the rest of the flock won’t land there either.”
Although Avian Control physically lasts only two weeks after application, birds are deterred because they’re creatures of habit. “Once birds take a dislike to a certain area or are deterred for a couple weeks, they generally won’t be back,” Stone says. “If there are new birds coming into an area or a crop needs protection for several weeks, then additional treatments may be necessary.”
For agricultural use, 2 qts. of Avian Control are mixed with 5 gal. of water to create a spray mix that covers 50 acres. Stone says a typical application costs from $15 to $24 an acre depending on ground or aerial application. Avian Control is available in 1 gal. jugs, in 5-gal. boxes with two 2.5 gal. jugs, and in 15, 30 or 55 gal. drums.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Stone, Avian Enterprises, LLC, 221 Ocean Grande Boulevard, Suite 801, Jupiter, Fla. 33477 (ph 888 707-4355; www.solveyourbirdproblems.com).
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