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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Avicides: Uses, Mode of Action and Environmental Impact

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Birds are useful because they provide entertainment and leisure to humans and are crucial for ecosystem balance. Nonetheless, sometimes some species can play against human interests.

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When these situations arise, some techniques of control may become essential; Excluding, trapping, pesticide use is one method of pest-management that can be found in a professional’s toolbox that may be chosen when the situation calls for it.

Avicides are pesticides formulated to kill or other times repel birds. Prior to pursuing avicide use, pest-management experts must bear in mind that migratory birds are lawfully protected species by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and a violation of this law can result in harsh penalties.

Why are birds occasionally pests?

Pests are organisms that can cause harm, which can be economical, environmental, or epidemiological. For vertebrates, economic impacts are usually related to destruction to agricultural production as well as predation of livestock animals.

Environmental consequences include rivalry with other species. Health-related or epidemiological effects include the transmission of infectious diseases to humans or livestock.

There are many contagious diseases that stem in wildlife that have significant impacts on human health, agricultural production, and even the environment.

The continuous emergence of these diseases is usually associated with a global increase in population, migration, and commercial activities, and birds can be considered pests.

These animals can be pests on their own or in groups, but most generally in large flocks. There are five significant concerns with pest birds:

  • Destruction of agricultural commodities
  • Contamination of food items or defacement of structures with their excrement
  • Transmission of infections, directly and indirectly, to persons, poultry, and other livestock.
  • Threats at airports and roadways
  • Being a disturbance by causing discomfort and affecting aesthetics, or sporting importance.

Are certain species of birds more inclined to be pests more often than others?

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Yes; different species, including pigeons (Columba livia), blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and are considered the most nefarious.

For instance, crows can constitute a nuisance and be considered annoying because of their high-pitched call out and the tendency for getting into trashcans. But some birds are more than a source of disturbance and are hazardous to human health.

Cryptococcosis is a fungal disease that affects humans, and pigeons are carriers of this disease also a fungal infection called Histoplasmosis, which affects the human respiratory tract, is connected with droppings from blackbirds and starlings.

When is avicide use justified in bird control?

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecological perspective on pest control. It is founded on the habitat and life cycle of the pest.

IPM incorporates all appropriate pest control techniques; These techniques may comprise chemical and nonchemical methods. The objective of an IPM program is to reduce pest populations to a reasonable and safe level in a way that is pragmatic, cost-effective, and ecologically safe for the environment as well as human health.

Sanitation, trapping, and exclusion are regulatory measures that may not be productive when exclusively relied upon as the only means of control. The use of avicides may be an additional measure to monitor pest birds efficiently.

What avicides are utilized for regulating pest birds?

Following the US Environmental Protection Agency, a “pesticide” is defined as:

“any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant any nitrogen stabilizer”

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There are numerous classes of avicides which, include bait, repellents, and reproductive inhibitor. Several other types have been used but are no longer acceptable or inaccessible for use, and they include a stressing agent, a sterilant, organophosphate, and chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides, and a toxic bait.

Bait

4-aminopyridine is a frightening chemical agent formulated to drive birds from a particular location. It triggers a nervous reaction when consumed by birds which signals birds to stay away.

It’s an exclusively used pesticide due to its acute dermal and oral toxicity to birds and mammals. This bait is a toxin with flock-alarming properties used to control wild pigeons.

It can be applied in structures that have become roosting, feeding, and nesting sites. Birds that respond and alarm a flock dies and some of the flock may react and scare the rest away.

Only a tiny number of birds need to be affected to alarm the rest of the flock. After a single exposure, birds usually will not return to the treated site.

Products: Avitrol

Repellents

Polybutene is a sticky transparent substance used to prevent starlings from nesting or perching on surfaces. For indoor use, it is applied to supports buildings and structures. For outdoor use, it may be applied near buildings and structures on trees, bushes, and vines.

Products: Hotfoot, 4 the birds, Bird B Gone, Bird-X.

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Methyl anthranilate is used in products to deter birds from turfgrass areas and a wide assortment of agricultural products and to also stave off birds from structures and feedstuffs and bodies of water.

The application of methyl anthranilate makes the food supply in the area very unsuitable to birds by afflicting their olfactory nerves. Further elimination of the food source will alter the feeding habits of these birds and induce them to look for a more suitable feeding location.

Products: EcoBird, Rejex-it, Corvus, Goose Repellent, Avian Control

Reproductive Inhibitor

Nicarbazin is accessible as a ready-to-use bait manufactured for administration to feral pigeons and other pest birds. For effectiveness, it must be ingested every day during the nesting period and always consumed by the targeted birds.

Although affected birds still lay eggs, it reduces the hatch rate.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Jennifer Aigbini
I am a language enthusiast, studying Linguistics at the University of Benin, in Nigeria.

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