Too many pigeons?

Authorities in Saskatoon, Canada, announced this week their plan to remove an estimated 350 tons of accumulated pigeon feces - roughly equivalent to 230 cars - from under a local bridge. While it represents an extreme example of allowing pigeon numbers to get out of control, it illustrates the need for an appropriate maintenance program to prevent the problem to begin with.

Pigeon poop is not just unsightly; the acid content can lead to deterioration metal, soft stone, plant and equipment. The accumulation of pigeon droppings can deface the finishes and represents a health hazard. Removal is not only difficult and costly but can cause more damage than the droppings in the first place.

industrial pigeon control

industrial pigeon control

Nesting material, poop, feathers and debris can block gutters and pipes causing water damage to buildings. The droppings provide ideal environmental conditions for the growth and proliferation of 

Pipes and catwalks coated in pigeon droppings become slippery and unsafe to use particularly in wet conditions. Startled pigeons may take flight suddenly and cause a hazard.

Long story short, don't let your pigeons get out of control!

OvoControl is a ready-to-use bait, dispensed on flat rooftops with an automatic wildlife feeder. This effective and humane program is especially useful for managing birds in larger areas without having to resort to poisons or labor-intensive trapping programs. 

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For more information on OvoControl or Innolytics, please visit the company website at ovocontrol.com.

OvoControl® P (nicarbazin 0.5%) Now Available in Mexico

FOR RELEASE, February 21, 2019O

Rancho Mirage, CA — February 21, 2019

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Already registered in 49 of 50 states and Canada, OvoControl P, “birth control” for pigeons, is now available in Mexico. "Just as in the US market, many commercial sites and communities in Mexico are plagued with pigeons," outlined Erick Wolf, CEO of Innolytics, maker of OvoControl.

"More than anything, as the popularity of OvoControl has grown, requests for the product have also increased in Mexico."

ECONTROL (www.econtrol.com.mx) in Mexico City has been named the distributor of OvoControl P for the Mexican market. The Managing Director of EControl, Benjamin Gómez, commented, "We plan to focus on stored grain facilities, tourism and the export economy. The critical importance of food safety in Mexico cannot be overstated and pigeons can represent serious risks. Our pest control customers and their clients are keenly interested in innovative options to control the pigeon population safely and humanely. OvoControl meets these criteria and fits well with ECONTROL’s portfolio.”  

Gómez added: "OvoControl works like an IGR, but for birds instead of insects. We believe that birth control for pigeons is a valuable addition to the portfolio of bird control tools that can be used in Mexico."

OvoControl is a ready-to-use bait, which is dispensed on flat rooftops with an automatic feeder. This effective and humane technology is particularly useful for managing flocks of pigeons in larger areas without having to use extreme solutions and their associated risks.  

For more information about OvoControl or Innolytics, please visit the company's website at ovocontrol.com or econtrol.com.mx.

The Safety of OvoControl

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We often get questions about the active ingredient in OvoControl, nicarbazin.

Although the chemical has a long history, its use as a contraceptive for pest birds is relatively new. Originally developed by Merck in 1955, nicarbazin has been used as an FDA registered anticoccidial for chickens for more than 60 years.

Coccidiosis is a very common and debilitating enteric disease which occurs during the first three weeks of a chicken’s life. Adding nicarbazin to the feed prevents the disease. A large portion of the chicken consumed both inside and outside the US is treated with the drug.

Interference with egg hatchability occured when nicarbazin was inadvertently administered to breeder chickens. The eggs from these chickens are supposed to hatch! Innolytics developed this unwanted “side-effect” in chickens into birth control for pigeons and other pest birds.

As both a food animal drug and pesticide, nicarbazin has been vetted by both FDA, EPA and a variety of other international regulatory agencies including EFSA in the EU and MAFF in Japan. The compound has been studied extensively and the environmental data package reflects the state of the art.

Nicarbazin is non-toxic and it is difficult to find much in the world of drugs or pesticides that is less toxic or more environmentally benign.

Innolytics continues to work on additional applications for this unique compound.

A New Outbreak of Avian Paramyxovirus Reported in Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife has reported paramyxovirus, specifically Pigeon Paramyxovirus-1, or PPMV-1 in Eurasian collared doves near El Paso, TX.

The majority of PPMV-1 outbreaks in wild birds in the United States have involved Eurasian collared doves and pigeons.

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Symptoms include lethargy, green diarrhea, or having difficulty standing or holding their head upright. The virus can cause conjunctivitis (pink eye) in humans, therefore, if you encounter multiple dead or dying doves or pigeons, do not handle the birds without hand and eye protection.

There is no known risk to cats or dogs from PPMV-1, but TPWD recommends keeping pets away from infected birds.

Some strains of PPMV-1 have been shown to cause disease and death in domestic poultry. Chickens can contract the disease from indirect contact such as dove or pigeon feces in chicken feeding areas.

Additionally, TPWD advises the use of protective gloves, masks, and glasses if handling sick or dying birds.

To learn more about paramyxovirus, see the State of Victoria Department of Agriculture website.

This information was originally reported by Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Automatic Feeder Assembly

Ovocontrol now has a how-to video for our automatic feeders! For OvoControl's contraceptive program to be effective, you should use an automatic feeder. This machine triggers once a day so the birds receive the necessary amount of bait. The new and improved automatic feeders are also easy to assemble and operate.

Here's a video on how to assemble an OvoControl Automatic Pigeon Feeder.

How Does Bird Birth Control Benefit Other Species?

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How Does Birth Control for Birds Benefit Other Species?

Birth control designed for avian species is the more humane alternative to killing pest birds such as pigeons. Yet, what about other species? It turns out that this approach may also pose fewer risks for the overall ecological system, too. Here, we explore how using poison for population control can actually have a larger impact on the environment, and how safer alternatives benefit more than just the species being controlled.

Poison & Its Far-Reaching Impact

In a March 2018 article published by Portland Patch, Audubon Conservation Director Bob Sallinger described an incident in which crows in Northeast Portland “were baited and poisoned.” While this is a common means of eliminating pest birds, it poses inherent risks. In this incident, at least 20 bird carcasses were scattered across several blocks, alarming the local public and potentially spreading poison to other species.

Sallinger explained that any time poison is used, the individual administering it must be a licensed pesticide applicator, and that the product is to be used in a contained manner. This allows for the proper collection of carcasses, which prevents poison from spreading to predatory species.The issue with this particular incident lies in the fact that the poison was not properly contained. With crow carcasses lining the streets, it is possible that other animals throughout the food chain could have been impacted, as the poison may have spread to scavenger animals who fed on dead or dying crows. Hawks, raccoons, and other wild species are among the animals that could have been affected. Many conservationists feel that not only is using poison inhumane, but also that its inherent risks outweigh any potential benefits of a controlled pest population.

A Safer Alternative

Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, using pesticides must not cause “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment,” including humans and other animals (epa.gov). While poisons are still a means of controlling pests in industrial areas, campuses, shopping centers, and other populated areas, birth control is a safer option.

OvoControl, for one, is an EPA-registered, humane technology which interferes with the hatchability of pest birds’ eggs. Through treated bait administered during reproductive season, the population is reduced naturally and continuously. Effects can be realized within a few months, and studies show a yearly reduction of roughly 50%.Most importantly, the contraceptive impact is limited to the bird species for which the birth control is intended. The active components are far too low to achieve the dose required for interference with egg hatchability in a secondary bird and will simply pass through predatory species unabsorbed if ingested. Thus, there are no risks of poison any harmful substance making its way through the food chain, and no animals suffer as a result of ingestion. Because it has no secondary effects in predatory species, OvoControl is considered non-hazardous and is advocated by Audubon, the Humane Society of the U.S., and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Of course, it would be ideal if overpopulation didn’t pose inherent risks in itself. Yet, an abundance of pigeons can cause health and safety hazards, and pest birds therefore demand an effective solution. The good news is that with birth control for birds, their population can now be contained without causing any further harm to the environment or the animal kingdom.

How fast do pigeons reproduce?

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There is a lot of debate about pigeons. Are they good? Are they bad? Ancient societies revered the “rock dove”, a cousin to the modern-day pigeon, as holy. They are pretty, especially in the sunlight. They have been raised through the last two centuries for meat, communications and even for religious/sacrificial purposes. While their historical place has been mostly positive, there are serious concerns about pigeons as their numbers increase at an alarming rate. The few natural predators of the pigeon; hawks, falcons and owls seem to be ineffective at curbing large flocks from gathering in cities and around food processing plants where scraps and garbage are more than enough to sustain large numbers of these controversial birds. It is hard to grasp the difficulties of pigeon control when you are just dealing with a nesting pair in a yard. However, for a business or factory that is threatened by the unclean conditions caused by the waste and nesting of a large flock, pigeons have become a real conundrum. One of the primary issues is how quickly pigeons multiply.

Pigeons live in large flocks of 20+. They breed as monogamous pairs that will raise up to six broods of 2 eggs a year.  That comes out to 12 new pigeons per pair per year.  Six months later those new pigeons can begin breeding. The math gets a bit tricky here, as only about half of those could be breeding by mid-year. Assuming 8 of them can have 2-3 broods before the end of that year of 2 eggs each, we are looking at 30+ new pigeons, plus the original 15 babies, and I think that’s conservative. So, in one year, we’ve gone from 2 pigeons to 45+ pigeons. That’s a population increase of 21.5% annually. Following this math there will be 1,000+ by the second year.

There are real health concerns associated with pigeon droppings and the dried droppings that turn into dust and could be sucked into heating and cooling systems. Especially around businesses that serve or process food, the bird populations simply must be addressed. When it comes to keeping birds away from human habitation, there are a wide variety of techniques available. Encouraging pigeons to relocate involve things like spikes, netting, and electricity. Reduction of their population means poisoning, traps, and shooting. But what if we could address the root of the problem? What if there were less pigeons to begin with? What if we could do something about how quickly they multiply? Well, we can. OvoControl is the long-term pigeon control solution to interrupt the breeding cycle of pigeons who may be putting your business at risk.

Controlling Overabundant Pigeons with OvoControl

Pigeons may be appreciated by a lot of birdwatchers but for the vast majority, they are nothing but a nuisance. They are even often called “sky rodents” because they’re just a hassle to have around. Pigeons poop everywhere, and if you make the mistake of having food in your hand while walking in a pigeon-infested open space, there’s a 90 percent chance of getting flocked by these birds as well as a 99 percent chance of you losing your mind trying to shoo them away.

Other annoying things about these birds are the way they attract other pests such as mice and rats, how they target trash, and how they stink (if you have respiratory issues, you’re very prone to flare-ups). Farmers say pigeons are also contributors to crop destruction. In addition to that, pilots say they’re a cause for concern during flights because pigeons crash into the windshields of aircraft and even plane engine propellers.

Suffice it to say, it’s important to control pigeon populations in order to maintain health and safety.

Oral baits are considered the most effective contraceptives for overabundant pigeons. OvoControl, in particular, reduces the population by 90 to 95 percent. Its special chemical substances disrupt the reproductive processes of birds. Nicarbazin, the active ingredient in OvoControl, interferes with egg fertilization, thus decreasing the number of offspring produced.

This product is very safe and it looks like regular feed that pigeons like. It’s so safe that even the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Audubon and Peregrine Fund all advocate for it. Texas Tech is even using OvoControl for the mass pigeon population on campus, confident that it is the more humane way of dealing with the issue.

The effect of this contraceptive wears off quickly. Once the product is withdrawn, it will just take a few days for egg production and hatchability to go back to normal. It doesn’t harm the birds in any way – it just prevents the eggs from fertilizing. It is also easy to use because it looks just like regular feed pellets and it can be applied with automatic game feeders. 

Pigeons may seem like harmless creatures, but they can be bad for your health and represent a lot of safety risks especially when there are massive flocks of them present. You can take matters into your own hands and control the problem – use OvoControl to prevent the fast population growth of these flying pests.