Pigeon Control

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.

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.

Pigeon Control Experts and Long Term Pigeon Control

Pigeon Control Experts Weigh in on Effective Long-Term Solution

Feral pigeon populations can cause a variety of problems. With their rapid breeding habits, even a small flock of 100 pigeons can do quite a bit of damage to a commercial property. That relatively small population can leave behind over two tons of fecal matter annually.

Apart from this unsightly mess, feral pigeons can also lead to other problems like slips and falls. For facility managers and business owners, increased maintenance, and health risks to customers are an issue. And speaking of health risks, pigeons have been associated with the transmission of 60+ different diseases, including agents of the West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and salmonellosis.

The problem with pigeon relocation

One of the solutions local governments and facility managers often propose is relocation of pigeons.

In relocation, pigeons are lured into traps with one-way doors. The are enticed by food and the presence of decoy birds. Once the target pigeons have been trapped, the birds are then released miles away from their original location.But according to pigeon control experts, this is an exercise in futility, considering that these birds have a remarkable homing instinct. Even when pigeons are brought miles away from their place of origin, they can easily find their way back to their original location. This has led some people to kill the birds after trapping. Another problem with this solution is that it has an all-or-nothing nature. In order to be truly effective, the whole population needs to be captured. Otherwise, the remaining pigeons can simply breed to fill in the gap left by the captured pigeons. In a span of two years, five mating pairs can easily produce 400 more pigeons.

What about bird spikes?

Bird deterrent spikes are another popular control measure that are often used against feral pigeons. These may be fabricated out of plastic or metal.

One of the problems associated with bird spikes is the spacing. Sometimes, smaller birds like starlings, or even pigeons themselves, can pass through these spikes and roost undeterred.

Apart from that, feathers, droppings, and nesting materials can accumulate on the spikes.

Finally, when bird spikes are not installed properly, these can be dangerous or simply be ineffective. If the pigeons avoid the areas where these spikes are installed, they will simply move to an adjacent area, never really solving the long-term problem.

A better approach to pigeon control

The truth is that there is no single best solution against feral pigeons. Several factors need to be considered, including the breeding habits of these birds, site characteristics, and your objectives. OvoControl, "birth control" for birds, has become a leading alternative for pest control companies, facility managers and those looking to create a pigeon control solution that eliminates the problem long-term.

How OvoControl works

OvoControl's patented technology was developed in collaboration with USDA/APHIS. The humane technology interferes with the hatchability of eggs. The product is fed to birds during the reproductive season. Visit our website to learn more about how our products support traditional pigeon control.

Commercial Pigeon Control Solutions

What is being done when it comes to Commercial Pigeon Control?

For hundreds of years, pigeons have been adored....at least by some people. From the messenger in fairy tails to the iconic Sesame Street pigeons Bert and Ernie we were so fond of. Before television they represented a valuable source of food and still are in rural parts of Alaska and around the world.  But as the saying goes, "first world problems". In today's culture pigeons can represent a great nuisance. Commercial pigeon control is a source of frustration for many facilities managers. Places like College Campuses, Hotels, Manufacturing Facilities, Power Plants, are often subject to health hazards and other issues related to bird damages.

What are my options for commercial pigeon control?

Pest control companies are typically the first line of defense when it comes to eliminating pigeon problems. We spoke with Ben Miller of AAI pest control in Modesto, CA and he shared some of the challenges he faces with pigeon control. Depending on the type of building they tend to default to spikes or Avitrol. This works great for outdoor billboards, which Ben's company manages about 25 in his service area. But despite these methods, they struggle with large commercial facilities because of the size and scope. Yes, spikes are a deterrent but that does not control the bird population. They are finding that traditional bird control deterrents are not always the long-term solution clients are looking for. Property owners want the birds to go away and stay away.

Birth Control for Birds

When OvoControl started in 2010 we knew the product was needed but had no way of gauging how it would fit into the pest control community. Customers want the pigeons "gone today" whereas OvoControl is a longer term solution, works through attrition and requires some explanation. When it comes to long-term pigeon control, it is essential that pest control companies work to reduce the rapid growth of the pigeon population in a humane and ethical way.For more information on commercial pigeon control or OvoControl P, please contact us.

Cases of food borne illnesses linked to birds

Unfortunately, this kind of experience seems to be more common all the time.That first sweaty feeling you get?? At first, you might chalk it up to being tired, or thirsty, but 15 minutes later, you know there’s no way around it. You’ve got food poisoning…

Cases of food borne illnesses have increased significantly

Cases of food borne illnesses have increased by 114% over a 4-year period between 2013 and today. The information comes from a study released, just this month, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study found that a bacteria called Campylobacter has continued to be the #1 cause of food borne illness. Salmonella and Shigella, two other bird-related bacteria, remain in 2nd and 3rd place, and something needs to be done about it.In order to keep ahead of the increased standards, the bird control and pest control community need to take a hard look at the roots and stems of contamination. Consistent with rodent and insect mitigation, bird control at food processing plants and facilities is imperative for maintenance of a clean and contamination free environment. In 2008 the World Health Organization (WHO) published, PUBLIC HEALTH: Significance of Urban Pests. In the chapter on birds, pigeons are described as carriers of 60+ transmissible diseases. Notably among the bacteria, Campylobacter jejuni, the agent of campylobacterosis and common in animal and bird feces.

Large flocks of pigeons pose a variety of health threats. From visible excrement to fecal dust, from nests to debris, the visual and practical effect both the reputation of the product and plant operations. That’s not to mention the health and moral of employees at the plant itself!

Thanks to FoodNet, which has been tracking incidents of food borne illness and trends since 1996, and Ovocontrol, industry and its key regulators, have the capacity to be proactive and intentional about the treatment and care of poultry and facilities in this growing industry. Together, we can decrease risks and casualties of food borne illness for our clients and employee populations.

Contact us to learn more.

OvoControl P in Canada | Now Available

Pigeon control problems in Canada have a new solution

Based on a growing drumbeat of interest from pigeon impacted facilities, Innolytics, the makers of Ovocontrol have received a registration for OvoControl in Canada. Applicators in Canada are now able to order and use the contraceptive for pigeons, casually known as, "birth control for birds".  

Although there is not much census data around the volume of pigeons plaguing cities in Canada, we know that despite their best effort at pigeon control, commercial facilities managers are constantly fighting to remove pigeon presence and the mess they leave behind. This can be a particularly frustrating task for facilities like Hotels, Condo's and other high rise buildings that need to keep clean facilities for their tenants. “We continue to receive a steady stream of inquiries from our neighbors to the North,” indicated Erick Wolf, CEO of Innolytics, manufacturer of OvoControl P. “Consistent with the US market, impacted facilities want access to the “birth control” program for pigeons. We can now supply the market in Canada with a product registered by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Health Canada (Pest Control Product Reg. No. 32670).”    

Gardex Chemicals, Ltd. in Etobicoke, Ontario has been named the master distributor and will represent OvoControl P in Canada.  

Gardex Chemicals OvoControl Distributor

Gardex Chemicals OvoControl Distributor

Gardex Chemicals provides top quality service and products for the Professional Pest Management Industry. Gardex’s President, Karen Furgiuele commented, “We look forward to establishing the distribution network for OvoControl P in Canada. OvoControl P represents an innovative new product for the market where pigeon control strategies have typically been limited to physical exclusion or tactics aimed at increasing mortality that only provide short-term relief.  OvoControl P provides the opportunity to abate the population of birds, safely and effectively over time.”      

OvoControl P is a ready-to-use bait, dispensed on flat rooftops with a mechanical feeder. The OvoControl Quickstart Guide is a great place to start if you are considering ordering it or simply want to learn more about the operational side of our product. This effective and humane technology is especially useful for managing pigeon flocks in larger facilities without having to resort to poisons or labor intensive trapping programs.  For those who wonder if birth control for birds is an effective method to solving your pigeon problem, we encourage you to take a look at case studies like, La Crosse Pigeons Put On The Pill! learn about what others are saying about Ovocontrol.To learn more about Ovocontrol P and our partnership with Gardex Chemicals Ltd. Contact us today!

Birth Control For Birds: Will It Solve Your Pigeon Problem?

Is the avian population a problem in your area?

If it is, it’s a good bet pigeons are the culprit. In many places around the world, feral pigeons are considered pests. This  is why commercial property owners are hard-pressed to find a solution to their pigeon problem. Traditionally, people have resorted to exclusion techniques, trapping, or poisoning. These days, the answer has to be a humane and cost-effective option. In this regard, birth control is certainly an avenue that many communities and businesses find viable.

Birth control for birds — will it solve your pigeon problem?

People have been known to remove eggs and replace these with fake ones to prevent the mothers from laying more. This is a birth control option and not the most practical means for downsizing a huge pigeon population.

Another method of birth control used on pigeons to prevent their flock size from getting any bigger is egg oiling. This involves hunting down pigeon eggs and immersing them in paraffin or vegetable oil. The oil clogs up the pores and suffocates the fetus within. Understandably, there are people who disapprove of the practice and represents a very labor intensive option.

Humane pigeon control

Meanwhile, oral birth control is beginning to make its way around the globe as a practical and feasible method for solving the pigeon problem. It was developed to provide a humane option for controlling the population growth. It is mostly used on avian species, including feral pigeons and Canada geese.

When used on pigeons in their reproductive season, it effectively decreases the hatchability of their eggs. Like human contraceptives, it is fully reversible. Care has been taken, to prevent non-target species from being exposed to it. For instance, it comes in a kibble form that is very attractive to pigeons.

Of course, oral contraceptives will simply prevent the addition of new members to the population and it will take some time before their profound effect is felt. Studies done on this, however, show a 50 percent population decline, annually. In some cases, it is recommended that birth control be implemented in conjunction with exclusion techniques, such as the use of nets, spikes, and electrified strips.

So, if birth control for birds is a safe and long-term solution, then it is ideal for use in areas where a few birds can be tolerated. Some of the large-scale sites and facilities where it should be used are schools, power plants, refineries, airports, and urban areas. For more information contact us and we will be happy to review your options.