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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Efficacy of methyl anthranilate as a bird repellent on cherries, blueberries and grapes


Anthranilitic acid derivatives, used as common food additives, have been explored as bird repellent agents for a number of years. Research in this study show that methyl anthranilate, when exposed to the UV spectrum of sunlight, readily dissipates within 64 hours. The addition of surfactants and extenders did not appreciably alter the degradation curve, nor did they lessen the phytotoxic properties of the chemical. Field trials under IR-4 guidance and support indicate that methyl anthranilate (MA) is an effective, biodegradable, nontoxic bird repellent. In formulation with a lipid molecular binding compound, degradation of methyl anthranilate was extended from four to ten days. Phytotoxicity, at effective application rates, was eliminated. Damage to cherries was reduced 43% to 98% depending on cultivar, number of birds present, and crop loads when the treated crops were compared with untreated crops. Depredation of blueberries was reduced 65% and 99% for two varieties. Feeding on wine grapes was diminished 58% to 88%, depending on the affected vinifera. Tasters could not distinguish between treated and untreated fruit nor could certified graders find any reduction in fruit quality.

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