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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Nonlethal repellents: The development of cost-effective, practical solutions to agricultural and industrial problems

  • Author(s): Mason, J. Russell
  • Clark, Larry
  • et al.

Repellents substances and devices cause pest species to avoid otherwise attractive or palatable materials. For birds, repellents can be visual, auditory, pyrotechnic, tactile, chemosensory, physiologic, or physical. Here, we consider chemical agents only. Few substances are registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and thus legally available for use. This lack of available bird repellent technology reflects the small demonstrable economic impact of many agricultural bird damage problems. Accurate information about damage and market size is virtually nonexistent, and private companies are reluctant to invest resources in the unknown. To successfully commercialize new repellents, clearly lucrative markets must be identified. Efforts must be made to empirically quantify damage and to estimate whether control methods are economical relative to the protection that they confer. We intend the present manuscript as a first step in these directions.

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