Pigeons nesting on university building

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

WHAT EXACTLY IS OVOCONTROL® P?


OvoControl® P is a specially formulated bait that interferes with egg fertilization. OvoControl contains nicarbazin, an active ingredient originally developed to prevent an enteric disease in chickens. Registered by the EPA, OvoControl® P is currently approved for use in pigeons and other pest birds listed on the label.




HOW DOES OVOCONTROL® P WORK AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT EGG HATCHABILITY?


Recently published research has shown that the active ingredient inhibits the ZP3 sperm receptor sites on the vitelline membrane to prevent the fertilization of eggs. Sperm are effectively prevented from fertilizing the egg and therefore no embryo is ever formed.




CAN OVOCONTROL® P BE USED CONSURRENTLY WITH OTHER PIGEON CONTROL TECHNIQUES?


Yes, OvoControl® P complements all other bird management tools, with the possible exception of toxicants.




WHAT ARE THE OPINIONS OF THE ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS REGARDING OVOCONTROL® P?


Approved in Australia by the EPVMA and approved by the EPA in 49 states across the USA, OvoControl®P is ideal for large areas where some pigeons can be tolerated but where a substantially reduced population is desired. OvoControl®P is non-hazardous and supported by the RSPCA Australia, Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, Audubon and the Peregrine Fund - LEED Certified.




CAN PIGEONS EAT SO MUCH BAIT THAT THEY GET TOO HIGH A DOSE OF OVOCONTROL® P?


No. A single day dose that would be 3 to 4 times the anticipated dose of OvoControl would not produce any toxic effects. In the event that this did occur, the result would be that blood levels of nicarbazin would increase and absorption of the nicarbazin in the yolk of the egg would also increase.




WHAT HAPPENS IF A RAPTOR CONSUMES A PIGEON THAT HAS BEEN TREATED WITH OVOCONTROL® P? WILL THE RAPTOR'S EGGS ALSO NOT HATCH?


Fortunately, the chemistry of the active ingredient assures that there is no risk of any effect in a raptor. To have an effect, the bird MUST consume the bait – raptors enjoy fresh meat and fish, not OvoControl bait. Once OvoControl is digested and absorbed, it is no longer biologically available to another bird. There is effectively no risk of secondary toxicity.




HOW QUICKLY IS THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT, NICARBAZIN, ELIMINATED FROM THE SOIL AND THE ENVIRONMENT?


Carbon 14-labeled nicarbazin studies have shown that the half-life of nicarbazin is approximately 49 weeks in field soil and 18 weeks in greenhouse soil. Studies of radio-labeled nicarbazin in field soil plots have shown that the nicarbazin incorporated into the upper 3 inches of soil does not leach through the soil beyond 6 inches in depth and slowly degrades over time.




IF WE FEED THE PIGEONS OVOCONTROL® P, WON'T WE ATTRACT EVEN MORE PIGEONS?


Pigeons are flocking birds and the flock represents a social unit. While an OvoControl program is designed to attract the local “flock”, it does not attract birds from neighboring flocks. Pigeons are territorial and while the birds will share feeding resources, nesting and roosting sites are defended from intruders. Furthermore, pigeons are monogamous and only adolescents, widows or widowers seeking reproductive opportunities will potentially move from their existing flock.




WHERE SHOULD THE BAIT BE BROADCAST OR THE FEEDERS LOCATED?


Ideally, bait is offered in the early morning on flat rooftops in the areas where pigeons are nesting or feeding. Innolytics offers economical automatic feeders to ease the labor and manpower burden of daily feeding.




CAN YOU SKIP A DAY OR TWO OF BAIT AND STILL GET THE DESIRED EFFECT? IF THE PIGEON SKIPS EATING A DAY OR TWO, WHAT HAPPENS?


In the ideal situation, each pigeon consumes 5 grams of bait each day. Bait should be available every day to maximize the chances of the pigeons getting their daily dose of OvoControl. There appears to be a threshold level of DNC in the blood required to affect hatchability of the eggs formed during that time period. If a pigeon doesn’t eat the bait for a day or two, it is likely that the DNC levels in the blood will fall and may fall below the level required to affect hatchability. The DNC levels in the blood will rise again when the pigeon consumes more bait.




HOW DO YOU PREVENT OTHER BIRDS (I.E., SONGBIRDS, RAPTORS, ETC.) FROM CONSUMING OVOCONTROL® P?


All avians are considered sensitive to the product. OvoControl® P has therefore been designed to limit non-target exposure to birds. There are five techniques employed: The bait is relatively large, suitable for a pigeon, but not to the average songbird. The bait is fed sparingly, at 5gm/bird, or roughly 15% of the pigeon’s daily dry matter intake –in the early morning. Experience shows that once the pigeons are conditioned to the baiting routine, it is consumed within a few minutes, leaving little opportunity for non-target feeding. Pigeons are flocking birds and feed rapidly as a group. Most passerine activity is at or below the tree canopy level, and feeders are placed on rooftops where the risk of non-target exposure is limited. A daily dose is required during the breeding season – a single dose has no effect. It is possible that a non-target receives a dose from time-to-time, but periodic observation by the applicator ensures that OvoControl is reaching the target population. Raptors, insectivores, fish and crustacean eating birds will not consume bread-based bait.