Date of this Version
A single application of Mesurol at 1.5 Ib (Al) /ac to ripening cherries reduced bird damage in a field test in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York, 1986. Treated trees averaged 8.9% damage compared to 17.5% damage for untreated trees. An average of 7.4 birds flew into treated blocks per 15-min count versus an average of 19.8 birds that flew into control blocks. These results support the various evaluations over the past 15 years of Mesurol as a bird repellent for fruit crops. The consensus of these tests is that Mesurol often provides an effective nonlethal means of reducing conflicts between fruit growers and federally protected, depredating birds. However, the continued federal registration of Mesurol for blueberries and cherries is uncertain, and the expansion of the label to include grapes and other fruits is doubtful because of health and environmental concerns, regulatory uncertainties, and limited market opportunities for the proprietary chemical company. Mesurol illustrates the difficulties often encountered in trying to register minor-use pesticides, particularly for vertebrate pest control. Possibilities for alleviating these difficulties are discussed.