Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

November 1979


CURB is a harmless chemical repellent formulated and prepared to control avian and mammalian behavior which may result in losses of cultivated crops at all stages of growth, of food in storage, and also in behavior which may endanger health (e.g. dogs fouling) or life (e.g. birds on runways at airports). It is a fine powder, which may be wet- table for spraying when mixed with water; or it may be prepared for dry application. It is synergised aluminum ammonium sulfate. Its LD50 is greater than 5 gr/kg; it has passed the U.S.A. and French skin and eye mucosa tests on rabbits, and it is found ecologically and environmentally acceptable. In the U.K. and some other countries, it is fully cleared for use in homes to control rodent damage and to train kittens and puppies, for spraying on all edible crops and fruit, both growing and in store, and for use on animals' wounds to prevent biting and pecking. The mode of action of CURB is thought to be mainly via the three chemical senses. But, because it is preferable that birds and mammals be kept away from the areas to be protected, its recent development has been directed towards control via the olfactory sense. Moreover, because in many regions mammals constitute a greater menace to crops (e.g., in Venezuela and many South American countries) and also because it is now generally accepted that the neurophysiological structure relative to olfaction is basically similar in all vertebrates, my tests in the control of behavior in birds and mam- mals have been carried out indiscriminately: the same repellent has been applied in each case and with, roughly, the same rates of successes and failures. Indeed, there appears to be little difference between the problems of gustation and olfaction, whether among birds or mammals. Little is known about the common chemical sense, but I find it difficult to separate it from the other two in practice; and I believe that the three chemical senses are very closely allied throughout the avian and mammalian species. In the course of dealing with the practical aspect of these problems over the past fourteen years, I have gradually developed a product, originating from the base aluminum ammonium sulfate, through hit-or-miss additions and rejections of various organic and inorganic materials and various methods of preparation with all the ex- perimentation and test work involved, and arrived at the present position, where I can reasonably claim the ability to vary the spectrum and potency of the repellent action of CURB in such manner and to such degree as to match the variations in special and in- dividual variations in chemo-reception in most species.