Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

September 1970


Things have changed considerably during the past several years in the aerial applicating business as in most other industries. For a long time farmers have been searching for a way to control blackbirds in their corn fields. As long as fifteen years ago a group of farmers in Sandusky County asked us to apply lime to their fields in the hope that this would frighten birds from their fields. In Belle Glade, Florida, several farmers pooled their resources and hired a small cub-type airplane to fly all day long over their sweet corn fields to frighten away black birds. This method was somewhat successful because the leading edges of the cub's wings were badly battered from birds flying into its path as it flew across the fields.

Times have changed and new methods are being used. A most recent project is one of baiting corn fields with Avitrol 200. This toxic material is being applied under the close supervision of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. Avitrol is a fast acting toxicant which causes distress displays in the affected birds. These fright responses quickly cause the unaffected birds to leave the treated corn fields. There is no secondary effect of Avitrol on predatory animals such as dogs, cats, or hawks. Pheas¬ants and quail have been experimentally fed entirely on this bait for periods of three weeks without apparent harmful effects.