Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

November 1979


Schafer and Brunton (1971) determined that methiocarb [3,5-dimethyl-4-(methylthio)phenol methylcarbamate] was efficaceous as a bird repellent, reporting low R50 and LD50 values for several bird species. Guarino (1972) suggested that bird damage to corn, soybeans, rice, sorghum, cherries, and grapes could be reduced by spraying with methiocarb. Crase and DeHaven (1976) concluded that methiocarb could be an effective broad-spectrum bird repellent and crop protectant. Bollengier et al. (1973), Stone et al. (1974), Ali (1978), Teklehaimanot (1978), and Jackson et al. (1978) reported that bird damage to blueberries was significantly lower in methiocarb-treated fields than in the untreated fields. Rogers (1974) describes Mesurol as a conditioning repellent that has post-ingestional effects. Guarino (1972) reported that house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), and starlings (Sturnus vulgarus) constituted 51.5% and 28.8%, respectively, of the birds observed in grape fields in California. In New Hampshire, robins (Turdus migratorius), primarily, and starlings, catbirds, (Dumetella carolinensis), and scarlet tanagers (Piranga olivacea) fed heavily on grapes (Guarino 1972). The birds damaged the upper, exposed clusters more than those on lower, covered branches. Crase et al. (1976) estimated the amount of bird damage to grapes in the U.S.A. at $4.4 million. Peck damage was reported higher than pluck damage. Larger birds, such as starlings and robins, were observed taking the whole berry, while smaller birds (finches, sparrows, and bluebirds) were pecking holes in the individual berry (Crase et al., 1976). Crase (1975), while reporting a high ratio of pecked to plucked fruit in treated fields, observed a higher proportion of plucked in the untreated area; house sparrows (Passer-domesticus) were the most prevalent species. He suggested that birds may be first pecking, and, if no effect is detected, they would take the whole grape. Previous observations in California had indicated Mesurol treatments to vineyards were efficaceous (Crase 1975, 1976; Crase et al. 1976). Bailey and Smith (1979) obtained twice the yield on vines protected from blackbirds (Turdus merula) and silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) in South Australia with this compound. While failures have been reported in protecting cherries (Stickley and Ingram 1973) and blueberries (Dolbeer et al. 1973), their experimental designs may have been deficient. The objective of the present study was to evaluate methiocarb bird repellency in five selected grape fields in Ohio. The methiocarb formulation used was 75% wettable powder (WP), which is registered as Mesurol. These experiments were conducted under an experimental use permit (#3125-EUP-140). Additional details are found in Kassa and Jackson (1978).