USDA National Wildlife Research Center Symposia


Date of this Version

August 1995


There is an increasing demand in New Zealand for nonlethal bird repellents to protect food crops and prevent poisonous mammal baits being eaten by native birds. Three food flavorings, dimethyl anthranilate (DMA), methyl anthranilate (MA), and a peppermint extract (Optamint), were applied to wheat as surface coatings at different concentrations and then offered to individually caged house sparrows (Passer domesticus). The birds were given one of four levels of treated wheat (control, 0.25, 0.5, and 1 .O% by weight for DMA and MA; 0, 1, 3, and 5 % by weight for Optarnint). Only Optamint at the 5% level significantly reduced consumption of wheat. All three Optarnint-treatment levels were phytotoxic to grass.