OvoControl P – Birth Control For Flocks of Pigeons
What is OvoControl P?
OvoControl P is a ready-to-use bait that interferes with the reproduction of treated birds, causing the population to decline through attrition. This effective and humane technology is especially useful for managing pigeon flocks in larger areas without resorting to poisons and their associated risks.
The active ingredient in OvoControl, nicarbazin 0.5% (NICARB), was originally developed by Merck, the pharmaceutical company, in the mid -1950’s.
The compound remains in worldwide use today, to control coccidiosis, an enteric disease in poultry.
Nicarbazin interference with egg hatchability represents an unwanted side-effect in chickens. Together with the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, CO, Innolytics developed OvoControl as a useful new tool to help manage pest birds.
Baiting can begin at any time and OvoControl has been shown to have a wide margin of safety and efficacy. Flat rooftops are the ideal area to bait pigeons.
Pigeons breed rapidly – just five mating pairs can produce up to 400 pigeons in only two years.
Although pigeons are prolific, capable of producing up to six clutches, annually, with two eggs per clutch, the life span of urban pigeons is usually limited to just about 2-4 years. When applied according to label directions, OvoControl interferes with egg hatchability.
A typical flock of pigeons has an attrition rate estimated at 30% annually or more under extreme environmental conditions. Therefore, effectively interfering with reproduction has a profound effect on the population of these birds.
Since no new birds are hatching, the population of birds declines naturally and continuously.
Field studies have shown reductions of approximately 50%, annually. Recently collected data at a monitored site in San Diego reflected an 88% decline over 28 months.
OvoControl only has a contraceptive effect in birds and has no secondary effects in birds of prey.
OvoControl is considered a pesticide and care should be taken to avoid administration to non-target birds and other animals.
OvoControl P is applied with an automatic feeder at a rate of 1lb per 80 pigeons per day. For large flocks of pigeons several feeding sites may need to be set up at a distant from each other to contain the amount of pigeons feeding at each station.
The cost to treat a flock of 100 pigeons during the first year averages $ 8.50 – $ 10.00 a day, the one-time cost of the automatic feeder kit is about $295.00. But due to declining pigeon numbers of pigeons at the feeders, the cost of your bait declines by roughly 40 – 50% during the second year of treatment.
Placement of Feeder
It is recommended that OvoControl feeders are placed on rooftop locations, and not necessarily on a very high one. The best results are with 1-2 story installations. While they can be installed on higher locations, experience tells us that the birds prefer lower locations as opposed to higher ones.
Since the free-standing feeders are installed on rooftops, building management is typically concerned with any risks. The most obvious of these is that a feeder gets airborne in a windstorm or other weather related event. For this reason, we secure the feeder on the roof so that it cannot blow away.
The most direct way of securing a feeder is with a cable, rope or strap attached to one of the legs and fastened to an immovable object on the roof.
Many of today’s modern commercial rooftops consist of a synthetic membrane and the last thing you want to do is to puncture or otherwise damage the material. For this purpose, we now use a heavy duty rubber mat with construction designed to protect a roof membrane, withstand the elements, and hold the feeder in place.
Registered by EPA
Registered by EPA (Reg. No. 80224-1) and approved in 49 states (New Hampshire is missing), OvoControl is ideal for large areas where some pigeons can be tolerated but where a substantially reduced population is desired. OvoControl is non-hazardous and is advocated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Audubon, and Peregrine Fund.
“Birth Control” for Pest Control
There are now four different contraceptive products registered by EPA for pest or wildlife control,
- OvoControl (nicarbazin) for pigeons,
- Zona-Stat (porcine zona pellucida or PZP), immunocontraceptives for horses (and many other large, wild animals including elephants, elk and bison),
- Gona-Con (gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)) by USDA Wildlife Services for white-tailed deer, and,
- Contra-Pest (4-Vinylcyclohexene diepoxide and Triptolide) by Senestech for rats.
Each of the contraceptives builds on unique technological platforms with a similar biological outcome – interference with the reproductive system to slow or stop population growth.