bird controlOfficials from the Millville Police Department, Vineland Hazardous Material Team, and the Cumberland County Department of Health joined the county Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.  All sought answers to the bizarre occurrence. Residents were advised to keep children and pets away from the dead birds.

Finally, the Cumberland County Department of Health revealed that the strange bird deaths were caused by the application of a granular pesticide known as Avitrol Double Strength Corn Chops. The pesticide is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency to control blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles and starlings. Nearby Ingraldi Farms had been using the pesticide to control the crop damage done by invading flocks of birds.

This problem could have been avoided had Ingraldi Farms used bird deterrent products that are safe, humane and effective. These taste deterrent products will not harm birds. Here are two examples of products that will deter birds without harming them:

Avian Control

This taste-aversion bird repellent won’t harm birds and prevents them from grazing and feeding in unwanted areas. Avian control is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on a variety of crops to prevent foraging birds from damaging them. It uses natural extracts that, when sprayed on crops, makes them inedible to birds. Avian Control can be also used  for deterring birds from large open spaces—like golf courses, parks, athletic fields, airports, vineyards and other areas where birds tend to graze and congregate. The repellent uses a unique patent pending formula that irritates the birds' mucous membranes. Crops, grass and shrubs quickly lose their appeal as a food source, prompting birds to leave for more hospitable areas. Sold by the gallon, Avian control can be broadcast by either fog or spray. When used as a fogger, it uses just 12-16 ounces per acre. It lasts up to three times longer than other bird deterrents. As a liquid concentrate, Avian control is easily mixed with water. For best results, you should repeat the application in two weeks.

Migrate Goose Repellent

An equally effective taste-aversion goose repellent, Migrate is a non-toxic liquid goose repellent that makes grass and shrubs inedible and unpalatable to geese. The active ingredient in Migrate is a grape extract known as Methyl Anthranilate. The extract irritates birds' trigeminal nerves and mucous membranes, which causes birds to leave for better tasting meals. This goose repellent is sold by the gallon and each gallon covers about 16,000 square feet. The repellent lasts about three months outdoors and won't wash off with rain or water. And yes, it’s safe to use around people and pets.

For additional advice on how to deter pest birds effectively and humanely, consult an expert like the folks at Bird-B-Gone.