Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tips for Green Summer Pest Control

ARA – Living green doesn’t mean yielding your yard to birds, bugs and critters that can be both a nuisance and a health hazard. It’s possible to keep unwanted animal guests away from your gardens, landscaping, lawn and outdoor living areas without contributing to the groundwater contamination associated with many chemical pesticides.

With drought conditions expected to persist in many areas of the country, the issue of groundwater contamination is drawing plenty of attention. Many communities are moving to curb products – including pesticides and fertilizers – known to cause groundwater contamination. When it comes to protecting your property from common summer pests, non-lethal, all-natural methods that rely on sound, sight, taste deterrents and roost inhibitors not only protect the environment, they’re more effective as well.

“Green pest-control measures actually work better than lethal alternatives,” says Mona Zemsky, a technician and pest control expert with Bird-X, a company that specializes in products that help convince critters to take up residence elsewhere. “Killing birds and other nuisance animals is a losing proposition; you just create a vacuum that other animals will move into.”

So what green methods are most effective in ridding your landscape of unwelcome birds and animals? Here are some top options:


Another way to thwart pests is to convince them that an area is no longer safe or a good food source. For geese and birds, GooseChase and BirdShield use a food-grade derivative of concord grapes. Sprayed on grass and feeding areas, they safely and humanely make the spots unpalatable to birds and animals. The line of organic Scoot products use taste aversion – in the form of hot sauce and castor oil – to drive off pests like deer, squirrels and ground moles


Sonic and ultrasonic devices can drive off small rodents like mice, squirrels and raccoons, and common nuisance birds such as sparrows, crows and pigeons. Since ultrasonic devices are inaudible to humans, they don’t contribute to noise pollution. Sonic machines that project actual predator calls can also be effectiveA variety of devices are available that target specific pests. For example, Transonic PROtargets small animals and insects, and the Yard Gard can dissuade even deer. Effective bird-specific devices include the BirdXPeller PRO and the Ultrason X.


Farmers have used scarecrows for hundreds of years. Visual deterrents can be very effective in convincing many pests, birds especially, that an area is unsafe. The concept of the scarecrow has evolved, with devices – both low- and high-tech - that incorporate motion into the visual deterrent. On the low-tech end is an iridescent tape, easily hung outdoors, that unsettles birds with its fluttering motion and flashing colors. From a distance, the tape’s sheen mimics snake skin, further frightening bird invaders. On the high tech end, new devices use lasers to ward off birds. The Bird BLazer zaps harmless green lasers into birds’ roosting areas, creating a light show that most birds find unpleasant.

Roost Inhibitors

Birds will roost, nest, eat and defecate wherever they find an appealing spot, creating a nuisance and a health hazard. Convincing birds that a spot is no longer desirable is the optimum way to get rid of them – and prevent any more from moving in. Roost inhibitors accomplish this in a variety of ways. Some, like Bird-X’s spike strips (made of recycled materials) and a special netting, make it difficult for birds to land. Others, such as gels and liquids, make surfaces feel tacky and unappealing to birds, but cause no damage to the structures they’re applied to.

“These methods are not only green for the environment and human for the animals, they’re benign for humans as well,” Zemsky points out. “You won’t need rubber gloves to use them, they have no warning labels, you don’t need to store them in child-proof places or wonder what they might do to you after decades of exposure.”

To learn more about effective, environmentally safe, non-lethal bird control methods, visit or call (800) 662-5021.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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