Pest manager Barry Heaslip from Dubbo, NSW, shares his experience of using Ensystex’s non-toxic bird solution, Bird Away.
When the innovation team at Ensystex approached Barry Heaslip (pictured above) from BirdWorx in Dubbo with Avithor Bird Away, advising him it was a radical new concept in bird control, he was a little sceptical. But he did have the perfect high challenge site at which to give it a go!
Avithor Bird Away Visual & Olfactory Bird Repellent is 100% natural and pesticide free, discreet, non-harmful and as Ensystex advise, highly effective at repelling birds from buildings and other structures.
Mr Heaslip and his BirdWorx team are proud of their reputation out west. BirdWorx provide businesses, industry and homeowners with tailored bird management solutions. The business has grown over the past decade, based on their core values of integrity, people/family-focus, service specialisation, security, and a strong concern for the environment.
Dubbo is situated about 400km to the north-west of Sydney. It is a cosmopolitan city with a population of more than 40,000, but with a wider catchment of more than 120,000 people. The modern town centre reflects its links to the land and features more than 150 ‘street trees’, together with thousands of daily visitors, workers and tourists.
Alas, a less welcome aspect to the greening of the city are the thousands of common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that descend on the town like a plague of locusts at dusk each evening. The more favoured trees are populated with several hundred birds, and their noise and faeces have local shoppers and business owners desperate for a solution. Even parking your car under a tree for a few minutes will leave it looking like it has been attacked with a paint bomb of starling guano!
As a consequence, Dubbo City Council employ a team of four men and two vehicles to clean the area around the trees every morning after the birds have departed the scene of their devastation.
Ensystex’s NSW area manager, Andrew Knight, was up for the challenge, and was sure Avithor Bird Away was the solution.
“Avithor Bird Away incorporates our Flame Shield Gel Technology, which evolved from our recent work with UVA technology. Avithor Bird Away reflects light as a sparkle in the UVA light spectrum. Since birds see light in the UVA spectrum, we believe they see the sparkle as resembling the flames of a fire. This virtual ‘flame shield’ visually deters the birds from landing.
“When first applied, especially in high pressure areas, some birds will challenge the flame shield. This is when the olfactory component of the gel comes into play. Avithor Bird Away contains herbal extracts in a natural product base. If the bird gets close, it is repelled by the strong herbal odour. In the presence of Avithor Bird Away, birds will also sound a warning signal to other birds, which provides additional auditory repellence.
“We agreed with the Dubbo City Council to cable-tie 150 Avithor Bird Away Dishes to one of the more popular trees. The work was completed around 4pm, and we were ready for the first wave of starlings to attack!
“As dusk approached, with several extremely dubious council representatives standing by to observe the evening tsunami of birds descend on the main street, the first attack on the Avithor Bird Away protected tree commenced. The starlings made several attempts to land in their long-time night-time roost but, with the Avithor Bird Away features kicking in, they were clearly very agitated until, after a few minutes, they abandoned this tree and landed in their hundreds in the trees to either side. Strike one to Avithor Bird Away!
“Every evening since has been the same fantastic result. The council representatives were left ‘stunned’, (their words not mine) and Barry from BirdWorx was similarly gobsmacked,” said Mr Knight.
“This product is a game changer. I have been specialising in bird control for over ten years, and this is the most exciting new product I have ever seen’, exclaimed Mr Heaslip.
“The council team commented that they have tried ‘everything’ to get rid of these pest birds over the last few years, including placing a sonic net across the road, which was very loud and annoying, and only moderately effective. They were very excited and keen to start work on the implementation of the complete Avithor Bird Away program. They loved the fact it is low profile and almost invisible – in fact I couldn’t even take a picture of it since it is totally concealed under the canopy of the tree – and it does not disturb local shoppers at all, unlike the sonic net,” concluded Mr Wright.
Ensystex regional director, Steve Broadbent confirmed that, “Avithor Bird Away is non-toxic and non-harmful to birds. Most importantly, the birds do not make any contact with the gel at all. It works purely by visual and olfactory cues. The gel itself is discreetly applied in supplied UV stabilised, low-profile Avithor Dishes for placement. It does not kill or trap birds, but immediately changes their behaviour so that they fly away. Birds will completely desert a habitat they have been using for years once it is placed. It remains effective for up to two years, sometimes more.
“All components appear on the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) lists of products that are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) and are listed in the European Pharmacopoeia Standards (Europe’s legal and scientific benchmark for pharmacopoeial standards, designed to deliver high quality medicines in Europe and beyond), for direct application to, or consumption by, people.
“Avithor Bird Away works indoors or outside, and has been tested successfully in Australia against pigeons, common mynas, starlings, sparrows, swallows, willie wagtails, gulls and corellas; with birds deterred for two years or more. Correct placement of the Avithor Dishes in accordance with the Avithor Bird Away installation manual is essential. Training is provided directly to professional pest managers by Ensystex’s area managers, and can also be accessed online.”
Mr Broadbent noted, “Installation is quick and easy, though it is imperative that the site is thoroughly cleaned beforehand. In keeping with providing the highest standards of Occupational Health & Safety for professionals, Ensystex has therefore also launched Avithor Guanaway for the effective cleaning of surfaces.
“Avithor Guanaway can be used as part of any bird management program. Avithor Guanaway controls microorganisms associated with the clean-up of bird waste. Cleaning operators run the risk of disease resulting from inhaling micro-organisms associated with bird areas, such as psittacosis, histoplasmosis, salmonellosis, gastroenteritis (caused by E.coli) and other serious diseases.
“Avithor Guanaway is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner disinfectant, designed specifically for high risk areas, and contains 12 g/L didecyldimethylammonium chloride. It is ideal for heavy duty cleaning and disinfecting, the removal of bird droppings, the treatment of dead birds, collected nests and other such materials, and cleaning contaminated equipment.”