Garlic Oil an Environmentally Safe Bird Repellent
herb is an effective deterrent at only one percent
Contact: Michael Parker (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 30, 2004) --Garlic oil shows
significant activity as a nontoxic bird repellent
for use against crop damaging birds, according
to a joint study by the University at Albany and
the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
Garlic-based products, which are environmentally
benign as pesticides, should be useful as bird
repellents for airport, agricultural, and urban
"The products could be applied to crops
to reduce bird damage, which can be quite costly,"
said Eric Block, Distinguished Chemistry Professor
at the University at Albany and co-author of the
study. "The products could also be used to
keep birds away from airport runways, where they
pose an aviation hazard." Many current pesticides
can be hazardous due to their toxicity and environmental
persistence. Garlic-based repellents represent
economically viable substitutes, and could be
applied to targeted areas as easily as fertilizer.
The research, published in the Journal of Agricultural
and Food Chemistry, involved Block and UAlbany
graduate student Zhixing Shan, along with USDA
scientist Dr. Arla Hile of the Monell Chemical
Senses Center. The study was supported by grants
from the Berryman Institute and the National Science
The research demonstrates that European starlings,
a species which causes considerable damage annually
to U.S. crops, significantly reduce their food
consumption with as little as one percent of garlic
oil containing granules mixed with their food.
The starlings further decreased their consumption
in foods treated with 10 percent and 25 percent
solutions, showing a correlation between the level
of garlic and the adverse reaction of the birds.
Granules prepared from food-grade garlic oil as
well as commercially produced granules containing
a refined garlic product (from Germain's Technology
Group, Custom Coating and Enhancements Inc., Gilroy
or ECOspray Ltd, UK www.ecospray.com
are equally effective.
Copies of the report are available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf035181d.
The Monell Chemical Senses
Center is a nonprofit basic research institute
based in Philadelphia, PA. Scientists at the Monell
Center conduct research devoted to understanding
the senses of taste, smell, and chemical irritation:
how they function and how they affect our lives
from before birth to old age. The Center's approach
is multidisciplinary. Scientists from a variety
of backgrounds collaborate to address topic areas
in sensation and perception, neuroscience and
molecular biology, environmental and occupational
health, nutrition and appetite, health and well-being,
and chemical ecology and communication. For more
information about Monell, visit the Center's web
site at www.monell.org
or email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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