Birth Control for Rats?


First for birds?  Now for rodents?  It appears that a company in Flagstaff, AZ, SenesTech, Inc. has developed “birth control” for rats.

The wildlife contraceptive market already includes OvoControl bait (nicarbazin) for birds, and the two vaccines ZonaStat – H (PZP) for horses and GonaCon (GnRH) for deer.  A contraceptive solution for rats and potentially other rodents will soon join this portfolio.

As opposed to the traditional approach of increasing mortality for pest control, all of these new products reflect the momentum of the market towards reducing reproduction with safe, humane and effective technologies for wildlife management. 

With many of the common rodenticides under increasing environmental pressure, SenesTech’s  partnership with Neogen, (NASDAQ: NEOG), bodes well for the future of the technology.

See Neogen’s complete press release outlining the licensing of the SenesTech rodent control technology.



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OvoControl at SAFETY 2014 in Orlando

june8Pigeon impacted customers continue to embrace OvoControl® P as a cost effective control strategy.  From automotive assembly plants to zoos, facility managers and engineers are implementing the OvoControl program to manage down their pigeon flocks.

More often than not, safety for employees and customers - slip and fall hazard and/or health risks – is the principle cause for concern with a pigeon infestation and interest in an OvoControl program often originates from the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) department.

The SAFETY 2014 conference on June 8 – 11, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL represents a gathering point for EH&S personell.  If you plan to attend, please come and see us at Booth #1557.

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OvoControl P Now LEED Certified

BuildingBased on US Green Building Council and San Francisco Department of the Environment guidelines, OvoControl P was recently classified as a “Tier 3″ pesticide product.  This represents the “least-hazard” class and does not require notification of building residents prior to use.  See the “Hazard Assessment” for details.

OvoControl continues to collect certifications, endorsements and other accreditations as property and facility managers adopt the bird-friendly product for larger scale pigeon control.

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Walla Walla, WA Gets Drop on Pigeons with OvoControl

Walla Walla Union Bulletin

Birth control-laced feed gets the drop on downtown Walla Walla pigeons

By Alfred Diaz

As of Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WALLA WALLA – Shooting them didn’t do it. Nor did trapping.

But nowadays the notorious Drumheller pigeon gang is down to a couple dozen birds and could one day be completely eradicated – thanks to feed laced with a birth-controlling chemical.

“This technique has existed for about as long as I did this work,” said Z Pest Control owner and operator Paul Zimmerman, who is in charge of giving the contraceptive feed to downtown flocks once a day.

The first use of nicarbazin, which is marketed as OvoControl, was approved in 2005 by the Environmental Protection Agency but not for pigeons. Instead, OvoControl was tested and proven successful on controlling resident Canada geese in parks, golf courses and other test sites across the country.

The product, made by California-based Innolytics, is a bait that interferes with the hatchability of eggs, according to

By 2008, the EPA had approved OvoControl for pigeon control, and it was being used in cities across the nation, including Walla Walla.

The numbers show that the contraceptive program works and costs less than the old-fashioned ways of trapping and shooting.

Before using OvoControl, pigeon control in Walla Walla cost $9,000 in 2006.

Zimmerman said as the population drops, so do his costs, which are now down to about $3,600 for the year to control three flocks of pigeons – the Drumhellers, the Mill Creek gang and the Odd Fellows.

Zimmerman noted that he still has to shoot the Mill Creek pigeons with pellets on occasion because state officials won’t allow OvoControl to be used around the creek. And the combined shooting and contraceptives are working on that flock.

At one time, Zimmerman counted as many as 160 pigeons cooped up under the tunnel of the downtown channel. That flock is now down to fewer than 50.

Though the flock is now low in numbers, its capacity to breed is still a threat, especially when you consider that pigeons can double their population every two months.

So left to their lovebird lonesome selves, the Mill Creek flock would leave the looks of downtown dropping.

“They impact the quality of life in the downtown corridor,” Zimmerman said. “You are looking at aesthetics. When everything is covered in pigeon droppings, it just is not a pleasant place to be.”

So about every two weeks Zimmerman refills the automatic feeders that are set up on several rooftops and in the channel. The feeders are set to go off at the same time every day.

As for the possibility that other birds will eat the OvoControl, that is unlikely because pigeons – feathered hogs that they are – feed in a sharklike frenzy when it comes to their food.

“They mob the source, they won’t let other birds near it,” Zimmerman said.

Using contraception to control animal populations is not only for the birds.

The Blue Mountain Humane Society has a trap-neuter-and-release program that has lowered the number of feral cats in Walla Walla.

The Humane Society of the United States also supports immunocontraception, stating it is the most humane method to control wildlife and has been proven successful to control white-tailed deer in New York, bison on the Santa Catalina Islands off California and elephants in South Africa.

Later this month, Zimmerman said he will start a new program geared at reducing the sparrow population at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Apparently some sparrows have broken in and made permanent residences in the larger facilities at the prison. Officials would like them captured live and released without harm, Zimmerman said.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at or 526-8325.



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University of Wyoming School IPM Website

busimagesANMMNU4BThe University of Wyoming Extension recently updated their website with new and expanded information for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in schools.  From landscape issues to insects to vertebrate pests, the website provides a “go-to” resource for school IPM.   The vertebrate pest section of the website includes a recommendation for OvoControl P for managing pigeons at schools.

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Installation on a Sensitive Rooftop Surface

DSC00601Many of our customers have installed new gel type roof surfaces or other sensitive materials.  The last thing a facility manager Mat with Sand Bagsneeds is damage to the new surface from the legs of an automatic feeder.

Ideal for sensitive rooftops or gel roof membranes, the OvoControl 1/2 inch roof mat is constructed from recycled tires.  Measuring 48 x 48″, each mat is pre-drilled for easy tripod attachment.

Feeders are attached to the mat with 3/8 inch hardware included in the package. Once the feeder is attached to the mat, the installation is secured with additional weight – bar bells, sand bags or concrete blocks – all make good alternatives.

The new roof mats are available through Innolytics or your pest control products distributor.  Please give us a call or visit the website at for additional information and details.Blocks for weight

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Political and Social Resistance to Contraception

The most recent edition of The Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine included a paper by Erick Wolf and Alexander MacDonald entitled, “The Political and Social Barriers for Contraception in Pest Birds: A Case Study of OvoControl (nicarbazin)” 44(4S): S132-S134, 2013.  The peer reviewed publication describes the barriers preventing the adoption of the technology is certain pest bird species.

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“Contraception Key to Controlling Pigeons”





In a Letter to the Editor in the Montana Standard, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick from the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, MT commented on the role of contraception in controlling pigeons.

July 30, 2013 2:15 am • by Jay F. Kirkpatrick

“I read with interest an article in the Billings Gazette (July 25) regarding the pigeon problem in Butte. What struck me the most was that almost all the “solutions” mirrored failed policies for pigeons elsewhere, and for a myriad of other species as well, and never got around to the real problem — reproduction.

Trying to find relief through the removal of any “problem” animal simply exacerbates the problem. Unless you literally exterminate every pigeon in Butte, the residual population will simply keep filling the roosts and leaving behind reminders.

Reproduction, folks. That’s the key to managing populations. And there is an excellent proven commercial solution for the problem of pigeon reproduction in the form of an Environmental Protection Agency-approved avian contraceptive.

This approach has worked extremely well for pigeons in other cities and the broad approach of fertility control has worked well for wild horses, urban deer, bison, and even African elephants.

Why it is so hard, for people to understand that reproduction is the problem?”

— Jay F. Kirkpatrick,

Science and Conservation Center,

2100 S. Shiloh Road, Billings

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WNEP Scranton, PA Reports on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Caused by Pigeons

BERWICK – Carbon monoxide detectors were installed Monday at the Berwick Theater after more than a dozen movie-goers were poisoned by the gas this past weekend.

The fire chief says a malfunctioning furnace pumped carbon monoxide into the theater for about two hours Friday night, sending 17 people to the hospital.

The seats are empty now, but Friday night 60 movie-goers filled the theater in Berwick, ready to watch Despicable Me 2.  Owners of the theater on Front Street say when the heat kicked on, a big problem cropped up.

“Four pigeons decided to visit us and came in the wrong place at the wrong time and cracked one of the pipes,” said Berwick Theater co-owner Angela Reimiller.

As the movie let out, several people including a staff member felt faint.  Ambulance crews came and then the fire department. They discovered that pigeons and their nest caused a gas furnace pipe to collapse, creating carbon monoxide gas at deadly levels.

“My guys found a problem with the furnace, shut everything down, did readings through the whole place, vented everything out,” said Berwick Fire Department Chief William Coolbaugh.

Chief Coolbaugh says 17 people total went to Berwick Hospital and the theater put an alert about the carbon monoxide problem on its Facebook page, since many of the patrons had already left when the movie let out.

The theater isn’t required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors, but the owners now are installing three hoping to put everyone at ease.

“I think it does. I think it does for the girls that work here and everyone else,” said Reimiller.

Fire crews say the building is now 100% safe and ready for movie-goers again.

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New OvoControl Feeder

All things evolve – as does the OvoControl® automatic feeder.  Innolytics has upgraded the original OvoControl automatic feeder with a new model.  The new feeder reflects the same durability, reliability and efficient design together with some new features,

  • new feeder_revisedNo tools required – faster assembly,
  • Lock & load lid with integrated trail camera mount,
  • Tan color blends in readily into many different areas.


At a price of $209.99* (including rechargeable battery and olar panel) the new feeder remains a cost effective option for automatic OvoControl applications.  For more details on the new feeder see the OvoControl website.

Service providers increasingly select OvoControl for long-term and consistently effective pigeon control programs.

For more information, please contact your distributor or visit our website at


* FOB, San Diego, CA

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