Use Alternatives to Chemical Pest Control and Lawn Care

The Birds > Preventing Injuries > Use Alternatives to Chemical Pest Control and Lawn Care

Many commonly used insect sprays, weed killers and rodent poisons are highly toxic to birds. Herbicides and pesticides that are sprayed in your yard can contaminate their food and water supply, nest material, dirt used for dust baths and the air they breathe. Many of the birds brought to us that exhibit central nervous system disorders have been found on or adjacent to recently chemically treated yards. Don’t be fooled by chemical products touted as being “organic”. Many environmentally destructive chemicals are organic. Be wary of products merchandised with the meaningless prefix “eco” or “environ”. Read a products warning label for a truer sense of its impact. There are alternatives to chemical pest control and lawn care. Reference guides to safer yard care and gardening can be found at your library or book store.

Poisons used indoors can easily find their way outdoors and into the food chains. Hawks, owls, and other predators can become the unintended victims of secondary poisoning when a poisoned rodent is ingested. Live-traps are available to catch small rodents, but if necessary, the old fashioned mouse and rat traps are still the quickest and most humane way to dispatch unwelcome rodents.

Remember that just because a product may be chemically safe for the environment doesn’t mean it is safe for all wildlife. A gluey paste commonly used to control tree infesting insects is also marketed by several manufacturers as a “non-toxic” way to deter birds from perching on roofs and ledges and even to keep squirrel off bird feeder. The substance is in fact very harmful to birds. Birds traveling along the treated ledges or trees become tangled in the gluey substance. The material fouls their feet, beaks and feathers, in capacitates and eventually kills them.

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