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Product Insights: Bird solutions

|  March 2, 2020

Product manufacturers share what’s new — and their five-year forecasts

We spoke with seven industry suppliers about their bird control products to assist pest management professionals (PMPs) on the job. Read on for their insights and announcements. We also want to know what bird management methods you’re implementing, and what you hope to add in the near future. Drop us a line at pmpeditor@northcoastmedia.net.
 

AVITROL

Tasheena Dillingham, President and CEO, Avitrol

Tasheena Dillingham

Tasheena Dillingham
President and CEO

Over the past few years, our innovations have been geared specifically toward offering PMPs a line of full-service products and support tools. They include Avitrol Easy Blend (pictured), for bird baiting at sensitive sites; the Bird Control App, designed to help scope, bid and execute bird work; a full certification program; a complete proposal and bidding service; and several other solutions. Each of these tools was born out of a desire to truly bring value by helping teams sell and execute bird work, in a myriad of scenarios, at a high level.

IMAGE: AVITROL

IMAGE: AVITROL

Looking ahead, our development team is working on implementing artificial intelligence (AI) to correctly estimate the number of birds at a location, determine the type of bird, autogenerate the labor involved in the treatment, and auto-create quick estimates. The net result will be a significant reduction in the amount of time it currently takes to scope and bid bird work across the country.

PREDICTIONS: What we consistently hear from PMPs is that one of their barriers to expansion in bird work is that the close rate on their bird bids are somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent, whereas the close rate on general pest control is closer to 60 percent — and on bed bug work in particular, it’s 80 percent plus. But as teams work directly with manufacturer sales groups, their close rates grow to more than 60 percent on bird proposals.

Over the next five years, then, we expect to see growth in bird control as a percentage of a PMP’s overall business, simply because the close rates will more closely resemble what they see across other pest verticals.
 

BIRD BARRIER AMERICA

Cameron Riddell

Cameron Riddell

Cameron Riddell
President

Bird Barrier’s new training studio can deliver a rich experience to PMPs at remote locations on their computers, TVs or mobile devices. Nine remotely operated cameras focus on all aspects of the training, allowing for close-up action or tool usage and installation techniques. The director also incorporates photos and on-the-job videos in the presentation, so attendees feel like they are on an actual jobsite. The results are much more dynamic than a traditional PowerPoint webinar: Attendees stay engaged throughout the session because they can ask questions anytime they want.

Our eTraining sessions are open to all parties, and private sessions are offered to a company’s multiple locations — from one group to 50. All users need is a web connection. Training also can be broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. We suggest starting with “Introduction to Optical Gel,” a video detailing our new bird control solution that is fast and easy to install and sell. Watch it now on YouTube.

Bird Barrier’s Bobby June, left, sets up a shot in the studio with Cameron Riddell. PHOTO: BIRD BARRIER

Bird Barrier’s Bobby June, left, sets up a shot in the studio with Cameron Riddell. PHOTO: BIRD BARRIER

PREDICTIONS: Many PMPs want to grow their bird control offering, but know they need training. With our remote training solution, they can train their team in one-hour segments and still get normal work done. We believe this trend will continue to grow in popularity.
 

BIRD-B-GONE

Bruce Donoho, Owner & CEO, Bird-B-Gone

Bruce Donoho

Bruce Donoho
Owner and CEO

We believe 2020 is going to be a big year for bird control. With the launch of our two new American-made products — SpectrumV Holographic Bird Gel (pictured) and Avian Block — we’re aiming to make bird control easier for PMPs, so they can grow their businesses.

SpectrumV Holographic Bird Gel is a high-impact, sensory bird deterrent that affects all bird species on three different levels: sight, smell and sense of touch. The installation of SpectrumV is about as easy as it gets, making it a perfect opportunity for PMPs to generate recurring revenue.

IMAGE: BIRD-B-GONE

IMAGE: BIRD-B-GONE

Avian Block passively distributes a proprietary blend of the proven bird deterrent methyl anthranilate (grape-seed extract). And again, we believe Avian Block’s ease of use will help PMPs address historically hard-to-treat bird control issues like outdoor restaurants, trees, entryways and any other scenario where traditional structural bird control products like spikes, nets and electric track cannot be used.

We’re also adding several new patents to Bird-B-Gone’s portfolio this year, and have many more in the pipeline.

PREDICTIONS: Growing public awareness of pest bird activity and the risks they pose, coupled with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) expanding enforcement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), will continue to drive growth in the industry. This increasing demand will require PMPs to be equipped with the latest training and tools required to deliver the highest levels of service that today’s consumers expect.
 

INNOLYTICS

Erick Wolf, CEO, Innolytics

Erick Wolf

Erick Wolf
CEO

Featuring the active ingredient nicarbazin at 0.5 percent, OvoControl P (EPA Reg. No. 80224-1) is birth control for pigeons and other pest birds. The contraceptive product is fed to pigeons at a rate of 1 pound per 80 pigeons daily, preventing fertilization and hatching of eggs.

OvoControl P is ideally suited for large manufacturing facilities where exclusion simply is not an option. Target sites include power plants, oil refineries, prisons, campuses, mining sites and similar verticals.

IMAGE: INNOLYTICS

IMAGE: INNOLYTICS

A treated pigeon population will decline at a rate of about 50 percent annually through a natural process of attrition. With no new birds, the flock gradually, but predictably declines and comes to equilibrium at 5 percent to 10 percent of its starting point.

New Hampshire recently approved OvoControl P, becoming the 50th state in America to register the product as a general-use pesticide. A recently expanded label provides for additional target species, as well as the option to hand-feed the product without an automatic feeder.

PREDICTIONS: We believe the future of bird control for PMPs will continue to be driven by innovative and humane solutions. The growth of bird control will continue to outpace overall growth in the pest control industry.

Because of the exorbitant cost of development, actual pesticide registrations for avian species will be infrequent. Birds, especially migratory species, will continue to be a focus as disease carriers for livestock. Zoonotic disease and potential pandemics may increase in frequency. But each of these trends may represent additional opportunities for PMPs who have expertise in bird control.
 

J.T. EATON

Craig Martelle

Craig Martelle

Craig Martelle
Northeast Sales Manager

J.T. Eaton’s 20-Foot Pro Line Extension Pole (Item 1720AL5) has many uses in the bird management arena. This tool is easy to transport: It is just 62 inches in length, but extends to 20 feet. This can help keep the technician off a ladder, for safety. It may be used to remove bird droppings, birds’ nests and even dead birds from ledges. The screw top is a standard size, allowing for any special tools needed to install other bird deterrent products.

PHOTO: J.T. EATON

PHOTO: J.T. EATON

PREDICTIONS: As with pest management overall, the guidelines for bird management continue to evolve and change. With continued training, we can help deliver better services with quality tools. Homeowners, food manufacturing and even agricultural areas are seeing more bird activity from many different species of birds. As a result, they want to decrease these issues on their property.

As a manufacturer, we are constantly looking at different tools to assist in the bird management field. We foresee the use of various new technologies — including mounted cameras, smartphone app-based units that send messages when activity is present, remote wireless inspection devices, and more — will give PMPs a strong advantage to perform a better service.
 

NIXALITE OF AMERICA

Cory Gellerstedt

Cory Gellerstedt

Cory Gellerstedt
Co-President

2020 marks Nixalite of America’s 70th year in business. Our focus always has been on producing and supplying bird control products made from quality materials. In recent years, we’ve expanded our line of bird exclusion products, including the SolaTrim bird and pest barrier for the protection of solar panel systems (pictured).

The SolaTrim Bird & Pest Barrier is an all-weather, long-lasting bird and pest abatement system designed to exclude birds and pests from residential solar system arrays. SolaTrim specifically blocks birds, squirrels and rodents from getting under rooftop solar systems, while allowing for air to circulate underneath the solar panels, maintaining a protected area between the roof surface and the bottom of the solar panels. SolaTrim is aesthetically pleasing and easy to install, thanks to its patented “peel-and-stick” installation process.

PHOTO: NIXALITE

PHOTO: NIXALITE

PREDICTIONS: With 5G technology becoming available, we think there are going to be some big changes in the way PMPs perform their jobs and use bird management solutions in the next few years. Even now, PMPs want effective bird management solutions that are relatively easy to quote and install. At Nixalite, we have developed our online automated estimate worksheets to help PMPs quickly estimate product quantities and provide instant installation diagrams. Simply enter the dimensions of the areas that you need to protect from birds, and our automated system will calculate the exact amount of Nixalite spikes needed for the job and produce a custom installation diagram in PDF format for you to download or print. These professional diagrams are great to share with clients, showing them exactly how the installation will be done. 5G technology is going to make the data flow even faster.
 

VIKING PRODUCT SUPPLY

Jacob Barnes, Barnes Wildlife Control

Jacob Barnes

Jacob Barnes
Sales Manager

Our Bird Banisher visual avian deterrent has gone through several component performance upgrades, especially for woodpecker control. These improvements include powdercoating the support rods; inserting swivel grommets to extend the service life in areas with strong winds; and implementing a new, pre-lubricated swivel design that spins in even lower wind conditions than before. For best results on woodpeckers, place Bird Banisher in areas near the damage, and use several devices per area.

PHOTO: VIKING PRODUCT SUPPLY

PHOTO: VIKING PRODUCT SUPPLY

We’ve been working on several new products for the bird control industry, particularly in the realm of incorporating ultraviolet (UV) light as a scare tactic away from buildings and structures. Completion of a two-year field study is anticipated to conclude this fall.

PREDICTIONS: We have seen steady increases in pest bird complaints in the past several years, and we fully expect that to continue. Controlling pest birds is a very difficult problem for PMPs, as every species of bird typically requires a different approach and set of tools to win the battle. Pest and wildlife control companies that are looking to get into bird control will find no shortage of work, but the work can be challenging. We foresee an increase in training opportunities and social media discussions to aid operators who fight the battle against birds.

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