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Repellents for Wildlife Damage Management

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage 1994 This page contains information on repellents, their types and usefulness for managing wildlife damage problems.

Why repellents Fail!! click Repellents Fail!

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General Principles
Why Repellents Fail

Stop and read before you buy and use any repellent for wildlife Control.

When searching for ways to control wildlife damage, one can be overwhelmed by the available options. This portion of the site is dedicated to helping you sort through the options to find the best solution for your particular situation. Please understand that we will have to speak in general terms as the applicability of any of these options depends on setting, local laws and regulations as well as personal preferences.

We hope, however, that you will find this information helpful in making more informed and responsible wildlife damage management decisions.

Definition: Repellents refer to products or techniques designed to deter an animal from a particular location or activity.

Repellents can be categorized in a variety of ways but the most recent method relies on the repellent's mode of action.

Repellent Mode of Action Definition Examples
Pain Animal feels physical pain. Capsaicin hot sauce, electric fence,
Fear Animal is frightened by something new or the mimic of a potential predator. Mylar tape, owl effigies, scare crows, distress calls,
Aversive conditioning Animal experiences a negative reaction following the encounter which makes the animal associate the negative experience with activity. Methyl anthranilate,
Tactile Animal handles something which is uncomfortable but not painful. sticky bird repellents,

Another way to categorize repellents is

Title Description Examples
Systemic Systemic repellents are absorbed into the object or material one wishes to protect. This type is typically done for plants where the plant takes up the repellent into its entire structure. This type of repellent is very rare.  
Area Area repellents seek to keep an animal away from the location of the items in need of protection. Milorganite, predator urines,
Contact Contact repellents work by causing a pain response in the animal when it touches (typically bites) the treated item. Capsaicin,
Why repellents Fail!! click repellents



STEWART, J. L. 1974. Experiments with sounds in repelling mammals. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 6:222-226.
KOEHLER, A. E., R. E. MARSH, AND T. P. SALMON. 1990. Frightening methods and devices/stimuli prevent mammal damage--a review. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 14:168-173.
FRINGS, H. 1964. Sound in vertebrate pest control. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Control Conference 2:50-56.
ERICKSON, W. A., R. E. MARSH, AND T. P. SALMON. 1992. High frequency sound devices lack efficacy in repelling birds. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 15:103-104.
MASON, J. R. 1998. Mammal repellents: Options and considerations for development. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 18:325-329.
HEY, D. 1967. Recent developments in the control of vertebrate problem animals in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Republic of South Africa. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 3:158-164.
HEY, D. D. 1974. Keynote address - Vertebrate pest animals in the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, Republic of South Africa. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 6:2-8.
JARVIS, M. J. F., ANDM. LAGRANGE. 1982. Problem vertebrate management in Zimbabwe. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 10:95-100.
LAGRANGE, M. 1986. The mechanical control of bushpig, Patamochoerus p;orcus, in Zimbabwe. Proceedings: Vertebrate Pest Conference 12:215-225.

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