Integrated Pest Management – With Falcons

November 14, 2008

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

Falcon
We talk about Integrated Pest Management
a lot here at HSC, learning about ways to control 
pests without using toxic pesticides.
But it’s not often that I get to comment on interesting pest control stories,
so this comes to me with great joy.

Ecolab UK
has launched a pest control program for birds (the pests in this case are
pigeons) that uses trained falcons:

the town
clerk told the Press: “We would need to make sure the bird was
trained just to scare the pigeons rather than attack and kill. We don't want it
killing and eating pigeons in the middle of the Market Place.”

Cheaper alternatives are being
considered, including spikes and netting, mock birds on wires, corn laced with
a contraceptive, and even a remote-controlled toy bird of prey, the story
noted.

Now I’m not an expert on pigeon control, but the thought of
sending trained falcons to scare pigeons from schools brings a smile to my
face. And it’s a strategy that has actually been employed successfully in other
parts of the UK.

Kudos
to the town’s falconer and to everyone who continues to explore creative
approaches to safe, healthy pest management.

Interested in learning more about green pest management (albeit
without the scary falcons)? Check out the new Integrated Pest Management
section of HSC’s Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools.