Bird Free® Gel is a bird deterrent product that stimulates three senses of a bird: sight, smell and touch. These three stimuli combine to create avoidance learning in birds.
Bird Free® proprietary gel mixture contains pyranine, the same colouring agent used in highlighters. This fluoresces when excited by UV radiation, causing the gel to glow with ultraviolet light. Invisible to humans, the UV light creates an impression on the bird similar to shimmering fire, causing it to avoid landing on surfaces treated with Bird Free®. This avoidance reaction is observed immediately after Bird Free® is applied.
Bird Free® contains peppermint oil, long known as an effective bird repellent. Studies have shown that the menthol contained in peppermint derivatives acts as a primary repellent in birds due to its action on olfactory and trigeminal nerve endings located in the bird’s nose, mouth and eyes (the trigeminal nerve is closely related to the olfactory nerve. It conveys facial sensations to the central nervous system.) The odour quality and pungency of the menthol is sensed by the olfactory and trigeminal systems of the bird, respectively, and creates an aversion response.
In effect, these two stimuli, visual and olfactory, act together in synergy, warning the bird not to approach. As a result, birds quickly learn to keep away from surfaces treated with Bird Free®.
In the video showing the avoidance reaction, pigeons that used to sit on the chimney every morning learnt after the first day not to go near it. A video of the same chimney taken on 11 October 2016, three years after Bird Free® was applied, shows many pigeons flying over the chimney, but none land on it.
While the vast majority of birds are deterred by Bird Free®’s visual and olfactory stimuli and will not come into contact with the gel, where nests have been removed and treated with Bird Free® a nesting bird will often be seen attempting to return to the nesting site immediately after Bird Free® has been applied, causing it to touch the gel, which is very sticky. Due to the gel’s high viscosity the bird will not be harmed. However, birds abhor anything sticky on their feathers, so the bird only needs to touch the gel once and it will never return.
Bird Free® Gel is suitable for any type of surface. It’s available in pre-dosed disks for non-metal surfaces and magnetic disks for metal surfaces.
It’s very important that the surface where the product will be installed is cleaned properly via a professional building wash or water blasting the area. Without a proper wash the product won’t be as effective as birds are used to their own scent, and that familiarity draws them back to a site, regardless of the deterrent put in place. The area where the product has been installed also can’t be water blasted or cleaned after the product has been installed.