From Scarecrows to Lasers: Keeping Birds from Destroying Crops

Jul 8, 2020

The scarecrow has a long and colorful resume that goes back 3,000 years and includes stints in both agricultural support and seasonal décor.

Traditionally associated with garden-casual attire like floppy hats and straw hair, the modern version takes many creative forms.

At a historic farm in rural Pennsylvania recently, the scarecrows were decked out in blue scrubs and face masks among other first-responder garb, as a tribute to the workers who have continued to serve throughout during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while they’re still used to discourage birds and other wildlife from poaching crops and seeds in smaller plots and gardens, the job of serious bird control in the agricultural industry can’t be left to a garden rake wearing overalls.

For one thing, birds are smart and they’re not fooled for long by a human figure that doesn’t move or talk or check its cell phone every 5 minutes.

Bird Deterrent Success with Lasers

Lasers, on the other hand, are an effective, long-lasting and humane way to deter birds from growing crops and planted seeds with proven results. Unmitigated, the damage to crops can be substantial, including damage caused by:

  • Crop consumption
  • Accumulation of bird waste
  • Trampling of crops
  • Erosion and run-off that occurs in bird-grazed fields

A recent study conducted across 5 states by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service demonstrated an aggregate bird damage loss of $189 million to a variety of crops. The study concluded that “Enhancing the effectiveness of bird damage management would increase both the efficiency and profitability of fruit production.”

Laser bird deterrent systems are the latest tool in the battle against agricultural bird damage. They have been shown to effectively manage bird populations on a variety of orchards, vineyards, and field crops. A single automated laser system effectively reduced damage to an Illinois farmer’s sweet corn crop by 80 to 85% after a series of unsuccessful attempts using streamers, noisemakers, cannons and even shotguns.

These are just a few of the many successful uses of laser bird deterrence. Among the advantages of lasers is that they can be used to disperse birds for long distances and are effective against most species of birds, as noted in the USDA report.

Humane and Cost-Effective Laser Bird Deterrence Keeps Birds Out of Your Crops

At Wild Goose Chase, our team members are experts in the use of lasers to deter birds from agricultural settings in a humane manner. We offer a variety of both handheld and automatic lasers for bird deterrence including:

We are certified to install the Avix Autonomic and have pioneered the use of automated and handheld laser products for a wide variety of clients including agriculture, airports, fisheries, water treatment plants and for emergency response in the wake of chemical and oil spills.

We sell, install, operate and provide training for all of our bird-deterrent laser options. Contact us today to speak with a bird control expert and learn why so many businesses turn to us for help in mitigating their bird conflicts with safe, cost-effective, lasting and humane methods.

Contact us to learn more about laser bird control