Keeping pests and, in particular, birds out of calf rearing areas and milking sheds is a very serious issue for most farmers. With milk companies placing strict controls around hygiene and the use of chemicals, finding ways to prevent birds and other pests spreading bacteria adds to the challenge. The recent announcement that the new food-based 'Wingo' bird repellent is approved for use in milking sheds is welcome news.

 

Birds, rats, mice and possum are high risk pests to food processing operations such as milking sheds, simply for their ability to spread viruses and other bacteria present in their droppings. Any faeces in the milking shed is a hygiene and health issue which must be carefully managed, while the risk of salmonella is a very real prospect in calf rearing areas.

“Farmers are often forced to spend lots of money on pest control systems that either don’t work at all, or only work for as long as it takes the animals to figure out another way,” explains dairy farmer and importer of the 'Wingo', Tony Overbeek.

As a sharemilker in Cambridge, Tony had an on-going battle with birds in the cow shed making a mess on the milk lines and air lines.  On discovering the 'Wingo' during a trip to Korea, Overbeek decided to give it a go for himself.

“For the first trial I actually used less than the recommended dosage but still covered all the milk lines in the shed,” says Overbeek.  “The gel started working right away and 18 months later we still haven’t got any birds in the shed.”

Made from food-based products such as vegetable oil and cinnamon, Wingo is harmless to humans, animals and the environment.  The primary deterrent to pests is the gel oil, while the cinnamon smell creates the longer-term barrier reminding animals that the gel is in the area.

Overbeek has found that aside from being useful on the farm, lots of people are also interested in his product for residential uses, “People using it around trees and on branches to protect nearby cars and buildings, and we recently put some on the outdoor tables at the local childcare centre because the birds where creating such a mess where the kids often eat.”

News that AsureQuality has given approval for 'Wingo' to be used in milking sheds is a great result for providing farmers with a more effective option to control pests in the area.  The fact that this pest control system is also 100% safe is an added bonus for everyone in the industry.

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