Irri-Tape Pigeon Scarer
Overview‘Irri-tape pigeon scarer’ is a bird and pigeon control product that visually scares pigeons and birds by the use of holographic images imprinted onto a polyester film. The images resemble owl’s eyes in an interlocking pattern and the 3-dimensional holographic surface reflects the colours of the spectrum as the tape moves. Irri-tape comes in the form of a tape, normally sold in 100 foot or 500 foot rolls, that is ready for use by simply cutting to size. The tape measures 2” wide and .0001” thick. Irri-tape has a considerable number of applications and will scare a variety of bird species including waterfowl and predatory birds.
Irri-tape pigeon scarer is effective, according to the distributor, because it flashes as it moves in the wind with constantly changing colours and patterns. The flashing ‘ripple’ effect unsettles the target species and is perceived as a danger signal. Viewed from a distance, Irri-tape has a reptilian sheen and as a result may be perceived as a predator by other birds, thereby scaring them. The perceived movement of Irri-tape, courtesy of the holographic images, may even be seen by the target species as a rival for food or territory.
Irri-tape not only scares pest species of birds visually but also by making a metallic rattling sound when caught in the wind. The combination of audio and visual scarers in one product makes Irri-tape pigeon scarer an interesting bird control option.
Irri-tape’s applications include protecting ponds, lakes and lawns from waterfowl such as ducks and geese as well as protecting facilities such as fish farms from predation by hawks and other raptors. Irri-tape pigeon scarer can also be wrapped around tree trunks and grape vines to stop bird damage as well as commercial fruit crops and fruit and vegetable plots in domestic gardens. Irri-tape can be applied to flat surfaces such as narrow fences or ledges on buildings to stop birds such as pigeons landing and perching. The product can also be suspended above perching or roosting areas by specially designed wire supports and the main ribbon can be made even more effective by attaching 5 foot long ‘streamers’. Irri-tape can also be used to scare birds from pleasure craft moored in marinas and on roof tops to stop birds landing. The distributor even suggests that whole areas can be protected by providing a line of upright posts and ‘maypoling’ 6-10 foot strips of Irri-tape pigeon scarer to them, allowing the Irri-tape to blow freely in the wind.
Irri-tape pigeon scarer appears to be simple and straightforward to install in virtually every application and the product can be installed by a property owner rather than having to instruct a specialist contractor. The product is relatively inexpensive to buy and is also lightweight, durable and maintenance-free.
The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the UK’s Government body that oversees the Wildlife and Countryside Act and produces legislation to which the pest control industry must adhere. The following information is taken from a document provided on DEFRA website entitled: ‘Review of international research regarding the effectiveness of auditory bird scaring techniques and potential alternatives’. By J Bishop, H McKay, D Parrott and J Allan.
“Tapes as a scaring device act as a combination of visual and exclusion deterrence. They are easy to erect and a wide variety of twines and tapes are available. Summers and Hillman (1990) used red fluorescent tape suspended from poles to protect fields of winter wheat from Brent geese. Loss in grain yield was estimated at £50/hectare on an unprotected area, whereas the cost of the tape, its erection and dismantling and day-to-day maintenance cost £30/hectare making this a cost effective method of bird scaring. However, in a second trial where no untaped area was available the geese habituated to the tapes and landed between the rows; the attractiveness of the feeding area outweighed any deterrent effect of the tapes.”
“Reflecting tape such as Mylar tape has been used in attempts to scare birds in a number of circumstances. The tape has a silver metal coating to one side that reflects sunlight and also produces a humming or crackling noise when moved by the wind. A variety of birds have been scared by tapes suspended in parallel rows over ripening crops (Bruggers et al 1986). Dolbeer et al (1986) found that reflecting tape stretched over agricultural crops scared certain bird species but was ineffective against others; red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds and house sparrows were generally repelled but goldfinches and mourning doves showed little reaction.”
“Although close configuration of tapes may be successful in terms of crop protection, it can interfere with crop husbandry and increase costs in terms of labour and materials. In such situations, this technique is best suited to small areas of high value crops. Good maintenance of tapes is essential in order to prevent them from becoming entangled in the crops, and to stop gaps resulting from broken tapes being exploited as entry points by birds. In general, tapes are useful in reducing bird numbers particularly if an alternative area is available for feeding.”
Irri-tape pigeon scarer is available in the UK via a number of distributors. The cost of the 100 foot roll of Irri-tape is approximately £30.00 and the cost of the 500 foot roll is approximately £100.00.
Although Irri-tape is relatively inexpensive to buy it should not be chosen for this reason alone. Many bird scaring products and deterrents cost very little to purchase but have little or no effect on the target species concerned.
To date we have been unable to find any user reviews for Irri-tape pigeon scarer but we will update this section as and when user reviews are made available to us. If you are able to provide a user review for Irri-tape please contact the Pigeon Control Resource Centre.
Searching internet comparison websites for user ratings for this product we found that where the user was provided with three options (positive, neutral and negative), in only one case was the product given a ‘negative’ rating. All other ratings were ‘positive’.
Comments from the Manufacturer/Distributor:
The distributor of Irri-tape pigeon scarer makes the following comments about the product:
“We started with a proven idea – the scarecrow. Then we applied Space Age technology and materials to produce a new wrinkle on that age-old concept. The result is a lightweight, durable, maintenance-free bird repelling product so versatile it keeps suggesting new and effective applications.”
“Irri-tape is a visual Bird Scarer that "flashes" as it moves with the wind. Reflecting sunlight, or any light, it produces constantly changing colors and patterns. This brilliant, flashing "ripple effect" is picked up by the bird pests as an unsettling danger signal. Whether seen as a predator (from a distance Irri-tape pigeon scarer has a reptilian sheen) or a rival for food or space, birds will not ignore this potential menace. Irri-Tape's properties keep unwanted bird pests away in several ways.”
“Hostile sound environment where pest birds are "rattled" by the fierce metallic noise the material gives off when caught by the slightest breeze.”
“Possibilities and uses are virtually limitless. Irri-Tape will deal efficiently with the nastiest bird problems almost any way that you choose to use it without harming either the environment or the birds.”
DEFRA, distributors and users alike is that the product has some validity as a bird scaring device.Irri-tape is a relatively inexpensive product to buy based on a purchase price of approximately £100 for a 500 foot roll and the general consensus from
Other advantages of the product is that it is extremely easy and quick to install and has a variety of different applications ranging from protecting stationary pleasure craft in marinas through to protecting lawns and garden areas from waterfowl. It is one of the few scaring products that appears to have a place in both agricultural environments as a crop protection device as well as urban environments as a means of scaring birds away from buildings.
Product reviews for Irri-tape pigeon scarer, although hard to find, suggest that those who have purchased the product have been satisfied with its performance with only one negative response. DEFRA’s research on reflective tapes also seems to confirm that the product has a place as an agricultural scaring device, although no view was available as to how the product performed in an urban environment. It should be noted, however, that DEFRA’s research was general in nature dealing with reflective tapes rather than specifically with Irri-tape.
The research did raise some interesting points however, suggesting that in back to back trials reflective tape was effective in scaring some birds when there were was an alternative non-protected food source available, but when all areas were protected by reflective tape the birds habituated to the product.
The DEFRA research also confirmed that reflective tapes are susceptible to wind damage and therefore a good maintenance regime is essential, particularly in agricultural environments where broken tapes can become entangled in crops and also leave gaps through which birds will enter.
Where urban installations are concerned, access to maintain and repair damaged tape must also be taken into consideration. Birds such as pigeons will often choose inaccessible areas to perch and roost and therefore access to these areas to both install and maintain the product may be difficult and potentially expensive. There are also many more areas on buildings where reflective tape may become ‘snagged’ on architectural features, for example, than in open-space environments such as gardens and fields. Based on the fact that most urban applications will require the product to be installed at height, the question of how the product will stand up to strong winds and gales must also be considered. If Irri-tape pigeon scarer is installed as a linear application, along a parapet wall for example, the likelihood of the product being damaged as a result of high winds is lessened, but cannot be ruled out.
Irri-tape pigeon scarer is clearly a product that deserves consideration whether it is used for the protection of gardens, crops or buildings. As with a vast majority of bird scarers, however, the product will be considerably more effective when provided as part of an overall control system rather than as a stand-alone device. There are very few products within the pest control marketplace, with the possible exception of anti-roosting spikes, that are 100% effective as a stand-alone deterrent/scarer or anti-perching device.
PDF on DEFRA website entitled: ‘Review of international research regarding the effectiveness of auditory bird scaring techniques and potential alternatives’. By J Bishop, H McKay, D Parrott and J Allan.
Also commonly known as:
Owl eye tape, holographic tape, bird tape, hologram tape, bird deterrent foil, bird repelling tape, pigeon tape, scarecrow tape, iridescent bird tape, hawk eye tape
Relevance to pigeon control:
‘Irri-tape pigeon scarer’ is a general bird scaring product with numerous applications for the scaring of all species of birds and is commonly used to compliment anti-perching systems for pigeon control