BP Liquid Paraffin Oil (a.k.a Technical White Oil) is used for egg control of breeding pest bird species such as Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull and Canada Goose, dependent on the country you are operating in. You must check the conditions and species listed in the general licence for your country before considering this as a control method. Dependent on the species this treatment should be applied from mid - April to May. Dipping each egg in a pot of the oil will block the pores on the egg, stopping oxygen from reaching the embryo and thus prevent hatching.
This technique has been approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR) but can only be used under a general licence issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under Section 16(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. It is critical that the whole egg is dipped and rotated to completely cover it with oil to be effective. To do this, use a suitable container or wide-mouthed plastic jar. Excess liquid paraffin should be allowed to drain off the egg before the egg is replaced in the nest. The timing of the treatment of eggs will vary, according to the laying periods of the species involved and their social behaviour. For the large gulls (Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Greater Black-backed Gull) these will usually lay their eggs between mid-April and late June. For Canada Geese, this may well start in early April through to late June. Eggs should be marked with a permanent marker pen and treated as soon as possible after incubation commences, which means that a colony must be visited several times during the course of a breeding season, in order to treat all eggs. On the second visit, should an egg be discarded by the bird the new egg may be treated and marked accordingly. Visits should not be more than two weeks apart and ideally more frequent visits should be made to large colonies at the peak of laying.
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