Avitrol is used as a chemical frightening agent to remove pest birds from a given location. Avitrol as applied is a chemically treated grain bait. The active ingredient in Avitrol baits, 4-aminopyridine, is an acute oral toxicant which acts on the central nervous system and the motor nervous system.
Avitrol causes behaviors similar to an epileptic seizure. Birds eating the treated bait will emit distress signals used by their species when they are frightened or injured. This may include flying erratically, vocalizing, trembling, dilation of the pupils and other symptoms. This will frighten the flock and cause it to leave the site.
By using less bait, flocks can be frightened away from sites little or no mortality. The active ingredient in Avitrol, 4-aminopyridine, is a potassium (k) channel blocker and the birds affected are not in pain. There has also been no secondary poisonings with Avitrol, a fact which is confirmed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies.