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Posted on January 14, 2015

Flocks of crows have begun congregating on campus, and once again Cal U is taking measures to discourage them from roosting on University buildings and in the Quad.

Beginning Jan. 15, technicians will use a natural, plant-based mist to disperse the flocks. Bright lights also may be deployed to shoo the birds from University property. 

Once crows have identified a winter roosting site, it is typical for them to return to the area year after year. USDA-approved crow dispersal measures have been used annually at Cal U since 2010, and they generally have proven effective at relocating the flocks.

The plant-based “fog” and/or bright lights typically are deployed beginning at dusk and continuing for two or three hours as needed. Specific locations will be based on the birds’ activity patterns. Relocation efforts are expected to continue for five days.

Humane measures

The natural grape-extract mist and bright lights are not harmful to humans or other animals. These humane measures are intended to discourage the flocks from settling on campus, where they can create unpleasant and unsanitary conditions.

The crow dispersal program used at Cal U has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be carried out by trained and licensed pest removal technicians. The anti-roosting measures do not harm the crows; they simply change their roosting habits and encourage them to relocate.  


The California University Police Department is aware of the crow dispersal measures, which are being overseen by the University’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Anyone with questions or concerns may contact California University Police at 724-938-4299.

The USDA-approved crow dispersal program is used annually on the grounds of the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg. To learn more about the state Capitol’s crow dispersal program, visit and type “crows” into the search box.