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  #1  
Old 07-14-2010, 08:51 PM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Are Airsoft pellets a hazard to wildlife (other than being shot by 'em)

I am looking for a factual answer here, if one exists, and not opinions. Move thread to IMHO (?) if necessary, or if thread moves that direction, Mods (please).

I have a neighbor kid (boy), around 8 or 9yrs old, that apparently has been given a 'toy gun' similar to an Airsoft pellet gun. This lil' f*ckwad is shooting these (or very similar) plastic pellets *everywhere*, and now the road literally has hundreds (or thousands?) of them along edges, and lots floating in a nearby creek (washed there from recent rain, presumably). I am finding dozens of these in my yard, front and back. They are colored yellow, orange, green, or bright red, so they really stand out against the grass/pavement (irritating at the least!).

I am asking y'all Dopers if there is any known/proven wildlife hazard, like to birds or rodents or whatever. The trash-aspect is one thing I plan on dealing with through the City here, but I am not expecting much from this lackadaisical place.

If I can show ~'environmental threat', it moves into a different realm probably, and also will give me much more impetus to solve the issue in a legal manner. A cursory Googling does not show me much other than a few hobbyist Forums with mostly 'opinions' from owners saying 'STFU about it' on the subject (not me in any of those Forums, fwiw).

Anyone know anything factual about these type pellets and them sitting around on ground/creeks for (possible) easy consumption by wildlife? I am rather ignorant of the GI-systems of anything non-mammalian. If it is a non-issue for wildlife, so be it. I will deal with it on the 'trash' level (the pellets, not that family - they have shown themselves to be highly unreasonable to any discussion of anything in the past).

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2010, 09:14 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Apparently they make biodegradable Airsoft pellets. I'm guessing these aren't them.
  #3  
Old 07-14-2010, 10:59 PM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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I have a friend who goes to airsoft games every weekend with his son and asked him about the ammo once. He uses biodegradable BBs but said they take a couple of months to degrade.
  #4  
Old 07-14-2010, 11:54 PM
Spud Spud is offline
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Thank goodness there are people like you brave enough to stand up and let an 8 year old little boy know he shouldn't be allowed to have any fun because he is putting tiny little plastic orbs in your yard. I love the fact you want to immediately elevate it to an "environmental threat"... maybe you can get a fine involved. Oh wait, you already said you hope you can make it into a legal issue (maybe you can take his college fund!). I also like the fact that unless it is elevated to a threat they would probably write it off as "no big deal." (hint to your reaction) No point at all in actually talking to the family and asking them to shoot in another direction.

I have two boys who have had several of the air-soft guns in the past and I have probably had several thousand pellets in my yard I'm sure. I can happily report that none of the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, or even not so bright dogs have ever considered eating something that looks nothing like food. Also my yard hasn't turned into a toxic wasteland. In fact it has been a year or so since they have been shooting them, and I can find no trace at all of them. I've found a mulching mower and a bag vacuums most of the up.

Sorry... forgot you only want factual answers, so I checked and they are "non-toxic." As far as a trash issue... I believe 5,000 weigh about 1lb. I would be amazed if he actually shot that many into your yard, so think of how likely they are to act on an 4 oz. bit of "trash" in your yard. I just re-read and you say "dozens" are in your yard... unless your yard is 2'x2' I don't think I would notice this... and do you mow your grass to under 6mm so they would show?

I'm sure someone will be along soon accusing me of also pouring used motor oil in the storm sewer... I don't, I burn it in the open fire pit along with the old tires and batteries.

I asked my son... he says bio-degradable is the norm... gone in under 180 days.l

Last edited by Spud; 07-14-2010 at 11:56 PM.. Reason: added degradable info
  #5  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:13 AM
Alexpkeaton529 Alexpkeaton529 is offline
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Most brands nowadays are biodegradable. Unless your neighbor kid is using high quality increased weight bb's, which i doubt.

These biodegradable bb's are actually made from corn starch i believe so in the event that an animal were to ingest one or it should be broken down in their stomach. I also can't see any animal choking on them as in the event they couldn't bite through them, they wouldn't just swallow it for the heck of it.

I don't mean to go off topic but I would recommend going over to the neighbors house and having a friendly chat, keyword friendly. I would hate to be sitting in my backyard and have one of these little plastic balls take out my vision.

Kids will be kids, he is probably just running around killing invisible monsters or trying to take out vermin, as long as he understands the responsibilities that go along with the toy gun he should be fine.
  #6  
Old 07-15-2010, 03:07 AM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexpkeaton529 View Post

I don't mean to go off topic but I would recommend going over to the neighbors house and having a friendly chat, keyword friendly. I would hate to be sitting in my backyard and have one of these little plastic balls take out my vision.

Kids will be kids, he is probably just running around killing invisible monsters or trying to take out vermin, as long as he understands the responsibilities that go along with the toy gun he should be fine.
The kid just stands at edge of our yard and sprays the stuff in the air different directions.

As to 'Spud" - this kid's mother was released from mental hospital about a month ago, and has threatened me, wife, daughter, and other people around us, repeatedly, in the year we have lived here. Her 'husband' is a convicted meth-manufacturer scumbag, and I believe he is growing numerous cannabis plants in their back yard. There are three cannabis plants floating in creek today, and creek has an oily sheen on it regularly. They have not cut their grass at all this year, and the Johnson grass is already nearing 8' tall and the rest of the acre is near waist-high with opposum/raccoon trails all throughout that head to my garden (plenty of pics showing the critters in garden, too). The huge amounts of trash in their yard, from junk tires to hundreds of soda-fountain cups are filled with water and breeding HUGE amounts of mosquitos. The City's Code Enforcement guy will absokutely not give details of if/when any notice to clean-up/mow grass was sent, nut he seems awfully proud that he sent out 19 of these notices this year "but I won't say who got sent them" (exact words three days ago). By law, the City *shall* clean up/mow themselves 11days after receiving the notice. Abatement is something I can do myself, it appears and am going to be pursuing within the next few days hopefully so I can hopefully get rid of the tremendously-thick hordes of skeeters by ridding the breeding grounds) I deal with every time I go out my veggie garden. Did I mention that neighbor says she is related to Code Enforcement person, or has said so prior to her being put into that mental hospital? Or that my Chihuahua has almost had to go to vet twice in last few months for GI-blockage for eating plastic shit these folks get into our yard (yard must be surveyed/cleaned for hazards like baggies/candy wrappers, etc that they throw out on side of their house before we can allow him to play in his fenced yard). I am not sure why you are being such a jucking ferk, but not appreciated whatsoever. I'd be happy to send you some pics of that property and have you say the same things about such persons and me. Momma must be proud

I am not positive these pellets are actually Airsoft brand, but apparently they are not easily decomposable by water (three days of soaking a few did nothing to their hardness or softness). The kid's gun makes a loud rat-a-tat-tat sound when he fires it, and he is never aiming it at anything specific. This kid also has exposed his genitals to two 'tween girls here while he was standing on his roof (a two-story) and kid also will stand on road in front of house and stare into our windows persistently. Wife asked him nicely to stop once, and that got Mom screaming that he has every right to look into our house (while singing some gibberish non-intelligible jingles to himself). Mom told kid to keep up what he was doing! There is something wrong in that kid's head, and even Dept of Human Services has verified this to me/wife. He is a scary and worrisome kid, trust me. I have a distinct feeling that I am going to have to defend my family against him or his Mother one day. DHS says that is likely with what they know from their casework with them in the past - assault weapons are within that house and oldest kid used to show 'em around to friends, but that kid no longer lives there (Dad would beat on him routinely and Mom bought his cigarettes which Dad usually stole and we could hear the violent fights over this in their house from within ours. It is perfectly legal for a 13yr old to possess/smoke cigarettes in Oklahoma. Bet few people knew that

That is type family I am dealing with. Hell, yes, I want to take of the problem. Oh, and Spud, thanks for your kind words and I'll forgive the ignorance of what is happening here. Mind if I toss a LOT of plastic into your yard? Seriously, I'd like to know if you appreciate such things - I would be more than happy to get it done. Give me an address and two or three days to accomplish, ok? Otherwise, I would imagine that you were just blowing smoke on something you are ignorant about.
  #7  
Old 07-15-2010, 03:11 AM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud View Post

I asked my son... he says bio-degradable is the norm... gone in under 180 days.l
What cite per your son, please? I care nothing about biodegradability on these things. Granite is biodegradable, too.
  #8  
Old 07-15-2010, 03:20 AM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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I should not have said they were Airsoft pellets, as they are only similar other than being biodegradable. These are clearly made from a type of ~clearish plastic impervious to water. I found nothing like these pellets other than Airsoft-brand, and I really doubt that family would spend 'brand-name' dollars. They drive around on two tiny 'doughnut' spare tires on their car, just to give example of their scuminess.

I should amend this to "Are small round plastic pellets about 5-7mm in diameter harmful if ingested by migratory birds or other wildlife?" (of which I have dozens nesting within two blocks of me, including types that eat small things off ground).

Thanks.

Last edited by Ionizer; 07-15-2010 at 03:23 AM.. Reason: spelling
  #9  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:15 AM
Spud Spud is offline
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"Jucking Ferk"??? those words don't mean anything to me... wait a minute... if you switch two letters... no that can't be true since that would be a personal insult which isn't allowed in this forum.

You know what... ever since the Psychic Friends network went under it is harder and harder to reply to these posts. So basically you are pissed that you have a crappy neighbor, and this is what you are trying to use to finally get them to clean up their act. If you had actually posted that my reply would have been mostly different... except for the part that no, the pellets aren't a hazard to wild life so you probably wouldn't be able to take that approach.

Instead, what I read without the benefit of my Psychic Friends was... There is an 8 year old boy next door... he has a toy gun that shoots little pellets... some of these get in my yard... I'm going to call the city... HOPEFULLY I can prove these are a toxic hazard and take legal action.

Again, I'm sorry I'm as you stated "ignorant" (oh wait, is that another personal insult?) but it is hard to know the situation is actually a crack dealer, with a mental patient wife, with foot high weeds, and a junk yard, exposing themselves to minors, with assault rifles at hand, and a conspiracy with the code enforcement people since... well you forgot to put that in your post.

My answer stands... no, air-soft or other off brands are not toxic. Putting them in a cup of water for a day or two probably doesn't prove anything... they are designed to degrade in about 6 months.
  #10  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:38 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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My best friend and I had Airsoft guns when I was about 13 or 14 - almost 20 years ago now. I still live in the same house as I did then (bought it from my parents) and I still occasionally find those little plastic BBs. When I took up the carpet in my old bedroom to replace it I found dozens of the things underneath - I used to shoot tin cans etc in my room!) so I'm guessing they weren't biodegradable back in the early 1990s...

Last edited by Colophon; 07-15-2010 at 07:38 AM..
  #11  
Old 07-15-2010, 07:57 AM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Originally Posted by Spud View Post
My answer stands... no, air-soft or other off brands are not toxic. Putting them in a cup of water for a day or two probably doesn't prove anything... they are designed to degrade in about 6 months.
Biodegradability over a period of months says nothing about possible 'threat to wildlife'. I am asking this question on behalf of my wife/daughter who asked me if any of birds (especially the fledglings of raptors we see) might be harmed from ingesting these neon-bright pellets. If something tends to obstruct bowels, 6-month biodegradability is on the so-what side of things. They would be degrading within a corpse, right? I don't think I mentioned biodegradability at all, but the thought is appreciated, honest. I did soak the pellets to see if they just might be somewhat water-soluble. They aren't.

Another impetus to this question is that yesterday, a person I talked to at a store asked me if I knew what Mississippi Kites eat as she had three babies to feed that were very ill-appearing. She was turning them over to Fish and Game today sometime to hopefully save their lives. Trivial thing overall - but I like all the raptors overhead here, and how they help keep 'vermin' under control. I have gigabytes of pics of nesting Kites, hawks, etc and am kinda attached to the ones that nest in a tall locust tree in said neighbor's yard. Now there are four of them (mom/dad/2 'babies') that are almost always soaring overhead and/or swooping along my backyard catching grasshoppers and other bugs. VERY neat watching them, and every bug caught is one less in my garden.

If there is some 'law'/study that shows/declares how such things (like plastic pellets, per se) are harmful/dangerous to wildlife, it would possibly get a different set of 'enforcement' involved. The local 'enforcement' is close to being a joke. I am not trying to punish these neighbors, I am wanting to ensure that their actions are not going to harm the wildlife that is abundant around me here. It is difficult to contact anyone at F and Game to ask about this, so I turned here.

Spud, I am not wanting/trying to be crass with you - I do appreciate your input, seriously. Thank you (!!) And to all others, of course. Sorry my posts tend to go longer than average.
  #12  
Old 07-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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After reading more detail about the neighbor, airsoft pellets seem to be the very last thing someone will take action over. If they are throwing trash in your yard and exposing their genitals, no one will care about tiny BBs that may be environmentally friendly anyway. I would focus on other issues with these neighbors.
  #13  
Old 07-15-2010, 10:44 AM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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Oh for Pete sake OP, leave the kid alone.
  #14  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:02 PM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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I think you'll get a better response over the "oily sheen" you mentioned in the creek.

ETA: And the state police might be interested in those floating cannabis plants.

Last edited by Cheshire Human; 07-15-2010 at 12:04 PM..
  #15  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:19 PM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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With so many of the responses being about the imaginary mindset of me trying to pick on this kid when I tried to make it clear the question was pellets-v-wildlife, would a Mod please close this thread? I am fairly baffled at the assumptions made of me trying to tell this kid what to do or where to do it - if anything, I wish the best for the kid as he will likely end up in prison due to his parents beating him near-constantly (in the past, not heard any violence in last few weeks) and being allowed to run wild - then beat/berated when he disobeys. Rinse/repeat. Ever heard a kid screaming to stop being hit?? Hope you do not have to hear such. It keeps a person awake thinking about it, trust me. But that has nothing to do with me asking about the pellets (as far as I can tell).

This was nothing more than an attempt to learn/fight ignorance about wildlife -v- plastic pellets after not finding much per Google. My mistake (huge one, in hindsight) is that I mentioned where these pellets were coming from. FWIW, I stood up for this kid, strongly, with DHS when they spoke with wife and I over the problems that family was being investigated for. Yes, I turned the parents in to the State, and am hoping that any other Doper would do the exact thing in same circumstance. I was told that two other persons had also reported the abuse as well (all neighbors, plus the school the three kids attend. If I wanted to cause any type of harm (legal action or otherwise), it would be so easy to give/post the videos I have of him doing things that would shock most rational persons. But it is not my place since the 'State' apparently is monitoring the situation, or so I hope. Its a really shitty situation for the kid(s) there. I am more concerned with possible effects unto wildlife, if there such a threat. The closest I have come to an answer is that the plastic degrades over a period of months. Fair enough - but like I said before, that would be within a corpse if the pellets are harmful. I do not know, and will turn elsewhere for this info. I suspect, on average, there is no effect, but I told my wife I would check the Dope since I hold it in so high of a regard. Despite the comments, I still do, of course, but keeping it 'factual' seems to be an issue. I still have no idea where to draw the lines of 'being a jerk' here, so best to just shut this down stat I refuse to let my underwear get bunched over this. And another apology for the length here, but telling this may give a better idea that I am not trying to mess with the *kid*, but looking out for the wildlife I care so much about.

Thanks anyways for those that viewed and had something to offer regarding my inquiry. I had hoped to avoid imaginations taking this inquiry to where it went. Giving back-story was a big mistake...lesson learned.

Again, Mods, please close this to avoid further derailing/opinions unrelated. Thanks (very much).
  #16  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:42 PM
Spud Spud is offline
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Didn't mean to be snarky... you just left out some important details. I'd be going nuts too if what you say is true (no reason to doubt you).

Without those details though you sounded to me exactly like the guy two doors down from us. We are in a very nice neighborhood, with nicely cared for yards and homes. This guy's home/lawn is on par with all the others. The problem he seems to have is almost everyone here has kids... he doesn't (make that didn't... should be interesting). We live within walking distance of one of the best elementary schools in the state... that is one of the reasons this neighborhood attracts so many kids. This guy would stand on his porch and scream at the kids if they strayed anywhere from the sidewalk (remember these are little kids ages 5-10). He was furious when his neighbor put in a basket ball goal. He actually sat outside and as soon as the ball bounced into his side yard (nothing fancy, just grass between the neighbor's driveway and his house) and grabbed the ball and took it inside. About 10 minutes later his (very nice) wife came out apologizing profusely and gave the ball back. He later tried to claim the goal was on his property. Neighbor with goal happens to be a Realtor so had a staked survey done... result, goal fine... grumpy's fence 2 inches on his property (neighbor is nice, didn't make him move it). Grumpy stopped complaining pretty quick. I could definitely see him jumping straight to legal action if some kid had the nerve to shoot a BB into his yard.

Anyway... back to the OP. I don't have any scientific evidence, but I have spilled birdseed on my deck. My kids have also spilled air-soft pellets on the same deck. Results, seeds eaten... pellets not. I'm no bird expert, but small and round would seem like they would pass straight through if eaten. Also, if you have raptors, they aren't typically seed eaters so doubt they would pay these a second glance.

I agree with Cheshire Human... you will have much more success following up on the oil slick and floating pot plants. Good luck... and consider pricing a very tall privacy fence.
  #17  
Old 07-15-2010, 12:58 PM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Thx, Spud. I harbor no ill will to anyone that responded (or did not, but might've). I have 'reported' this thread to be closed as it got off-topic way fast, and likely *my* fault. No harm, no foul, blah-blah.

The shit next door *has* been reported, but a person needs to understand Oklahoma and the 'average' person's mentality here. It is a joke, and truly Pit-worthy My wife's asking me about the pellets made me think about it hard. I depend on birds to eat some species of seed that I grow for bonsai starters (Juniper and the like). I know that biggish seed can pass no problem - but plastic is not 'organic' in the loose usage of the term. It *may* not be inert physiologically - hence my posting the question.

If there was a slight chance of wildlife harm, I would be out in road with a broom/dustpan, trust me. Chances are the neighbors would call Police on me (like I care), so I wanted to "fight my ignorance". I have another source for the answer, but it involves waiting for a reply (and still waiting, LOL).

Thanks again - and no hard feelings. Like I said, I stumbled in my approach to the subject and gave details that in hindsight called loudly in another direction...oops. Lesson learned and I must 'adapt' to how I present things that are 'hot topics' (like kids/violence/innocent playfulness, etc). The kid is but a product of the parents, unfortunately - and his mention was naive on my part. C'est la vie (spelling?). A great day to all, I hope!
  #18  
Old 07-15-2010, 01:17 PM
Spud Spud is offline
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I would have to say that the lack of anything on line saying it is harmful would tend to support my position that they probably aren't. Care to look up if any version of fake sugar is harmful? If the conspiracy nuts can't even get their arms around the cause it probably isn't much concern.

We actually do have a bird expert on these boards (Colibri) and if it isn't closed before hopefully we can get some expert input on if any studies have found these pellets in dead bird's stomachs
  #19  
Old 07-15-2010, 01:48 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionizer View Post
With so many of the responses being about the imaginary mindset of me trying to pick on this kid when I tried to make it clear the question was pellets-v-wildlife, would a Mod please close this thread?
Done.
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