Non-Toxic Rodent Control
Rodenticides are expensive, counterproductive and incredibly destructive to wildlife and our shared environment. A recent study showed nearly 80% of raptors and other rodent consuming wildlife tested by WildCare were found positive for secondary rodenticide poisoning.
Rodenticides provide a very slow and horrific death for rodents, usually taking several days after ingestion to actually kill. During those several days the rodent will still go out to find food and water. They will be sluggish and debilitated, and as a result, will be the first to be caught. Owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, mountain lions, foxes, herons, egrets, domestic dogs and cats and even children can be at risk. Rodenticides are a serious problem and one that negates the help these natural predators would otherwise provide. Without natural predators, rodent populations would explode.
Owls as a Means of Non-Toxic Rodent Control
Barn Owls, on the other hand, can be a wonderful help. They are gorgeous creatures with voracious appetites. Installing Barn Owl boxes can be a very cost effective and eco-friendly way to help with a rodent problem. A single Barn Owl family can consume 3,000 rodents in a single 4 month breeding cycle. In many areas Barn Owls have multiple clutches a year, raising the total for possible consumed rodents to 6,000 - 9,000 a year! This is in addition to the simple joy of having such amazing creatures as a neighbors!
Barn Owl box rodent control programs work best for larger properties, such as farms, ranches, vineyards & homeowners associations. That's not to say that it's impossible for Barn Owls to help smaller properties, but Barn Owls usually do not hunt directly around their own boxes. More commonly, we've observed them starting to hunt 100'-300' away from their own nests. However, if you have multiple occupied boxes, the owls from one box will readily hunt around other owls' boxes. Thus giving you complete coverage. Barn Owls alone will not completely eliminate all rodents. For the best results, the Hungry Owl Project recommends an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.
Barn Owls are non-territorial, which unlike many other owls, means that you can install multiple boxes relatively close together. For smaller properties (2 acres and less), we usually recommend starting with around 1 - 3 boxes. For medium properties (3 - 10 acres) we recommend starting with around 2 - 6 boxes. For larger properties we suggest starting with 5 boxes for every 10 acres. However, these are somewhat loose guidelines and every situation is unique. As a general rule of thumb, we always recommend that when your occupancy rate reaches 80%, add more boxes. Boxes can be occupied quite quickly, we've had owls move in in as little as a few days after installing boxes, but there have also been situations where it takes years for boxes to become occupied. A safe and successful installation is the best way to ensure that you're giving your boxes the best chance for occupancy, contact us or view more info the pages for the box type you're interested in. If you'd like the us to come to your location to help you find installation locations that will be both safe for the owls and give you the best chances for occupancy and rodent control, consider having a HOP site consultation.
Have owl boxes? Want owl boxes? Post our flyer in your neighborhood cafe, grocery store, and give copies to your neighbors to let people know that rodent poison is owl poison.
Integrated Pest Management and the 7 Steps to Non-Toxic Rodent Control
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective, sustainable and environmentally sensitive approach to pest control that employs a combination of common-sense practices. Read our basic guidelines and for a great place to get started.
Non-Toxic Pest Control Businesses
WildCare offers paid consultations to homeowners and businesses in the Bay Area, and free advice nationally via their wildlife hotline. WildCare can help by offering recommendations and a detailed action plan on how to humanely and nonlethally handle conflicts with raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels, foxes and other species that sometimes get into buildings.
Raptors Are The Solution (RATS)
A wonderful group and resource for rodenticide information and non-toxic solutions.
Hitmen Pest Control
Hitmen Pest Control have a wide variety of non-toxic integrated pest management (IPM) options available including exclusion, prevention, and more.
Pest control company with non-toxic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.a