Got problems with rats, mice, or gophers? Interested in environmentally friendly methods to help reduce these pests? It’s easy – support your local owls and encourage them to hang around! These birds of the night that you’re more likely to hear than see, can be a boost to an overall approach at controlling unwanted rodents.
With their large heads and forward-facing eyes, owls are easily recognizable. Exceptional vision, superb hearing, and the ability to fly silently, these raptors have feet equipped with piercing talons and hooked beaks for tearing flesh that make them effective and efficient predators. According to WildCare in San Rafael, a family of barn owls can consume 3,000 rodents in a breeding season. That’s a lot of natural pest control!
A major risk to the owl population are poison baits that kill unwanted rodents (primarily rats and mice). They contain anticoagulants that can purportedly kill a rodent “after a single feeding,” though it may take four to seven days for the rodent to die. During that time, the rodent can consume more bait, increasing the level of toxin in their bodies that subsequently gets ingested by any predator that eats the poisoned animal.
How can you help the owl population in your environment? Don’t use poisons and provide habitat for these amazing allies for rodent control. Here’s some great information from the WildCare about managing rodents and encouraging owls and other beneficial predators.