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Using Barn Owls for Rodent Control
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, No….wait….It is a bird, hmmm.
All hope to save neighborhoods in Fallbrook and surrounding San Diego County cities from being overrun by rodents (gophers, mice,etc.) has been put on the preying skills of barn owls. Barn owl boxes on 16 foot poles are rising in various neighborhoods throughout San Diego County to attract the rodent-preying owls.
Sure, owls prey on rodents and hunt for food when rodents are most active (nighttime), but is this an effective counterattack to rats in your home?
Will Barn Owls Get Rid of My Rats?
While this natural system contains elements of excellent pest control strategies, letting this “green” rodent control method attempt to remedy your problem doesn’t necessarily work. Scientists say there is no evidence that this biological pest control is actually effective against rodent problems.
One must be reminded that we are depending on a natural system. The barn owls will feed on rodents until its appetite is satisfied and not until your property is rat-free. Rats can reproduce faster than the owls can feed. Basically, with the owl rodent control technique, you have established a regular feeding ground for barn owls.
Also, owls travel 2 miles from their nest to forage, so immediate areas where the owl lives will not benefit from a decreased rodent population.
Owls Attract Other Pests
Most business that offer owl boxes and installation services, also offer box cleaning services. Cleanings are recommended (and will be needed) after each nesting season since boxes will be quite a mess and contain rodent-borne viruses. Owls eat their prey whole and regurgitate the feathers and bones in form of pellets.
When owls leave the box, other pests and bugs tend to invade the nest. Bees are the most common in the Fallbrook area and will be the most difficult to remove.