- Author: Andrea Peck
Rodents, and their nemesis, owls, was discussed at this month’s Advice to Grow By Workshop.
We all know the tell-tale signs: small, rice-sized feces, shredded material or simply a brazen ball of fur with bald tail darting wantonly amongst your living space, holes in the garden and damaged plants.
No matter the method you employ, rodents continue to alarm and escape capture throughout many a SLO county garden. Rodents are known to transmit 32 separate diseases. Despite their propensity for carrying ill- health, they grow ever-capable of proliferating. Rodents, such as wood rats, are the a major carrier of the ticks responsible for spreading Lyme disease.
Getting control of a rodent population may be difficult, as ground squirrels have at least one litter of seven to eight per year. Click on the underlined terms for more information on ground squirrels, moles, voles and gophers.
If those darned rodents seem destined to destroy your garden, come on out on Saturday to commiserate as well as gain insight into the furry beasts’ agenda. Find out what makes them tick and how to stop them from ticking. There are a wide variety of rodents. There are many methods of control: from poisons to traps to natural predators. Learn the pro’s and con’s of each method and leave with an appropriate plan of attack.
For information about the products that we brought to demonstrate, check out www.traplineproducts.com for gopher, mole and vole control (see "Standard" size mole traps, www.cinchtraps.com for gopher and mole traps "small" mole traps for California moles, www.tomcatbrand.com for mole trap and mole bait, www.victorpest.com for gopher, mole, rat and mouse traps. Most of the traps can be found locally at Farm Supply Store or at the Miner's Ace Hardware or other garden centers in your area.
The second portion of this week’s workshop addresses the wise among us. Of course, we’re speaking about owls. One method of rodent control, often overlooked, encourages the natural predatory process. Owls are the perfect predator to encourage towards that end. Learn the requirements necessary to provide adequate habitat, including nesting boxes, to attract owls to your yard.
Owl Box directions can be found online: Barn Owl Nest Box by USDA and Building Barn Owl Boxes By Steve Simmons, Charles Wade, Lee Pauser and David Altknecht. Patterns for birdhouses may be found in the UC ANR Publication "Songbird, Bat and Owl Boxes" Publication # 21636.