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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pocket Gopher Problem

I have a problem with pocket gophers.  They are digging everywhere and are climbing into the beds and digging up my bulbs.   I lined the bottom of the beds with wire - assuming a gopher couldn't get up over the side, but I was wrong.   I will not use poison because the owner of the property won't allow it and you always run the risk of you dog or cat eating the poisoned gopher and poisoning your pet.     Here are some picture of the hole and pictures from the internet of the culprits.  Look at those front claws and teeth.   They also will damage trees by eating the roots.

After some research, I found the perfect solution.   Install and barn owl box to entice a pair of barn owls to nest.  Here is some information from the barn owl next box company

  • Barn owls are cavity nesters, dependent upon large hollow trees or some other type of hollow. This means that they can be easily attracted to nest boxes.
  • Barn owls live and raise young comfortably around human activity such as busy farmyards and agricultural fields.
  • Barn owls are not territorial; they often form nesting colonies in small areas, allowing farmers to establish many nest boxes within sight of each other
  • Barn owls raise large numbers of young for a raptor—up to 13 young have been recorded in one nest, although 4 to 7 is more common
  • Barn owls respond to higher rodent numbers by producing more young per brood, and producing more than one brood per year.
  • Because they have such voracious appetites and have so many young, a single family of barn owls can consume over 1000 pocket gophers per year, or over 3000 mice or voles.
  • Barn owls are extremely faithful to their nest sites, raising young year after year; and as older barn owls perish, new ones take their places.
  • Once established, barn owls need very little maintenance, and can create a population that remains for many years.
  • Barn owl nest boxes are very economical when compared to the costs of poisons and other methods.
Here is a picture of the next box I ordered and will install along with some pictures of barn owls.