Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Natural Rodent Control for the Backyard Gardener

For over 5 years I've asked Joe to build me an owl box so I could have owls in the backyard. And for 5 years Joe has ignored my request. Finally I found some plans on the Internet, texted them to him and then accompanied him to the hardware store. He spent 20 minutes shopping and then informed me it would cost $30+ in tools and materials and probably 20+ hours of work and was I CERTAIN I wanted a stinkin owl box. At that point I pulled out my iPhone and looked up how much owl boxes cost on Amazon. You know what? They really aren't much at all and I found a great one for $45 with free shipping. Done! And Joe saved 20 hours of woodworking he didn't want to do.

So why did I decide 5 years ago I wanted an owl? We saw the Wings of America Show Birds at Dollywood when we were on vacation in Tennessee and I learned of the benefits of having owls in the neighborhood. Especially the benefits to gardeners since owls are nighttime predators that eat annoying little rodents that like to eat my veggies. I'm all for natural pest control and what's more natural than an owl eating my pests?

Joe got around to putting up my new owl house in a tree back by the compost pile pretty quick. I haven't noticed any owls taking up residence yet but I'm optimistic they'll show up soon.
My owl house is the right size for an Eastern Screech Owl and their main diet is mice, voles and annoying little chipmunks that dig in my flowers.
Please little owl- won't you come nest in my tree?

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