If you’ve begun to notice holes and tunneling in your yard, chances are good that you have a gopher problem. These rodents, while sort of cute and harmless-looking, can do major damage to your lawn.

So, what can you do about gophers and other tunneling, underground rodents like moles and voles? Those who want to go the more humane route often attempt to trap these animals, but without much success. Trapping and relocating presents a number of complications: For one thing, you might not have much luck coaxing a gopher into a trap (and forget about the moles and voles). Second, once you relocate them, more will simply move into the tunnels and nests left vacant. And third, you’d be simply dumping your problem on someone else or disrupting the ecological balance of any “wild” area where you release your captives. And fourth, this method requires a large amount of time and energy.

Luckily, there’s another more “natural” method of rodent control that can work for many homeowners, and it requires very little effort from you. Simply enlist the help of your area’s owl population to do the dirty work for you!

If you live in Wine Country or on a larger lot, this might be a viable option.

Build or purchase appropriate owl houses. Owl houses should provide enough room for the birds to stand inside them. For barn owls, that means measurements of 2.5 feet tall by 1.5 feet wide. Include a roomy landing tray and a hole large enough for the owls to get inside.

Don’t worry about nesting materials; owls will take care of that step for you!

Choose a location. Mount your owl homes about 25 feet up in a tree, as far away from traffic as possible, and with a clear view of their hunting grounds (your lawn).

If you notice owl pellets (regurgitated bits of bone and fur) below the boxes to determine whether owls have moved into the home you provided. This method might take some time, but it can be seen as a more natural method of rodent control.

On the other hand, it can often be difficult to convince Mother Nature to cooperate with our plans! If you find that your neighborhood owls just aren’t getting the job done, give us a call to discuss rodent control services. We can help you get rid of gophers and other annoying pests, and save your lawn from their destructive habits.