Why Barn Owls Are Ideal for Effective, Natural Rodent Control
Now in use on farms and private properties throughout the United States, oil palm plantations in Malaysia, rice fields in S.E. Asia, and hay and vegetable farms in Israel, barn owls lend themselves to effective rodent control through a number of unique adaptations:
- Barn owls are cavity nesters, so can easily be attracted to nest boxes.
- Barn owls live comfortably around human activity such as busy farmyards and agricultural fields
- Barn owls are not territorial, allowing farmers to establish dense colonies.
- 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.
- A single family of barn owls can consume over 1000 pocket gophers per year, or 3000 mice or voles.
- Barn owls are extremely faithful to their nest sites, returning year after year.
- Once established, barn owls need very little maintenance.
- Utilizing barn owls for rodent control is very economical when compared to the costs of poisons and other methods.
Installing Barn Owl Boxes
We have designed the nest box so that it can be installed easily by a single person. It comes with all the hardware necessary for mounting on either a 1″ or 1.5″ iron pole or 4 x 4 wooden post. (We do sell our own galvanized pole system which you can find under Barn Owl Pole Kit on our Products tab on the Menu.) Little assembly is required: the viewing window and blind are attached on the rear; the perch is attached on the landing ledge. Then the white outer box is attached to the pole or post; the brown liner slides in and is lined with bedding; the faceplates are attached and you are done! It comes with detailed instructions.
Where to install: Barn owls are open field hunters. Anywhere there are agricultural fields, vineyards, orchards, row crops, grasslands, pastures, scrub, hay, or meadows is good habitat. Put them up about 8′ off the ground (no need to go higher), face them in an easterly direction (NE, SE, or E). For bedding use a large pieced bark mulch (not shredded in other words) that you can buy at a garden supply.
For farmers using multiple boxes, you can install them as little as fifty feet apart; place them at your convenience, out of the way of your operations. Barn owls are not easily upset by human activity, so they are fine with men working, barking dogs, playing children, tractors, etc.