Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poisoning Pack Rats Kills Owls (and other wildlife!)

Guest post by Bob and Prudy Bowers

We showed our Portland friends, Jeff and Lynette, a local Great Horned Owl's saguaro nest, complete with three almost-fledged babies. Jeff took this video of Winkin, Blinkin and Nod, three semi-adorable owlets, which includes Winkin's struggle to consume Fat Albert, a full-grown white-throated wood rat (aka a pack rat).

This video is hilarious, but serious, too. It's why we advocate so strongly against the too-common practice of using poisoned bait to 'control' pack rats.

A Great Horned Owl can eat one rat a day throughout its 25 year expected life span. That's 228,125 pack rats you add to the rat population when you kill one owl with a poisoned rat. Not to mention the thousands of rat babies each of those spared rats would also produce. 

Poisoned rats die slowly, staggering around for more than a day, and are easy prey for owls, hawks, bobcats, coyotes and other desert animals that control our perpetual rat population naturally. Please don't use rat poison, and if your pest control company does use it, find another pest control company and tell your company why you are switching.

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