Non-Toxic Rat Reduction: Snap Traps & Owl Boxes

SNAP TRAPS: Yes, they do what you think. The snap traps are enclosed in a box intended to protect pets, wildlife, and humans from accidentally triggering the trap. The traps must be cleared and reset.

OWL BOXES: The HOOT Group worked with several raptor experts to determine the appropriate location and number of nesting boxes for our specific needs. The boxes are located in areas accessible for cleaning and repair and with the permission of residents who live within 200ft.

OTHER ALTERNATIVES: We are looking into a variety of other alternatives to rodenticides to use in concert with snap traps and owls, which include non-hormone fertility control (ContraPest), natural repellents (Pro-Pell, peppermint oil) and more.


The Issue

Given how often we all see dead, dying, and live rats in UHills, it’s time to evaluate our current approach to rat management. Controlling the rat population is a never-ending battle. Every rat eradication strategy has pros and cons that require careful implementation in order to avoid unintended consequences, such as the poisoning of wildlife and household pets.

While we all wish that there were a single, safe, effective, and inexpensive method to reduce the population of rats in UHills, our best bet is to adaptively employ a combination of strategies. To that end, the HOOT Group enouraged ICHA to replace rat poison stations with enclosed snap traps, in combination with providing nesting boxes for native barn owls.

Owls are one of the best native rodent controlling predators in our region. A family of barn owls can consume over 1,000 rodents per year. These owls generally mate for life and return to the same nesting site each year. We believe that UHills (ICHA and residents) should stop using rodenticides prior to the installation of nesting boxes.