- Fruits: apples, pears, general tree fruits
- Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, integrated pest management
This project will significantly increase predator habitat by establishing nesting habitat for raising young and perches for hunting rodents. We will then evaluate if owl boxes and raptor perches are an effective way to reduce gopher and vole populations to economically tolerable levels. This project will compare the cost and effectiveness of rodent control using owl boxes and raptor perches versus conventional rodent control using traps and poison baits. We will then educate local growers on our experience so they too can use raptors for rodent control.
Project objectives from proposal:
1) Evaluate the effectiveness of Barn Owl boxes and raptor perches as a sustainable method to control rodents in orchard systems.
2) Compare the cost effectiveness of raptors for rodent control with conventional methods of poison baiting and trapping.
3) Educate the 400+ orchardists in the Mid-Columbia region on the use of raptors for rodent control, and thereby reduce the amount of poison baits applied in orchards.