On the Ground: Critter-Proof Your House
Pat Wall of California, Mo., loves to watch the squirrels, but she’s not keen about having them in her attic. “I was afraid they’d chew the electrical wires and cause a fire,” she said. After several failed attempts to oust the squirrels, she called Rex Martensen of the Private Land Services Division. He discovered where they had been nesting when he pulled down the attic ladder—and received a shower of black walnut hulls, insulation and feathers! Rex has this advice for keeping critters out of your house: First, inspect the perimeter for openings. If you find them, make sure all animals are out of your attic, crawlspaces, etc. You might have to use a live trap to do this. Finally, when you patch the openings, use sturdy material such as tin, because animals will try to get back inside. This approach will keep fun-to-watch wildlife where they belong—outside!
Got Goose Problems?
Web site covers methods for controlling them.
Once endangered, giant Canada geese have made a phenomenal recovery. In Missouri, the breeding population can soar to 75,000. Although most people enjoy seeing Canada geese, these waterfowl can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to property and crops each year. Aside from hunting geese to control their numbers during the established goose hunting seasons, you can find help preventing or controlling goose damage by exploring the links listed below.
Grazing for Wildlife
Rest a new paddock every year to add nesting habitat.
Although most Missouri producers graze their animals on one or two pastures from May through October, some are turning to rotational grazing. This practice of dividing large pastures into small paddocks to keep livestock bunched up maximizes forage use. Unfortunately, short forage doesn’t always help grassland birds. To improve nesting habitat and brood cover, leave one paddock ungrazed for a year. The following year, add the rested paddock to the rotation sequence and take a recently grazed paddock out of use. State and federal financial assistance is available to help offset the loss of income from the rested paddock. To learn more about these or other conservation grazing practices and cost-share programs that support them, call your local private land conservationist.