Date: 1/7/18 8:22 am
From: Cliff Bixler <clifford.bixler50...>
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Is there a rodent outbreak? -YES
Just this last year they exploded. I think it was due to the good rainfall
last year causing a fast growth in vegetation. A greater food supply
encourages more litters. An extra litter causes exponential growth. I do
know that we have had to be really at war with the rodents (wood rats and
mice), traps, bait, cleaning up areas where they want to set up
housekeeping, flooding burrows.
Up here in Bonny Doon there is no shortage of predators. I hear and see
coyotes, bobcats and even Cougars. Owls are around but not so much in the
summer when the most rodent breeding is happening. They are a little late
to the party.

We got our lesson in spades back in 2011 when they colonized the underside
of our house. One of them ate through a waterline to a dishwasher and
flooded the downstairs of our house. We had to open up the subfloor, tear
out the heater ducts and insulation, dry and dehumidify then tear out
damaged flooring, drywall, the entire kitchen and fireplace. I was kind of
a total rebuild of 2/3 of the downstairs. We were cooking outside and
living upstairs for 5 months.

On Sat, Jan 6, 2018 at 10:35 PM, Chris Hartzell <c.hartzell...>
wrote:

> The simple answer is yes, there is. Going on a second year irruption of
> both Wood Rats and different Mice species. This is happening in multiple
> states from what I am hearing. Multiple automobile dealerships, mechanics,
> construction workers, and pest control people I have talked with in the
> last several months have seen a tremendous spike in rodent related
> infestation and damage. Subaru and Toyota have gone the last 10 years
> averaging about 10-20 cars with rodent damage. Last year they went to
> almost 100, this year over 200. Our outlying fire stations and engines have
> gone many years with minimal problems. My station has gone with a handful
> over the last 5 years. Starting the middle of last year, we caught 25 in 3
> days. All our outlying stations are seeing a massive infestation as well.
> When I responded to the fire over in Fort Ord, I pulled up and watched
> literally over a hundred rats running from the fire. I had never seen this
> many so condensed before. It is not just here either. I am hearing almost
> the same reports out of multiple locations in Oregon, much of Montana, and
> friends in Salt Lake City are reporting similar. I have talked with some
> biologists and naturalists about it. As far as I have heard, there is no
> research actually being done and no one seems to be doing any formal study
> on it. Therefore the cause seems to be speculative as far as I've found
> out. So far the most supportive guess is a combination of reduction in
> predators and increase in drought type conditions. Drier climates have
> allowed for a spread in certain vegetation that is conducive to rodent
> spread while there also seems to be a drop in predators. I've noticed at my
> home and many of our stations that regular occurrences of bobcats and
> coyotes have gone down significantly. Additionally, I heard from many
> firefighters what seemed to be the lowest run-ins with snakes on fires in
> many many years. Personally, getting around and talking with people, I
> think it is a combination of inadvertent poisoning through rodent control,
> more hunting/trapping, and increased traffic resulting in more roadkill. I
> don't know why and haven't heard why there might be such a reduction in
> snakes.
>
> Anyway, there is a major rodent problem. It cost Ame and I $1800 in
> repairs to two vehicles and six other personnel at my station have had
> their vehicles damaged. So keep the hoods up when it doesn't rain and put
> non-poison traps in the motor when you have to close the hood. The rodent
> problem is a major issue!
>
> -Chris Hartzell
>
> PhotoStrokes.net
> ~ Environmental Conservation ~ Educational Presentations ~ Unique Art ~
> ~ Photography Lessons ~ Wildlife Photo Tours ~ International Travel ~
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* DEBRA SHEARWATER <debiluv...>
> *To:* <mbbirds...>
> *Sent:* Saturday, January 6, 2018 9:58 PM
> *Subject:* [MBBIRDS] Is there a rodent outbreak?
>
> MBBers,
>
> San Benito County has an abundance of Barn Owls, even in the worst of
> times. However, lately I have counted more BARN OWLS than usual. For
> instance, last night I saw 23 Barn Owls, 18 of which were along John Smith
> Road. This road is only 2.8 miles long. I did not use playback or a
> spotlight. The owls are easy to see, either sitting on fenceposts or
> utility wires.
>
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41687083
>
> Although the dump is located on John Smith Road, I have not encountered
> such a high number of Barn Owls in the past. I did see 10 Barn Owls one
> night a couple weeks ago, along this same road.
>
> I’m wondering if anyone else is encountering larger than usual numbers of
> Barn Owls. If so, please email me directly: <debi...>
>
> If you drive this road, please do not use spotlights because Great-horned
> Owls also occur on this road, and they may predate the Barn Owls.
>
> Happy Trails,
> Debi Shearwater
>
>
> DEBRA SHEARWATER
> Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
> PO Box 190
> Hollister, CA 95024
> 831.637.8527 <(831)%20637-8527>
> <debi...>
> www.shearwaterjourneys.com
> www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
>
> *Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys*
> *Siberia’s Forgotten Coast & Spoon-billed Sandpiper-2019*
> *Galapagos Islands: 30 October - 12 November 2019*
>
>
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