Rabbits

At North Devon Wildlife Management we have a full range of rabbit control methods to deal with any rabbit problem that occurs. We are able to provide a solution to any scenario. We can offer a humane and versatile rabbit control service that is unlikely to be matched by any other company.

Damage to crops, property and infrastructure, are just a few rabbit problems that affect businesses and homes- particularly if you’re on the receiving end of their voracious appetites and vigorous breeding habits. Rabbits breed from the age of 4 months, producing 4-5 litters of approximately 5 young each year. Easy to see how a rabbit problems can explode out of control!

There are a number of methods for rabbit control and often, our experienced will select a combination of methods to control and manage the rabbit problem. We also ensure that our rabbit control methods don’t impact on the environment or other wildlife.

We clear rabbits from farms, estates, cemeteries, golf courses, crematoriums and gardens in private homes.

Below you will find a list of all our rabbit control methods, if you have any questions or would like us to visit your site to help detail your requirements please feel free to CONTACT US.

Rabbit proof fencing
Ferreting
Lamping
Night vision
Drop boxes
Long netting
Drop nets & Liftnets
Snaring
Trapping

Common Rabbit Control Problems:

  • Tunneling rabbits cause ground to become weak and unstable.
  • Loss and damage to crops in agricultural areas.
  • Soil erosion caused by removal of vegetation.
  • Damage to high quality amenity grassland such as golf courses.
  • Tree bark damage.

    Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 40 million.

Grey Squirrels

North Devon Wildlife Management specialise in the control of squirrels in roof spaces, gardens, woodlands, estates and church yards.

We use humane live and lethal traps that are squirrel specific and will not harm pets or children and are very discreet.

We are involved with many Red Squirrel Projects and work closely with Grey Squirrel Control

Live Catch Trapping
Spring Lethal Trapping

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 2,520,000.

Foxes

We offer a comprehensive control service for foxes in urban, suburban and agricultural environments. We use all methods available tailored to individual situations.

Live Cage Trapping
Collarum Trapping
Humane Snaring
Shooting Lamp/Night Vision

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 258,000.

Mink

We offer a comprehensive control service for mink, we currently trap mink all over North Devon & North Cornwall and offer a control service to landowners, farmers, fisheries and home owners. We use both live catch and lethal trapping methods including the GWCT Mink Raft.


Mink Rafts
Live Catch Trapping
Spring Lethal Trapping

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 110,000 and declining.

Moles

The European Mole is rarely seen but the first signs of a moles underground activity is molehills that can quickly wreck gardens, sports fields, playing fields and crops.

A mole’s unseen tunneling will damage root systems of plants and seedlings as well as uncover stones and debris that could damage garden or farm machinery.

we offer a comprehensive mole control service on both a one off and contractual basis to homeowners, farmers, sports grounds, cemeteries, horticultural, estates, commercial and industrial clients.

We use traditional mole control methods, such as mole traps, to avoid causing unnecessary suffering. Our expert teams will help you identify an effective mole treatment by providing:

  • Fast, reliable response with no call out charges.
  • A free survey of the site or problem with a free no obligatio quote.
  • Discreet and swift service for sensitive or urgent problems.


Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 31,000,000.

Rats

North Devon Wildlife Management offer a rat control service for agricultural, horticultural and homeowners.

We do not offer a rat control service to shops, restaurants, schools, commercial and industrial clients.

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 65,000,000.

Deer

We carry out a full deer control and management service across North Devon & North Cornwall.

Our deer control managers are fully trained to BDS standard and fully insured.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Shooting

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated at 128,500 and increasing.

There's no denying that Canada geese are handsome birds, or that their goslings have the aaah factor, but they are now considered a pest in the UK and, as such, may be culled with the appropriate licence. But just what does this bird get up to that so annoys humans and how can they be controlled?

As its name implies, it is a North American species that has found its way across to Europe either via introduction or migration. Whilst the North American variety tends to continue to migrate (as do most other species of geese), European Canada geese are generally happy with their lot and stay put, pooing for a pastime and with amazing regularity. 

hey are noisy, gregarious birds that always live near water and, therefore, can often be found around ornamental ponds, lakes and water features on golf courses and in amenity parks. Whilst they are herbivorous grazers, with grass and aquatic plants being their natural food source, they will eat almost anything, including ice cream, chocolate, chips or anything else that is 'to hand'. Manicured lawns are a particular favourite, perhaps because of the richness of the grass plant. 

The practice of hounding humans for food is perhaps their most annoying trait (other than pooing) and their aggressive nature can be quite frightening, especially for young children. 

Canada geese have one brood a year, averaging five, but often double that. The incubation period, in which the female sits on the eggs whilst the male remains nearby, lasts for up to twenty-eight days after laying. The offspring enter the fledgling stage at any time from six to nine weeks of age. The annual summer moult also takes place during the breeding season; the adults losing their flight feathers for up to forty days and regaining their flight at about the same time as their goslings begin to fly.

During this flightless period they will often form creches and become fiercely protective. Their primary aim is to ward off anything that comes close to their offspring - whether that be a pigeon or a human - with 'kill' as the bottom line! This will include first year adults and other goose species. First, the geese stand erect, spread their wings, and produce a hissing sound. Next, they charge. They may then bite or attack with their wings.

It is believed that the over-wintering birds have a higher testosterone level than resident birds due to the effort required in migration and this makes them even more aggressive. 

As well as aggressive and obnoxious behaviour, one of the biggest areas of concern surrounds their excrement, which carries a wide variety of bacteria that can cause serious illness, including gastroenteritis. 

Canada geese eat around 4lb of food daily, and half that amount is returned to the ground as poo. It looks more like the faeces of a small dog rather than typical bird droppings. In addition to being disgusting, the waste has been known to carry such disease-causing organisms as E. coli and salmonella. Since youngsters tend to climb, run and explore when they are playing outside, they might unknowingly come into contact with the birds' excrement, touch their mouths or rub their eyes and, therefore, develop an infection. 

Dogs too, seem to enjoy a good old roll-around in goose poo. If this happens, the dog should be washed off thoroughly, taking care that you also wash your hands thoroughly. 

The droppings will also kill grass, much in the same way that worm casts do. 

Whilst the goslings are undeniably 'cute', it is during the flightless period that any culling should take place.

Controlling Canada Geese

Egg Oiling
Trapping
Shooting

A small, stocky goose with apricot breast, white wing patch and dark eye patch. Egyptian goose was first introduced into England in the late 17th century.

During the 19th century birds became increasingly common on private estates, mostly in southern and eastern England from whence they dispersed to establish colonies elsewhere. In its native range, Egyptian goose is a pest of arable crops and if numbers continue to increase it could become a similar nuisance in the UK.

It shares the same habitat preferences as mallard and coot with which it might compete. Egyptian geese hybridise with native species in Africa and hybridisation with Canada geese (non-native) has been recorded in the UK.

There is concern that it may hybridise with native species of goose, and threaten the conservation status of those species.

In the Netherlands the species is aggressive to nests of wading species. They could also potentially cause major damage to amenity grasslands, pastures and crops through grazing and trampling.

Droppings could pose a health and safety risk to humans. Egyptian Goose is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with respect to England, Wales and Scotland. As such, it is an offence to release or allow the escape of this species into the wild.

Controlling Egyptian Geese

Egg Oiling
Trapping
Shooting

 

Corvids – Rooks, Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies and Jays

Corvids are all part of the Corvidae family and are considered to be a pest bird species, all are on the general licence and subject to control methods, they are all prone to both injure or destroy songbirds or game bird nests and eggs, most are considered as an agricultural pest as they tend to congregate in very large communal numbers and can cause serious crop damage, or injury to livestock and consume huge amounts of animal foodstuff, they cause major health and safety issues in and around urban surroundings.

Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) very gregarious, frequently associates with jackdaws and nests communally in tall trees, they frequent mixed arable farmland, grassland with scattered woodland they are normally seen in large numbers and known to damage emerging and pre harvest cereal crops, will take other birds eggs and feed from dead or sick animals.

Crows (Corvus cornix) normally seen singly or in pairs, frequents farmland, moorland towns and parks Nests singly in trees, occurs throughout England Wales and southern Scotland. The most notorious damage caused by crows is to new born lambs by taking out their eyes, however this is usually when the lamb is either dead or seriously ill

Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) frequent inhabitant of farmland, sea cliffs, cathedrals castles, churches and derelict buildings, likes to nest on ledges, holes and in domestic chimney stacks. Jackdaws will nest in large numbers in city buildings and cause damage by contamination from droppings and blocked chimneys resulting in potential fire hazards.

Magpie (Pica Pica) is a large black and white bird with a long tail and easily distinguished from other corvids, usually found in small flocks, prefers areas with scattered trees and shrubs and recently becoming a common urban species, they nest in hedges or trees and build a characteristic large dome shaped nest. Will feed on carrion or take lambs eyes or small chicks.

Jay(Garrulus glandarius) the most colourful of the crow family, found across most of the UK, except northern Scotland. Usually frequent in deciduous and coniferous woodland, parks and mature gardens. Likes oak trees in autumn when there are plenty of acorns. Characteristic by its screeching call, they mainly feed on acorns, nuts, seeds and insects, but also eats eggs and nestlings of other birds and small mammals.

Biology

Corvids build substantial nests for their size consisting mainly of sticks, grasses and loose vegetation, each species differ in their nesting habits, however collectively they prefer cavities, voids or tall trees and buildings. All can damage game interests by taking the eggs and young of game birds and songbirds; they all eat grain and stock feed, and common scavengers at waste and refuse sites.

Who is affected by Corvids

  • Farms, Estates and Parkland due to crop damage
  • Golf clubs where they root for insects and crane fly larvae (leatherjackets)
  • Sheep and game farms, due to predation
  • Heritage sites and buildings, nesting and erosion
  • Landfill and waste sites, due to Environment Agency and local licensing
  • Airports due to nesting activity, flocking and possible airstrike risks

Corvids are generally not welcome on SSSI sites or areas of conservation where they take eggs from rare song birds or predate on small mammals, lizards and reptiles.

Management

The Rook, Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie and Jay are all currently on the Natural England and Agriculture Departments general licence and may be taken or controlled by authorised persons at all times, for the stated reasons, using approved control measures. Ravens another member of the corvid family are not listed and are therefore fully protected, though specific licences can be applied for from the Agriculture Department to control this species in extreme cases, particularly in sheep protection.

Control Methods

Control measures can include trapping, shooting, nest destruction and a combined use of various scaring devices or techniques other more specialised methods are used in urban situations

Feral Pigeon – Control and Prevention

Feral pigeon are extremely resilient and can be found worldwide and throughout the UK, It is commonly found in and around our towns, cities and most urban environments, it can also be found in rural areas around farm buildings. The species are descendants from the domesticated rock dove and the wild breeding population is supplemented by escapees from pigeon lofts and racing pigeons.

Many have the ability to breed all year round therefore population of flocks can reach large numbers rapidly.

Often referred to as a” flying rat” Pigeons have adapted well to the urban environment and prefer to roost under cover or in sheltered areas such as buildings, beneath bridges, dockyard pilings, old disused ships, roofs balconies and canopies, they deposit huge amounts of unsanitary droppings known as guano which carries serious health risks to man.

Often feral pigeons are attracted to an area by a food source. Traditionally pigeons’ food is grain, cereal and seeds; they frequent grain stores and terminals at docks where grain spillage can occur.

In urban areas they will eat all manner of discarded food.

Why control Pigeons?

Pigeon control, treatment and prevention is necessary for many reasons, most are associated to health risk and diseases, however other reasons relate to guano fouling, which carries many diseases, parasitic insects, unsightly mess and can cause acidic erosion to listed buildings, heritage sites.

We are fully trained in pigeon trapping techniques and control using air rifles.

What to do next

If you are suffering with pigeon control problems we offer a free site survey and no obligation quotation to provide advice and recommendations to help you control and manage nuisance birds.

 

Experts believe that there are more than 600,000 magpie territories.