Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Does predator urine repel problem animals?

In any discussion about rodents or other problem animals, you come across advertisements or testimonials about "predator urine."  They are at the top of any Google search about "mice in my car."

Now, research reported in Science magazine provides some support for urine:

"Even if a mouse has never seen a cat before, he'll turn tail when one is nearby.  Researchers suspected that the rodents somehow sniff out their would-be assassins, but exactly what they smelled was unclear.  Now scientists have isolated the compound, one of a class of urinary proteins that are secreted by cats, snakes, and a variety of other predators."

So, does this mean I should rush out an buy a bottle of fox urine? 

NO!   Reasons why urine is a poor solution:
  • There's no guarantee that what you are buying is effective, or even predator urine.
  • People who sell this stuff make a living by spreading disinformation.
  • Most pests are smart and adaptable--without a real predator around, they will lose their fear of the scent.
  • Do you really want to be putting urine or mothballs in your new car?
  • If it works for mice, that doesn't mean it works for squirrels.
  • The proven methods of pest control are far more effective: deny them food, entry, and shelter.
Think about it...  If you have a rodent problem, there's probably a population explosion going on.  There's something about your house or yard that's attracting them, and causing them to breed.  There's so many, they are starting to get really hungry, and looking for new places to hide and feed. 

They are desperate!  Under these extreme conditions, even if predator pee has a small repellent effect, they are not going to pay much attention!  You need to find out what is attracting them, and increasing their numbers--and then eliminate that.

The time you might take to locate and spread predator pee is better spent looking for the real cause of your pest problem.  Is there accessible cat food in the garage?

Remember--there's no free lunch... except for the mice in your garage.

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