It has been suggested that re-introducing wild predators could help, such as the pine-marten
Groningen farmers are again suffering from a large number of mice. Dozens of farmers in the north of the province have already registered that they have the pests with the farmers’ organisation LTO Noord. As reported by RTV Noord.
“The nuisance of mice is increasing, especially in the north of Groningen”, says LTO Noord director Brenda Timmerman-Pals. She noted that whilst there are often large numbers of mice in the fields of Groningen, the particularly mild winter this year has caused numbers to rise even further.
Timmerman-Pals advises farmers to take nature-friendly measures. “You may no longer use chemical agents. We therefore advise farmers to place nest boxes for owls and kestrels, because those birds eat mice. Flooding meadows under water also helps, but not now that the farming season is starting again.”
Pim Lollinga from Faunavisie Wildcare also suggests that adding natural predators to the current ecosystem can help keep mouse numbers down. “The pine-marten, for example, is known as a good rat-catcher, but they are just as happy eating mice”, he says, “the best mouse-catchers are falcons, barn owls, and buzzards.”
Another, somewhat typically Dutch solution could be the Heron- normally seen around the lakes and fens of Friesland. “You shouldn’t rule out Herons- both the blue and silver herons that you often see eat cart-loads of mice. In April, the kites will also return, and they are also real mouse-hunters”, said Lollinga.