Among the many challenges facing the contemporary smallholder who keeps livestock and grows his own food, is how to deal with the various pests that are capable of decimating crops, degrading pasture, stealing produce, contaminating animal feed, and killing valuable livestock.
This book provides the smallholder with the knowledge and the information about the skills to meet this challenge in an effective and humane way. It considers all the major pests faced by smallholders including rats, house and field mice, grey squirrels, moles, rabbits, deer, foxes, mink, wood pigeons, crows, and rooks.
It discusses each pest in detail, arguing that it is essential for the smallholder to understand their characteristics and behavior in order to control them successfully; and it emphasizes that “prevention is better than cure,” identifying a variety of measures designed to thwart, rather than kill pests. Both traditional and modern pest control methods are covered here, including traps, poisons, air rifles, dogs, ferrets, electric fencing, bird scarers, wildlife deterrents and repellents, automatic bird feeders, and polytunnels and cloches. The book stresses that smallholders need to adopt a comprehensive pest control program that complies with current legislation and balances conservation with control.