Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owl- omen or nature's pest control

Supposed home of the owls
When we purchased our home in Mérida, it came with a name - Casa de Las Lechuzas (Home of the Owls). We were told by the previous owners that a family of owls had found a home at the top of an old water tower at the rear of the property and we have, indeed, spotted them each time we have been in Mérida. When we first saw the word lechuzas, we did not know the meaning, so a Google search led us to discover that in certain Latin American  cultures the owl has a sinister side - something about witches turning into lechuzas and people dying. We are not solidly on the superstitious side, as others might be, so just in case, we will not be placing a sign on the facade of our house proclaiming its name. Don't want to scare any one away.

We have, however, decided that having owls around offers some welcome benefits. For one thing, owls are carnivorous scavengers, preying on insects and small animals such as mice, rats and rabbits.(Reminder:  keep small cat inside at night - dogs ok, too large to fall prey - do not adopt a mini-anything). This is a good thing because we have no neighbors on either side and I can only imagine how the back yards are overgrown with weeds and littered with crumbling plaster.  Now that I think about it, we have seen no mice, rats, or hares, and about the only insects around are those tiny mosquitoes that seem to be everywhere. I've read other blogs complaining of the voluminous ant infestations, but we have seen only a few ants here and there. Not sure why that is, but I doubt that ants are on the owl's menu. It would be nice to have an iguana or two, but are they not tasty to owls (I've read that certain albañiles have been known to capture one while working on an expat's house)?

all images Hassle-Free ClipArt


  1. In our norte home, we have owls, hawks, etc., as well as the occasional coyote and fox, and they do their job well. Sometimes at night I hear a blood-curdling screech out back, and I silently thank my legion of hitmen who work only for food.

  2. I like that! "legion of hit men."

  3. Yeah, I difinitely agree with you.This is 100% safe to our health.

  4. Absolutely, and the cost is nothing, although I think a pest control company would not want to hear that.