Making NZ pest free is a country-wide goal by 2050. Initiated by the New Zealand Government, it's a massive task that can only be achieved through the support of all Kiwis. As part of our conservation programme, we like to look a little further than our forest and explore how everyone can help contribute to 'Pest Free 2050'.
Check below for tips on starting your own pest free area, whether it be in your backyard, workplace or school.
Making NZ pest free - Starting in your backyard:
One of the biggest problems that many New Zealand homes face is the invasion of rats and mice. They are tiny but they still cause a lot of damage and many problems for native birds and lizards. There are a few different ways to tackle this problem and take a step in becoming pest free.
Starting with the basics to become pest free:
Rats and mice love food, they compete with native animals for food and rats will often eat our native birds as another food source. Having waste and recycling bins around your house that overflow can attract vermin into your household area. The easiest way to keep them away is to make sure the bins are clean. Sorting rubbish, containing it and disposing of it when necessary will keep your area clean and tidy. This simple solution will stop rats and mice from invading both the property and the homes of naive birds and lizards. With this minor change, you'll be on your way to making your home pest free.
A slight more advanced pest free method:
If you're after something a little more serious to become pest free, you can try traps. These come in many different shapes and sizes, but we've picked our two favourite methods.
For something that will get the kids involved in making NZ pest free, check out this awesome video on how to make your own tracking tunnel. This is perfect for your backyard and will teach the kids something different, while making a difference in becoming pest free. Tracking tunnels are designed to determine which type of pest is around the area. By using sticky ink and card to show footprints, you can track volume and type while teaching kids about pests. Traps can then be bought accordingly, such as the Goodnature, DOC traps or any other type listed on the Predator Free NZ website. It's the first serious step in making your home pest free!
Our top pest free method:
Goodnature NZ is our trap supplier for the forest. We have been working with them since 2015 to help bring our pest numbers below 5% in our forest, in an aim to be pest free ourselves. Their trap range includes rat and mice, as well as possum. Each trap is specifically designed to target a pest type using specially formulated baits, meaning no household pets or native animals are affected. Instant kill means that they are incredibly humane and the trap itself automatically resets after each kill. All of these traps can be purchased online and delivered straight to you or in-store at retailers such as PGG Wrightson.
Once you're satisfied, you can look at creating homes for the animals that you've done your part in protecting. Our best advice is to plant trees and shrubs that are ecosourced and therefore are native to the area. This includes kowhai or flax for nectar birds such as the tui and karamu or wineberry for fruit birds such as Kereru (wood pigeon). You can celebrate your steps in becoming pest free and create a vibrant environment for other animals to flourish!