Earlier this year, we embarked on the annual rook cull at several estates around Berkshire and Hampshire. These estates have had rookeries in them for many years and rooks always return to the rookery to breed, so the problem gets worse unless numbers are controlled. We do not want to decimate the whole rookery, however when they get too big, there are quite a few health and noise problems that need to be resolved.

Ladder Trap for rook control

Ladder Trap used for rook control

The process is relatively simple, at a certain time each year, the young rooks come off the nest and perch on the tree branches, ready to fly off – this is when we shoot them and some adults too. This window of opportunity is only a few days, so you have to get in, do the job and get out. It is highly effective and reduces the numbers to a more manageable levels, bringing balance back for man and bird.

During the rest of the year, rooks can be culled via decoying or flight line shooting, but this will depend on food and activity.

Another way to control them is to catch them and humanely dispatch them. This method used to be used a lot in the past, however it is a dying skill in both building traps and catching the rooks in them. Luckily, Rapid Pest Control use traditional methods of control and are skilled in the “old ways” as well as new methods.

One client had a massive problem with rooks. Despite a large successful cull on 2 rookeries in their grounds, the Rook problem was just out of control, so they called on Rapid PEst Control to provide an answer. Our solution was to build and install 2 “ladder traps” in prime locations. Not many people know what a ladder trap is or how it works, but the client heard our solution and was desperate to get this sorted, so issued us the instruction to continue.

The traps are very large and must be built very strong to survive long service, so we set to work making them. Once completed, they had to be erected and baited on site to await the first catch. As will all live traps, they must be regularly checked and can be labor intensive, but after the first day, the client was totally happy to keep paying – our first catch was 58 rooks, 4 jackdaws and 3 crows!

First Days catch in a Ladder Trap designed for rook control

We have now been working the ladder traps for 3 weeks and have decided to stop as they have been very effective and enough have been culled this season. They have now been opened so the rooks can still use them, but can escape – until we decide to set them again.

So if you have a rook problem and want to know how Rapid Pest Control can help you, contact us now for a quote for your Rook Control throughout the year.