KILLINGWORTH, CT (WFSB) -- Owls and other birds of prey are at risk of death after exposure to rodent pesticides, officials said.

Common household pesticides used to kill rodents are inadvertently killing owls and birds of prey which consume rodents.

Channel 3 spoke with co-founder of A Place Called Hope, a wild bird sanctuary and rehabilitative center in Killingworth, Christine Cummings said she and her team responded to several poisoning cases at a golf course in Stratford where several great horned owls were believed to have been poisoned.

Cummings said in cases like these, a male owl returns with the poisoned prey to the nest and feeds its family, the female owl and its owlets.

“A great horned owl sees this easy prey target gets that food, eats it and is now suffering from secondary poisoning,” said Cummings.

Over time, the rodenticide builds in the bird’s system, eventually killing the bird.

“Naturally people want to get rid of them but unfortunately a lot of people don’t think past the rodenticide, the poison that they’re putting out or choosing to use,” said Cummings.

Cummings recommended using other products to rid your home and yard rodent-free.

“Now you do have alternatives to using poisons, you can use traps,” said Cummings.

Cummings said the best approach is to install an owl nesting box near your lawn and let the bird of prey work for its food.

“These guys eat a lot of mice every single night. They’re natural rodent control,” said Cummings.

For more information on A Place Called Hope, visit their website, or Facebook.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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