Amazon rents out goats to help with lawn care

Too lazy to mow your own lawn or do your own weeding? Need to scare some mice out of your apartment? New online home services from companies like Amazon have popped up offering goats and cats that can help.

Handy app loans out rescue cats for mouse control

A goat picks away at a Christmas tree at the Constance Creek Wildlife Refuge in Dunrobin, Ont. in January. Goats can get rid of many kinds of unwanted vegetation, including poison ivy and thistle. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

Too lazy to mow your own lawn or do your own weeding? Need to scare some mice out of your apartment? New online home services have popped up offering goats and cats that can help.

Amazon's "Hire a Goat Grazer" is currently in beta testing as part of the company's home services, launched in the U.S. in March. Other services available include car battery installation and TV wall mounting.

Customers who want to try the service out fill out an online form about the vegetation they want the goat to work on. The plants that goats can tackle even include poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak and thistle, Amazon says.

The company will decide whether goat grazing is the right solution. If it is, you'll get a recommendation for how many goats will be loaned to you for how long.

As a bonus, the goats will "likely leave behind some droppings… and you'll get to keep this fertilizer as a friendly parting gift!" Amazon says.

Mousers on-demand

Meanwhile, if the kind of help around the house you need is indoors – specifically getting rid of mice – you may also be able to hire four-legged help.

Handy, an app that connects people with household services such as cleaning in major cities around the world, including Toronto and Vancouver, now offers a special service in London, England – "Mousers on-demand."

The company has partnered with the animal charity Wood Green to offer loaner cats "to rid your home of pesky pests," it announced on its blog this week.

The "mouse repellent executives" on offer are all rescue cats in need of foster homes, and are also available for adoption.

Pete Dowds, the company's UK manager, told The Guardian news outlet that it had received an increasing number of requests for cleaners to bring in cats to help scare away mice.

Amazon previously tested goats for trimming the grass outside its Japanese office. Google has also hired lawn care goats for its California headquarters.

In Canada, B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation used goats to remove invasive species from two gravel pits in the B.C. Interior and Grande Prairie, Alta., used them to control noxious weeds. Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., has used sheep to maintain the grass at its parks and historic sites

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.