Little Help With My Critter Woes?

digitS'

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I have seen marmots on the top of buildings. Groundhogs are Marmota genus. The marmots are high elevation species, 6,500 feet in Colorado but down to sea level in Alaska. They are at 2,000 feet here.

I think that they are opportunistic climbers, mostly just climbing on rocks but they will climb fence posts. I was told to put the wire fencing into the ground and leave the top loose, unattached to the top of the fence posts. Tight, they could climb; loose, they couldn't get over it ... for awhile.

I'd usually have time for the crop to make a good start before the new season's marmots would show up. They always found a way in before the end of summer.

Birds: You have little girls, Ben. Search their toy box for dogs and cats. I used DD's cat. If you can move it once or twice a day, the birds find the toy disconcerting. Keep it partially hidden but close to where the birds are likely to show up. Always moving, always mostly hidden. My problem was English sparrows in the neighborhood bushes and moving in on vegetable crops.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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I swear by my husband "marking his territory" for deer. I just found out that for groundhogs, we call them woodchucks, they cannot digest chewing gum.You just leave it near they burroughs or in it and it takes care of them. A fellow local gardener used it and did not see a woodchuck last year.No other animals are affected. I used a lot of the poison 2 years ago, down into their hole. That definitely worked. If you cannot stomach killing them then you are stuck. A tall strong fence is a must. Our is burried about 18 inches deep. That is a mere deterrent for the woodchucks.There are lots of very inexpensive nettings that you can use. But a dog and cat's presence goes a long way.

My groundhogs DO NO CLIMB! But they can dig under my fence which is 18" buried. But the fence is a great deterrent.

your groundhogs may not, but ours surely do as i've sat here and watched them do it.

i have marked my territory here in many ways using many types of urine including my own fresh in the morning after eating a lot of venison - you'd think they'd really get the hint from that? no...

i've sprayed fresh urine combined with cayenne pepper juice and habinero juice, human hair, soaps, etc. on the cedar trees to protect them. i've had the trees eaten back within 1hr of application. when deer are hungry they will eat.

the fence should be not only buried down but angled backwards out into the area so that rabbits and groundhogs will not have such an easy attempt. that seems to work the best for that aspect.

we've not had groundhogs burrow under the fences as of yet nor the rabbits because we have gravel and rocks around the bottom and they don't seem to like to dig through the crushed limestone gravel - under the gravel is a few layers of black plastic or landscape fabric to keep weeds down. at least that part seems to work right. :) it was just the poor part of fence selection that made it possible for the rabbits and groundhogs to climb through. you want at least a 2inchx6inch mesh to keep the adults out. youngsters can squeeze through. :(

i have shot groundhogs with the air rifle. i hate doing it, but they have dug a burrow in the large drainage ditch edge that is a real mess. last year i think i finally killed all of that family off, but i'm sure others will come along eventually.

to secure that area against further digging i ended up pounding a lot of metal stakes in there and then putting down thorn bush branches and then rocks. they tried several times after that to reopen the den, but i kept after burying it back up and also shooting any that came into the yard. they are by far the most voracious of the small animals when it comes down to eating greens. they really can mow a garden down. the only trait about them that i like is that they don't eat the entire plant down to the ground like rabbits can do so you might get regrowth from nibbled on beans.

at the moment we have a lot of rabbit tracks in the snow so i'm sure i'll be discouraging some of them this coming spring. :(
 

flowerbug

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Have a heart traps work well, baited for the preferences of the individual animal. But as state youu have to kill the animal. Illegal to relocate...and no one wants your woodchucks.

the black oil sunflower seeds are attractive to groundhogs and raccoons. peanut butter is attractive to a lot of the smaller animals. dried apricots are vole baits. hard rocks painted strawberry red can decoy and discourage birds, but we've not gone that far yet because i don't mind sharing some of the fruits of the earth. as long as i get enough i'm ok...
 

catjac1975

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the black oil sunflower seeds are attractive to groundhogs and raccoons. peanut butter is attractive to a lot of the smaller animals. dried apricots are vole baits. hard rocks painted strawberry red can decoy and discourage birds, but we've not gone that far yet because i don't mind sharing some of the fruits of the earth. as long as i get enough i'm ok...
You don't mind sharing? My experience with birds and berries is they like to take a little bite out of each one-preferably the biggest and juiciest.
 

flowerbug

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You don't mind sharing? My experience with birds and berries is they like to take a little bite out of each one-preferably the biggest and juiciest.

i try to grow enough. some years i have had four large patches of several thousand plants each. the recent years it has been more of a struggle because we covered one large patch and so i lost that production and two others were discovered by the deer and i've not had decent production from them since.

the only one i can rely upon for the coming season is one inside the fences that i expanded and replanted the past few years and it was replanted last summer to get it going again. i'm not sure how well it will do with all this severe cold but i think it will be ok.

i'm fencing an area off this summer to expand my production again this year, but it will be a few years to get it going again.

i used to be able to invite people over to pick what was extra after i was done putting up jam and normally i could do 30-50 pints for myself to use and give away. the past few years i've been lucky to get 10-15 pints just for myself from the one patch. still i don't mind sharing some as it's pretty much impossible for me to keep all the chipmunks from eating some of them and the birds too.

with any large berries that are damaged i'm ok with cutting around the damage and eating the rest. any trimmings along with the tops get fed to the worms. chipmunks do a lot more eating than birds. sometimes i find cached piles of them around and get them back. :) if i feel like i'm giving too many berries away i'll get out the airgun, buckets for peanut butter spinners and rat traps, but if i can avoid that i will. i would rather not kill any creature if i can help it. Mom is like "Kill Them All Those Little SOBs!" and "Raze Everything Back To Bare Dirt!" i think i'm going to have to do some rabbit hunting this spring.

when i get back to full production again in the north garden we'll see what happens but before i could let the raccoons and groundhogs go through it and still have enough.

sorry for the rambles... i can type quick... :)
 

flowerbug

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Same with the groundhogs. :(

i won't get the airgun out for any birds other than the grackles.

groundhogs i will get it out as soon as i see them in the yard and also i go check the banks of the ditch to see if they are trying to dig any more burrows. i've learned that lesson... i would love to put down a layer of fence along the surface of the ditch just to keep them from being able to dig in there, but it's just too hard for me now to do that. i'm already worried that with my leg being just healing up that i won't be able to do much on that slope this coming spring if i have to... :(
 
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