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vole defense?

Discussion in 'Diseases & Pests' started by mitch landen, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Apr 14, 2018
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    You can contact a few pest removal companies and let them know any nonvenomous snakes there called for can be relocated to your yard.
     
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  2. Apr 14, 2018
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    :thumbsup That's the kind of attitude I like.
     
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  3. Apr 14, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    similar to our experience here too, we are an oasis for many creatures. i do not mind sharing the space with them as long as they aren't too greedy, i even plant things for them that i don't ever plan on eating. usually i can scoot most of the rabbits and others along to other places to forage and that is the end of it and i don't have to resort to meaner measures. if i do i make it as quick and painless as possible.

    poisons go against too many things for me and like you say in the other post, sometimes they have collateral damage.
     
  4. Apr 14, 2018
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    we'd gladly take snakes here too, we already have a lot of them. :)
     
  5. Apr 15, 2018
    Zeedman

    Zeedman Deeply Rooted

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    Reading through this thread, it seems that there might be some confusion regarding moles, voles, gophers - and possibly even ground squirrels.

    Voles dig holes in the garden to feed on plants & plant roots, but those holes are shallow, and usually just below the surface. They prefer to nest in sheltered areas (such as nearby landscaping or debris, heavy mulch, and thick vegetation) and come out from those sheltered areas at night to feed. I tend to have trouble with voles late in the season, when plants have formed a dense canopy. Placing snap traps in their runs has been very effective in keeping their population manageable; I use traps with a bait cup, and jam pieces of dried apricot tightly into the cup. The scent of the apricot makes it very effective as bait. Since vole runs tend to be under the thickest foliage, I use survey flags to mark the trap locations.

    Gophers tunnel several inches below the surface & their tunnel systems can be extensive, often leaving fan-shaped dirt piles at the entrance to some of their burrows. If you have plants disappearing or being eaten, and need to use a lot of water to flood a burrow, chances are the culprit is a gopher. You can flood them out (I've done so), provided you are waiting with a shovel or dog to catch them when they emerge... they don't move very quickly on the surface. There are also tunnel traps, but I personally had poor success with them. Placing poison in their burrow was pretty effective; I dug open a portion of the main run, laid the poison, then covered the hole with plywood to block light & air. This made it easy to check if the tunnel was being used - in which case either the bait would be gone, or the gopher would have closed off the tunnel. If no activity, chances are the burrow is an old one & unoccupied.

    Moles also tunnel extensively, with burrows just below the surface; but do so in search of prey (worms & insects), and do not eat plants. They will not leave the fan-shaped dirt piles left by gophers. Their predation of underground grubs & cutworms makes them beneficial, so unless they are digging up plants or damaging roots (or ruining a lawn) they should be tolerated. And re: "ruining a lawn", just an FYI... if you have Japanese beetles, chances are the moles are searching your lawn for their grubs.

    Ground squirrels generally will not nest in the garden... but when they do, their tunnels will be very deep. If you choose to flood one of those burrows, it is best to place hardware cloth over the opening, since they will dash out very quickly. Most often, ground squirrels will have a permanent colony in an undisturbed location nearby, from which they will run into nearby areas to feed - usually during the day. They will dig small (but deep) bolt holes in their feeding areas, which they run to if threatened. You can pick off ground squirrels with an air rifle, but the best solution is to poison the main nest.

    For all rodents, one of the best preventative measures is to reduce hiding places nearby - such as piles of rock, wood, or debris; compost heaps; and heavy shrubbery or landscaping. For surface traps, try to use them proactively - before damage becomes noticeable. Unfortunately, if you have neighbors which allow rodent populations to flourish on their property, pest management will be a greater challenge (especially with gophers). Been there, done that, it was an unending battle.
     
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  6. Apr 15, 2018
    majorcatfish

    majorcatfish Garden Master

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    my clan has nothing to do with your problem... you are on the chocolate substitute by-product next year...
    IMG_1468[1].JPG
     
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  7. Apr 15, 2018
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    A couple years ago my DH got so fed up with the mole infestation we had, that he called "The Mole Man" which is an extermination service. The guy put down traps at fresh areas and covered the trap with an inverted bucket, telling us to leave the buckets in place. He would come back a few days later and check the traps. The buckets were to shade the trap, so the mole wouldn't realize their run had been disturbed.
    The process was effective, and he managed to eradicate moles from our lawn. The only complaint I had was that it took him a few days to come after he was called to attend to fresh runs. Of course, with fields on two sides of us, the moles didn't stay away permanently.
     
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  8. Apr 15, 2018
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    I have only ever trapped gophers. We have voles and shrews and moles too I'm sure, but they haven't drawn my attention like a gopher does.

    There are lots of gopher traps out there, but my favorite is still the simple Macabee. I've had lots of success with it and what I especially like is the confirmation of my success. Nothing beats physical evidence (and I also note gender for my gopher demographic study :p)
     

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