Rodent damage!!

tony_c_m(5b/6a)February 1, 2012

If anyone wants to see a grown man cry then come to my house. It's been 2 weeks since I last checked on my trees in an unattached garage and when I looked in I wanted to cry. All but 1 of my trees were chewed severely. The mice must of had a feast. I had two new additions this fall from Joe Morle, Paradiso and a Black Triana. The Paradiso tree was gone completely roots and all, and all the others were either chewed to soil level or half of the limbs were gone and the trunks chewed. Some are being held on by a sliver of bark. Now I have to start almost from scratch! I had mouse traps and d-con set all around them but they never touched it. I guess fig trees taste better than peanut butter and poison. I didn't have any trouble last year but this year a whole family must of moved in. And to top it off when I discovered it there was a mouse sitting in one of the pots eating and he got away. I brought a couple trees in the house to see if I can salvage them but it doesn't look good. Does anyone have any advice of how to murder the little b**@^rds? I'm almost ready to give up.

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Rob23b(7a)

Sorry to hear about your trees. Hopefully the ones with roots will grow back so it won't be a total loss.

This won't help you this year, but perhaps next winter you could cover them with something that would prevent the mice getting in. You could try cardboard boxes, but they might chew through that. You could use plastic barrels, or tarps, or something like that. Doubt they could get through that

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:45AM
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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

If there is at least 1 (dormant) node/bud (maybe even below the soil),
your figs will definetly come back to life next spring
(assuming good roots).
Just (somehow) make sure that your mice (or other critters)
do not do any more further damage...

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:56PM
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malusmaven

Moth balls have been suggested by some to repel rodents

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 7:16PM
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tony_c_m(5b/6a)

Thanks everyone. I was just mad to see what those critters did. I took care all summer and babied them making sure they didn't get too dry and moved them when a storm was coming. And hoping to taste some of the different figs I got, then to see all the damage. Aaagh! I'm already making plans to make a fig house out of metal with insulation and a heat source to keep them from getting too cold. Winters get below 0 at least a few days here in western PA. Also I'll have to make it so it will come apart for storage in summer. When I do make it I'll take pictures and post it on here. It still makes me sooo mad thinking about it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:53PM
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hoosierbanana

Wrapping trunks with tin foil might help as well.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:02AM
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fredfig(7)

Tony.. A very tough surprise for you. A rabbit griddled one of my trees last winter.
But, when a family of mice move in, you have a big problem. The idea of alum.foil around limbs sounds good, but traps and poison are a more permanent solution.
Just persevere , my friend!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:58AM
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alb419_ny(5)

Youi can paint the first 7 or 8 inches of your fig tree with a white waterbase paint it really works.I lost many fig trees a few years ago,try it is easy and works.Ciao,
Giuseppe

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 12:57PM
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wildforager(5b-WI)

I have friends who swear by this type of mouse trap....

Here is a link that might be useful: Homemade mouse trap video

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:41PM
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tony_c_m(5b/6a)

I think the next winter I'll take everyone's advice and combine it. If I paint the trunk and wrap it in tinfoil and set up enough traps and build a good enclosure then I'll feel that the trees will be safer. You can't be too protective when it comes to Fig trees. I don't think that would be overkill especially when it comes to my trees. I'm sure everyone puts alot of time and energy into taking care of their own trees and wouldn't want to lose them to mice, rabbits or any other animal. Maybe I'm crazy enough about figs to be an offical member of the fignut society.
Hope everyones trees are safe and rodent free the rest of the winter.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:36PM
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quackmaster

I don't have a shed yet so this winter I put about 30 or so young figs on my back step and along the south side of my house, (it doesn't get that cold in south La). I noticed something was digging around in my pots so I set two mouse traps with cheese. The next morning when I checked I was very surprised to find a full grown rat dead in a little mouse trap! I haven't had a problem since. I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 8:56PM
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