darn moles & rabbits

marricgardensMarch 15, 2011

I've been out checking trees and shrubs for damage. Last fall, we didn't get around to caging all the shrubs. I thought the trees were mature enough that they wouldn't really be 'tasty' to these pests. Boy, was I wrong! The rabbits chewed down a Pagoda Dogwood and Red Prince Weigela. But it's the moles that did the real damage. The Dogwood and Weigela will grow back in time but the tree damage done by the moles is permanent. They girdled 2 Pyramidal Junipers, a Blue Carpet Juniper, a Bur Oak and a Katsura. Any one else suffer a lot of damage from these guys? I knew we had moles but I didn't think we had THAT many! Marg

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Holy Cow ! You must be ticked.

I've been seeing little footprints between the snowbanks and asked DH to set some traps, but he hasn't yet =:( I'm afraid of how many small rodents we might catch.

I didn't even know they could do that much damage to the trees you mentioned. Now I'm afraid of what I might see when the snow melts.

Will your trees survive ?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Ticked is putting it mildly. The ones that are girdled will most likely die. The shrubs will come back in time. Last fall I hurt my arm and didn't get the cages up. Guess these guys will go after anything! Hope you fare better than me. Marg

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Marg, really sorry to hear of the frustrating loses those lousy critters have done for you, gggrrrr! Although, I live on an acreage thickly surrounded by trees, I have yet to see a rabbit, thankfully! A few years ago, a pocket gopher had taken up residence and extensively tunnelled through one of the planting beds, I had made his stay in my garden a brief one! A colony had also made home in the berm at the entrance to the driveway, but for some reason they vacated and I hope they won't be coming back!

In late fall, just before the snow flies, I usually set out bait stations under pieces of ply wood and usually restock this at least once during the winter. This winter I had only gotten around to setting a few of those mouse blocks under the deck ... so, I'm kinda nervous for when the snow melts and the possible damage I'll be seeing, especially to the climbing roses I had laid down and simply covered with snow, I can only blame myself if they're all chewed up.

Deer and moose are my worst problem, especially the deer. They'll nibble and chew away throughout the entire winter on anything that's not wrapped up or absolutely unappetizing to eat. Snow has been very deep this winter and several thaws have created a thick icy crust, an ideal deterrent for the deer, as they've mostly been sticking to their main trails.

Oh, I want a Katsura ... I had seen one in Edmonton, such a great specimen, love the foliage! ... though, not a tree I've ever seen at local nurseries :(


    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:16PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes, Voles are the culprit under the snow, it remains to be seen what damage I have, still allot of snow, haven't put bait station in this winter, deer are suffering and chewing down allot!. Several pine trees stripped bare as far as they can reach.

Here, white tailed deer are coming from the apple orchard into the little forest,... all grown from seeds.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 12:01AM
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What are mouse blocks? If I can find them here I'll have to put some out in the fall. We have 2 dogs so I'll have to be careful. Riley has taken care of some of the rabbits and he hunts the moles but even he can't get them all. Besides, he's getting old now. Thanks for the tip.
Terrance: You're right, the Katasura is a great tree. We used to have 2 but we get bad winds here in the winter (we're in the country). I think that's what killed the one tree. Since we just built the house 4 years ago there was nothing to cut the winds. Now maybe I'll get another one. I like the pink flowers in spring along with the wine red bark, the glaucous foliage in summer and awesome fall colour. I used to think of it as my three season tree. The other one also suffered some wind damage but it's coming back nicely.

Konrad: Nice picture! We used to have deer but I think the hunter's scared them off.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thanks Marric,
I usually get the rat & mice poison, [from Canadian Tire] small pellets in little bags, place a bag or two, [do not open] in the bottom of a plastic plant pot, about a half gallon pot, then put another one inside, this way only the voles can get into by the drain holes, put them where you can find them, I usually put them under tight places like spruce trees. This I do in winter only. It helps allot to keep population down.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 7:31PM
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Great photo Konrad ... I feel as if I can almost touch those deer, lol. I think deer are suffering badly again this winter. About five or six years ago, there had been a similar winter with deep snow and an icy crust. Often I would see blood in the snow due to the deer being cut by this crust. That season the deer numbers had been vast and they'd gather in very large numbers along my gravel road. At one time, I had counted approximately 100 deer in a two mile stretch of road! BUT, come spring, no matter where I had looked, there was hardly one to be seen ... likely victims of the severe conditions they were forced to endure ... Mother Nature had gotten their numbers back in check.

Marg, mouse blocks are moisture resistant almost wax like rectangular bait blocks that are great to tuck into tight places where mice can get to them, though dogs and cats can't ... but, yes, dogs will eat them, so keep them safely away!

So much snow here that it's gonna be a good while before l know of what mouse damage exists waiting to be seen.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:29PM
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