This winter

bagsmom(7)October 21, 2013

It's time for my annual question for the group! What are your thoughts/guesses about what this winter will be like? There's no science to it -- just for fun! I know so many of you longtime gardeners are very in-tune with Mother Nature.... It's fun to hear what everyone thinks! We had a discussion over pancakes the other day -- making guesses about the winter... My husband played along politely and said it's been quite a long time since we had ice. That's his guess. The uncooperative teenager is guessing that we have a Sharknado in February. (Teenagers!) Anyway -- throwing this question out there, just for fun!

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rosiew

Looking forward to the responses, bagsmom. No prognostications from me. I will store a stash of Fritos and chocolate and dog and cat food, just in case.

Rosie

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:19PM
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bagsmom(7)

rosie -- oh come on! Play along! :)

You sound like the lady I ran into at Kroger one year. I didn't even know they were forecasting snow. I was new here -- from up north -- so I had no idea of the frenzy that goes with snow! Everyone around me was buying up bread and milk. The woman in line behind me had several bottles of wine, chocolate, and salty snacks. She said, "forget bread and milk. If I'm stuck in the house, I'm going to eat and drink the fun stuff!" :)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:14AM
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rosiew

Ha! Well, I'm in a quandry about a lot of things in the garden, cuz I have been attacked by stinking voles. The question is whether to mulch well to protect plants or not protect so I can see new incursions of voles and treat them.

Have mentally added to my cold weather emergency stores list: box of wine, boxes of Cheezits, packages of Cheetos , maybe some beer in case a frozen friend battles his/her way to my door.

I'm praying we don't have a crippling snow storm for my own selfish reasons and because of all the problems/dangers that poses.

Saw two Gwinnett County DOT trucks yesterday, with snow plows! Do they know something we don't?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 10:50AM
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bagsmom(7)

I'd rather have moles in the garden than mice in the attic! That's what we have! YUCK!

I don't want any crazy weather either, but one snow day off school would be a lot of fun! Seems like we either get nothing -- or we get walloped!

Wow -- snow plows? Crazy!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 1:23PM
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rosiew

You aren't a real gardener if you'd choose voles. Those suckers eat/destroy plant roots.

Sorry about the mice. What can you do to get rid of them? I had a roof rat IN THE KITCHEN for two+ weeks. Guess my cat finally caught him outside of the cabinets, brought to just outside my bedroom during the night. Four steps from the bed I stepped, barefooted on the (thankfully) dead rat.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 2:34PM
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bagsmom(7)

There's just something so gross about knowing there's a rodent in your home. And I think there's more than one. We had two indoor kitties that lived to be 19. After they died, I started noticing a few little poo sprinkles in the attic. It's been about a year, and it's more than just a little. I suspect we have a family living in the attic!
A rat in the kitchen! HORRORS! Thank goodness for your cat! Rats are very smart, too. Hard to catch. My Dad had one in his workplace years ago -- an old building in an old part of town.... That rat was super-intelligent! They finally got it after a year of trying.
We are trying to use humane methods to get the mice, but they aren't cooperating. I can't bear the thought of those sticky strips. It's just cruel.... although I hear they work. We are trying communal live traps. Nobody seems to want to go in there and have a peanut butter graham cracker. They managed to lick the regular mousetraps clean without tripping them! I wish we had our cats back, but my husband and son lived with allergies for many years... so no more kitties... :(

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 6:04AM
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rosiew

Gal, think it would be more realistic to kill them with snap traps - and agree, no sticky traps. Don't think they'd survive when relocated and no way to know if you've got them all.

Still quivery when I go to the kitchen in the morning since I don't know if I only had one. Was totally disgusted last evening when I reached for the butter dish, which I leave on the counter and discovered one side rat gnawed. Seldom use the butter, so hoping it had been eaten several days ago.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 7:16AM
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bagsmom(7)

I'll bet it was done before your cat got the culprit! Do you live in an older neighborhood? I do, and I know many people who have had rats. Do you remember the story Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM? Great kids' book! Smart rats!

We tried the snap traps first, and they somehow licked every bit of peanut butter out without tripping them. Smart mice! Husband says we need to try something like cheese or bacon and tie or sew it to the trigger. Won't that be tedious! But maybe it will prevent them from teleporting away, or whatever they do!

:)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:10AM
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rosiew

Did some reading. It's suggested you leave the traps unset for awhile. Then bait and use dental floss or thread or wire to secure the bait. I'm going to add cat food to the peanut butter. Or maybe butter - know now that rats like that. Bits of apple or other fruit of that type recommended (university studies).

Just came home with two rat traps. Found more evidence in my oven. Yuck and ugh and more,

Rosie

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 1:57PM
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bagsmom(7)

I'd use it as an excuse to eat out!!!! :) But I know how you feel. It's just so disgusting!

Thanks for the tips! We will try them!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 2:05PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

My guess is that we will get some snow/ice at least once this winter. It's NOT an educated guess though! Here's my preference about frozen precip: I'd love to have a few light snows, but not so much the power goes out, it freezes on the roads and I'm stuck at home. I would not be happy "up north" where it stays around for weeks. Ugh

This post was edited by vicki7 on Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 19:53

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 7:52PM
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missyga64(8 (central GA))

Hello Everyone-

Weather guess - cold and very wet and probably lots of ice in february (these are my hubbys guesses as I really never paid attention to the weather until this year when I started gardening)

We had Rats and squirrels in our attic and basement last year. I went to Home depot/Lowe's and purchased the sonic/sound emitting devices for pests. Worked like a charm and the critters were gone in less than a week and have not returned. I have one device in the attic and one in the basement. . . bonus- we never see spiders, ants or roaches either.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:46AM
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rosiew

Missy, glad for you that you were able to run them out. I borrowed one of these from a friend and the stinking squirrels ATE the wiring! Could have caused a fire.

I discovered I still have rat (s?). Baited a rat trap last night, didn't set it - just put on the bait - and it was licked clean this morning. Ugh! Still fighting the fight. Rosie

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 12:45PM
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bagsmom(7)

That darn rat!

Missy - thanks for the tip! We will try the sonic thingie! (My husband has the same guess as yours.)

Rosie -- remember me mentioning the rat at my Dad's old work place? He worked at a bicycle shop in an old brick building -- probably from the late 1800s. At the bike shop, they sold Power Bars and got them by the case. The rat was stealing and hoarding HUGE quantities of Power Bars. The guys were all totally freaked when they found a very big carton of them drug a good distance across the floor. It had to be a big one! At a certain point, the rat took the bars individually to his hoard. They tried for over a year to catch him. I think they finally resorted to poison and just had to deal with a mysterious stink for a while. But later, they found tons of power bars stashed all over the place!

They are very smart and very sneaky!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:34PM
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rosiew

Well, so am I!! Sorta. Now can't find MY candy stash, really. Hope it's in the pantry. That rat at your Dad's shop was just too stinkin' greedy.

Two rat traps set for tonight. I had a very hard time setting them. The springs are really tight. Will report if I had any success.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:50PM
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rosiew

Update time. Bagsmom, you are so right. They are very sneaky. Caught my second one Friday night. Reset traps last night which they licked clean. Changing the bait to something they'll have to gnaw at to eat. Hating feel spooked in my own kitchen. Two down though.

Rosie

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:01AM
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bagsmom(7)

Two down! Yay!
My husband went out today to buy the sonic things for AFTER we get the mice gone. He was up in the attic, pulling up floor boards and looking in the insulation for a little mouse house. He didn't find anything under the floor, which is good. But our attic is big and he hasn't looked everywhere yet.
We are going to try the paper towel tube and bucket method, in addition to tying the bait onto the traps. If that stuff doesn't work, I am very sad to say that we might have to use the sticky paper stuff. It makes me sad!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:38PM
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rosiew

Well, don't tie the bait on like I did. Used dental floss and it somehow got wrapped around the long piece that is used to set the trap. The dern trap released but was stopped from closing by the floss. That floss is a lot stronger than I realized!! I'm going to use a strand of embroidery floss tonight.

I read somewhere to tack the sticky traps down - little brads or staples. Report back, hopefully report success!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:36PM
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lindagail41(zone 7 GA)

Bagsmom,
what is the paper towel tube and bucket method? I thought I had tried everything. Has anyone tried crumbled bits of Exlax? Supposedly they don't die in your house--they run away.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:11AM
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rosiew

I want to know too.

Update: I have had no activity for 4 days. Have buried FOUR rats!!

Another thing not to do is adding a tiny piece of tortilla to a set trap. I set off the trap and came within a cm. of being caught myself. OMG, it hurt so bad, cold water then ice pack immediately. Took just a tiny chunk of skin off a knuckle. Rat traps are unbelievably strong. Be careful, anyone who has to do this.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:04AM
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gmom74

I saw on tv that people say the wooly worms are black this year, denoting a bad winter. I can't confirm that- haven't seen a wooly worm in a couple of years.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:58PM
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rosiew

I've been seeing plenty of them, but wasn't thinking about how much of the brown banding there was. Attaching a link to an interesting article about the woolies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wooly worms and winter

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 4:55PM
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bagsmom(7)

Paper towel tube and bucket method -- you take a big tall bucket and put it under the end of a counter or something. Bucket has to be tall enough that the mouse can't jump out and slick enough that it can't climb out. Next, you put a paper towel tube on the counter or shelf that is by the bucket. Put a glob of peanut butter at the end of the tube that overhangs the bucket. Supposedly, the mouse will go into the tube and then fall into the bucket. It hasn't worked for us! So don't put in the effort! We still have only caught the one tiny little deer mouse. No other traps. No sign of mouse activity. We're starting to wonder if the one little mouse was just running around up there and pooping for a whole year. LOL!
As far as winter goes, I sure hope we get a little something that makes it feel like winter. I love the excitement that comes with the possibility of an impending snow. Down here in the south, it's a big deal!
I don't want anything dangerous -- just enough to get a day off school!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 4:30PM
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frankielynnsie(7B)

Someone suggested sticking 1/2 of a jelly bean, cut side mashed onto the trap because it hardens and has to be gnawed off. I have tried it 1 time and it caught the mouse.
As for winter weather-our local old timer said it was going to be cold and wet. The persimmons have a knife in their pits.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:11PM
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bagsmom(7)

frankielynn -- didn't UGA or some other university do a study about the persimmon as a weather indicator? I seem to recall something like that -- and that it was sort of accurate! Something about enzymes or something else that causes the pits to develop in a certain way. (Or maybe I dreamt that.)
Thanks for the jelly bean tip! Good idea!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 5:16AM
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rosiew

Praying this won't happen here!! My old lady bones are too fragile.

Here is a link that might be useful: People vs. Winter

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 6:56AM
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gmom74

I wonder if the sonic device would work running chipmunks away....

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:25AM
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rosiew

bagsmom, see that you don't have a 'mail me' option. I do, so let me know if you'd like to have a 'rat update'. No one else seems sufficiently horrified to share with.

Rosie

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 6:43AM
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bagsmom(7)

Oh put the rat update on here please!!!!!!! I am horrified enough for several folks! :)
I haven't been on here much -- very busy with school stuff these last few weeks. We haven't seen any more mice or mouse evidence. Did I mention on here already that my friend's neighbor had rats. The exterminator told them that for some reason, this year has had an explosion of rodents!!!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:55PM
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bagsmom(7)

Happy New Year! Here we are in 2014! Lots of moisture in our southern atmosphere -- has anyone heard anything about our chances of snow, etc.? It doesn't seem like we are going to have an unusually warm winter. We've sure got the water in the area. I wonder what it will mean in terms of winter weather chancesâ¦.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 7:55AM
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