Vole surprise!!

plantbugSeptember 19, 2013

I just got a rude awakening when I was watering H. Choo Choo Train. I thought the stems were laying down because it needed water. WRONG!!! ALL the roots are gone and you can see where the crown has been chewed on. This is/was in a maybe 25 gal pot, sitting on bricks off the ground.

I had found H. Brother Stefan like this in August and thought because of all the spring/summer rain we had, it had rotted!!!!

So far the count is four down and the pots are all in the same area.

For us 'pot' people, make sure your pot is not too close to the ground!!! What a bummer.

Vole hole in pot (where the stick is):

vole eaten crown:

what is left of H. Choo Choo Train

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bad year for voles here too, badly damaged ones, one is lost, and one may be lost

already knew it last winter , see the link to video I took from my front porch below

Here is a link that might be useful: Mohawk Vole Attack

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:46PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Very good kitty! Great entertaining video, thank you, HH., :-)

So sorry about your ChooChoo hosta and the others...that's quite a bit of damage, I've never such on a hosta! :-(

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 6:10PM
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hh, I hope you treat your kitty to lots of 'atta boys'!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:36PM
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So lacking a cat , what's the best vole control?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:39AM
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Bummer,Plantbug! I just found another dead vole on my driveway this morning. We have kitties who roam our neighborhood,(not my kitties,as they are strictly indoor cats). I think one of the kitties got another one. That makes three this year. Good kitties!! Phil

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:34PM
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That was a fine video, HH. When I had a hunting cat, she would almost become ecstatic and entranced with the joy of the hunt. Just purring away after such a game. That was up in MA, because we do not have voles here. Thank heaven for small favors. Too much of everything else though.

However, I saw a hawk come down in my Back40 hosta garden, and the local population of birds scattered in all directions, and made quite a commotion. Any mice or squirrels back there made a nice lunch for it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 1:52PM
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I have plenty mice and squirrels also. Lost another pot because of squirrels who had dug out the hosta and I didn't find it until too late.

You are fortunate you do not have voles!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 6:39PM
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bernd ny zone5

I visited a little nursery today. The man was planting hostas inside those wire baskets in the ground, he has voles. So I buried 6 inch deep sharp gravel around some hostas which might get visited by voles this winter. I have never seen one yet, though have other mice and shrews. My yard gets patrolled by neighbor's cats. Bernd

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:35PM
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terrene(5b MA)

My cat does most of the vole patrol. But there are a couple gardens up near the sidewalk where I don't like her to go, so she doesn't hunt up there. 2 years ago I was having terrible voles losses in those gardens (including several Hosta 'Halcyon'). They were wreaking carnage!

I learned about a castor oil mixture on this forum, but can't remember exactly which thread. The mix is 1 TBS castor oil and 1 cup of human urine per gallon of water. I agitate well and sprinkled it all over the roots of the perennials. This mixture worked great!! It saved many perennials and the few remaining bulbs from certain demise. And it lasts for several months. I now sprinkle it every fall to prevent vole damage over the winter.

I have also tried circling the roots of some vole favorites (Echinacea, Salvia Black & Blue) in wire cages made of hardware cloth. That works great too, but it makes it harder to transplant the perennials.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 6:17PM
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