Vermin ID help please

Azura(z5 CO)June 30, 2008

So I got rid of the pocket gopher and now Ive got something new or at least something with a few new tricks up its furry paws.

I've seen a flash of it 3 times now, it is small, possibly larger than a vole and traveling above ground. It is gray or brown in color. It is not a rabbit, it moves much too fast.

It is making paths that are up to 3 inches deep in my gardens. They are dug a little into the ground but not tunneled underground, if that makes sense. It is cutting some plants down at the ground level but not eating them. It has cut down the very middle of my lamb's ear and yarrow and other large mounds of plants, almost like it likes to hide or nest there.

I know its not a pocket gopher or a rabbit and it seems to have different habits than a vole but I cant seem to get a good look at it.

I got a male kitten this week. I'm really hoping he is a hunter. Right now he is so small I think a vole could eat him.

Anyone have any ideas what my latest infestation could be?

Its always something... *sigh* *grumble* *curse*

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mary_id(Z 5-6 ID)

Azura, are you seeing signs of burrows associated with this critter? One year I had plants eaten off at the ground and sometimes I could see that the critter had tried to pull them into a hole. I trapped some gophers that year underground and some above ground voles? and maybe even some field mice or something. It was a horrid year. Every night I would get some critter in a large rat sized trap. My garden did survive, but not in its original form. I now have hardware cloth under a raised bed in that spot, but have to admit that there haven't been that many rodents around since. I got two old one wasn't too interested anymore. They do a good job!

Good luck with your battle,


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:19PM
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My first thought was that it is a bandersnatch, Azura. That is a Frumious bandersnatchus.

I gave it a little more thought.

The last rodent that terrified me while in the garden was a very small bunny . . . . When very young, bunnies don't seem to bound away but rather run - something like a furry brown tennis ball. They are demonically swift and would probably go right UP a pants leg if given half a chance . . . !

There are voles and then there are voles (and then there are mice). I don't know much about these creatures, given my well-founded aversion.

We are condemned to share the ranges of both the sagebrush and meadow voles. Sagebrush voles weigh in right around 1 ounce. Meadow voles are much, much larger - twice the size!

Deer Mice: I'm not too sure about the size of deer mice but white tail deer weigh up to 250 pounds! Linked below is the "song of the deer mouse" which should help some people with a positive identification.

Steve's digitS'

Here is a link that might be useful: Song of the Deer Mouse

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Now I'm worried that I may have seemed to be making fun when I thought I was just having fun.

I'm okay here aren't I, Azura?


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:38PM
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    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:54PM
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david52 Zone 6

My immediate thought was chipmunks. But then, I figured azura would recognize a chipmunk if she saw one. But just now, I saw a chipmunk, who I'll call "Speedy G." rip across the drive way, churning up a rooster tail of dust, all from me turning into the driveway with a car.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:16PM
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Is it a 13 lined ground squirrel? I don't know what type of damage they do, other than a burrow hole, but we have them here. My neighbor was cursing (and setting traps for) the pocket gophers, and mentioned the squirrels to me, then I saw one a few days later (the only sighting so far). I thought it looked like a little prairie dog, with lots of little black stripes on it's back.
I found a link... it describes their damage...

Here is a link that might be useful: 13 lined ground squirrel (pdf)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 1:59AM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Mary- What I see are open ceiling tunnels, if that makes any sense. What did you use to bait the rat traps?

Digit- You are always okay with me! Also, the small bunnies in my area are very slow compared to this creature. Our bunny relocation program is running at full capacity, we have relocated six baby bunnies this summer. I still have an adult that is proving hard to catch and I can tell exactly what he/she is nibbling. The damage is quite different.

Greenbean- The 13 lined squirrels were running rampant at our campsite this last week near the Sand Dunes. I think they are also the rodents running around the Denver Zoo. We have been calling them chipmunks but now we know better. Thank you. The creatures in my garden don't have the stripes or much of a noticeable tail. After reading the link you provided, I hope they never find their way to my neighborhood.

My latest theory is that it must be voles. I wish I could see them. I am trying to brainstorm the best bait for the old fashioned mouse or rat traps that seem to be successful for so many people here.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Here's a link that may help...

I think I have a vole living behind my compost bin. From what I read, that would probably soon be many...
The cat knows it's there, but she can't fit between the bin and the retaining wall where it is.

I guess I can add those to the list of plant perils...
We have lots of rabbits (I've seen 5 at a time next door before...)
There are pocket gophers, 13 lined ground squirrels, and now voles. No wonder my neighbors would like to borrow my dogs...

Here is a link that might be useful: Vole info

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:49AM
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