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HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Posted by penny1947 z6 WNY (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 5, 11 at 19:00

I know y'all are tired of seeing me complain about the critters that are eating my plants. But I have to find a way to get rid of these voles! The have destroyed the bed along my driveway this year. They have mowed down my enormous french maigold and now they are working on the bee balm. Earlier this spring they chomped down the columbine.

Yes it is a vole or voles as today I actually watched one chewing on the bee balm and then trying to drag the whole long stem (3ft long) over into a corner where two walls meet. I put out live catch traps and it goes around them or over them, I put out hot sauce everywhere and that worked for a day or two, I put out glue traps and they kicked mulch over the glue boards rendering them useless and the last straw which I have been avoiding is to put out poison. Does anyone have any other suggestion?? I am open to anything.

Penny


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Penny-I'd seriously think about bringing in the mountain lions!


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Kathy
If I could find one I would haul that sucker in! All my marigolds are now gone in one section and I only have 5 bee balm stalks that it hasn't cut down. This think is unbelieveable but I am determined to get it one way or another!

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Do you have an outdoor cat? My vole problem disappeared when neighbors got one. She really earned her keep!!!


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

No outdoor cats here. There used to be two or three that 'patrolled the field adjoining our property and we didn't really have a problem but then the coyotes moved in and no more outdoor cats have been seen since.

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Voles multiply faster than you would be able to catch them. Why do you not buy poison mouse pellets and drop them deep into their holes, and no problems any longer with them?


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Hi Penny,
In his book, The Winter Harvest Handbook, Eliot Coleman talked about vole problems in the coldhouses in the winter. He suggested making a wood box big enough to hold two kill mousetraps and putting a rough hole in one side of the box near a corner in the bottom edge. Put the box near where the voles are eating, or if you know where their runs are, across a run. Bait the traps with different things and change the baits; raw fruit, macadamia nut butter, wild strawberry bubble gum, or even nothing at all. It seems the voles, liking dark places, will go in the box, and check out the traps to their demise.

-Rosalinda


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

berndnyz5
That would be a simple solution if there were holes to drop the poison into but there aren't any holes. It has found its way from my neighbor' field under my fence and is going into a gap between the foundation of the chimney and the foundation of the house. I was able to block one side with hardware cloth but not the other as there is a gap that I haven't figured a way to close yet. I have put poison out next to the ga but it has gone completely untoughed. I am very aware how rapidly they reproduce!

Rosalinda,
Thanks for that info. You are always such a wealth of information. I just bought regular snap traps today that I am going to put under a box and try to block off the area he (or probably she)is accessing so that it has to go into the box I will let you know if I catch it.

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 11, 11 at 10:09

Kathy,
LOL!
REmy


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Remy-when all else fails bring in the mountain lions or the brown recluse spiders or whatever else is being spotted in Upstate NY lol or maybe Penny should round up her killer hummingbirds to take out a contract on those darn voles!! Penny, im sorry I know how frustrating it is when you lose your plantings but heck we gotta laugh too!


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

OK Kathy and Remy,
The varmints are eating mytomatoes now and they are focusing on the plants I got from Hildie.....ARRRRGGGHHHH!

I NEEDF A MOUNTAIN LION OR A WOLF OR A WHOLE BUSHEL BASKET OF BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS!


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Penny, Sorry to read about your difficult problem. I only repeated what university studies showed, trapping voles does not work fast enough. How about looking for their runs, dig into them carefully, put poison in those and cover them back up carefully. This is how I do it fight voles or mice, whatever is there, moles is different. Bernd


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Bernd and all.
The runs are along the foundation of the house (no holes anywhere) so we have done the poison thing and they have avoided it like the plague. This morning I did finally get my dear husband to segt some old fashioned snap traps. Not the new plastic ones but the wooden ones. I had him set the traps right where I knew he/she they have been traveling and then put some boards up in front of it creating a tunnel effect (thank you Rosalinda). DH left for work and I went to take the dog for a short walk before it got too warm. Came back about 15 minutes later and YES! I had one deader than a doornail in the snap trap. We reset the traps and hopefully will catch another

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

I feel your pain. I also have voles. I have 3 cats who do a great job in the summer, regularly leaving their dead carcasses on the doorstep for my approval. But in the winter, they have grand parties and huge conventions under the permanent snow where the cats can't reach them.

I did some research and someone on gardenweb recommended these "tin cats". they really work!! I bought three and place them around. one was just set in the garden bed and it caught nothing. two were placed under boxes or pieces of wood to make them under a nice hidey hole. they each caught about 20 mice over the course of the winter. In the spring I emptied out the skeletons. I was so amazed, I didn't really expect them to be that successful.

So if you get one of these, you can leave it out for weeks without checking. Just be sure to place wood scraps or cardboard, or something on top of it to create a dark shady area.

good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: victor tin cat


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Brenda those are similar to the Tom Cat traps that I have and you are right they do a great job over the winter. I have one out in the garden right now along the fence with one in it (dead). The ones that are destroying the plants up along the foundation weren't going int to them for some reason but the victor wooden snap traps have been working well since we put those in place. As of this morning we have caught 4! I also put a board up in front o them to create a dark tunnel.

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Why not get an outdoor cat? They're really easy to care for, you just have to wrangle them in to take them to the vet every so often for rabies shots but other than that there's not much care they need. And they like to keep you company while you garden sometimes. My cat brings me lots of dead voles, she loves them.


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

There are a few reasons that I don't have an outdoor cat
1.!We have coyotes that come through here all the time as well as racoons. Outdoor cats don't last more than a month around here. In fact the two feral cats are no longer around either.
2. I have hummingbirds that I feed during the summer
3. I have a dog that doesn't like cats.

Two weeks today since we put out snap traps and have cAught 12.


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Penny I feel your pain! I found over the years that soft packaged mulch was how they were hiding/moving about/eating the bottoms out of my Hostas over the winter months. I took away all mulch against my house and used hard, larger pieces of pine mulch I got from Clarence Center (but Town no longer providing this mulch). They can't bury themselves in this. I also moved the pine needles from under my/my neibhbor's 4 pine trees to the back of our 200'W x100'D property where my neighbor and I share tall boxes (TV cable boxes, telephone, and one other-Electric?). Around these, together we planted ditch lillies and pine mulch to prevent weeds....here is where they have moved to and I seem to no longer have a problem! Neither one of us cares if the voles eat the lillies--have at it. They have a continuous supply of lillies and I know they can't kill those guys! This has been 2 years now and I maybe see 1-2 a summer. However, my other neighbor still has the problem with them, BUT ALSO buys and uses bagged mulch. Best of luck.

Ginny B.


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

just a brief update on my vole problem....and yes it really has been a problem.

Since Aug. 16th. we have caught 16 voles using the old fashioned wooden Victor's snap traps all being along the foundation on the east side of the house..

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Have you ever tried Liquid Fence? It kept everything away from our unprotected garden this year. Smells awful, but only for a little while, and you don't have to use it every day - just after it rains.


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Haven't tried liquid fence. Will consider that in the spring if the problem persists. However if we have a very wet spring it won't do much good. I would be constantly reapplying it

Penny


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Hurricane Irene swept through here on August 28 big time. We had four feet of raging waters across the entire property!!! But, afterwards, we had our vole problem solved. Seems a gazillion gallons of washing water across the property flushes out and drowns the voles. I'd be happy to give the next hurricane your address! ;-)


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Ok Penny you decide, liquid fence, hurricane, mountain lions! Or it seems you could take herbalbetty's advise and we could have all the swap friends bring their hoses and flood your area with gazillion's gallons of water. Just let us know and we'll be there! Lol, hang in there my friend, gardening always keeps us on our toes we get rid of one problem and the next one pops up. It's been such a mild winter I'm sure those voles are having a hayday in your beds.


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

Husky
Let's bring everyone over with their hoses....I think that should do the trick don't you. Then we can aqll PARTY the rest of the day away!


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RE: HELP Garden Vandal is at it again

I have this problem too. Last year, I bought a ton of garlic powder from the Dollar store. I sprinkled it all over my Columbine and other flowers right behind my house. The moles stopped chewing through the stalks immediately. I only sprinkled it one time but it repelled them all Summer. I imagine the smell worked itself into the plant as I watered.

It was garlic powder- not garlic salt=) 50 cents a bottle at Dollar General stores.


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