Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mice, moles, voles beware!

Vintage mole trap
Vintage mole trap.

This is undoubtedly one of the least favorite topics about gardening of which hardly anyone can give a sure and definite solution: getting rid of garden varmints. Poison and traps (inhumane or natural types) or keeping a cat all pop up repeatedly in the various strategies, but the end result is still the same - kill or be rid of them one time and another comes to take its place. Compromise between a gardener and his enemies is like conceding defeat because let's be real here - who in their right mind works under the hot sun only to have their efforts undermined by some beady-eyed critter?

Mole trap demo

My father-in-law gave us both a spring-release mole trap and a young mole plant in the event we encountered problems; I hope we never need to use them. As for mice or voles (not sure which) I'm taking a defensive approach and transplanting my zucchinis in these wire cages. They're made from low-gauge chicken wire and take a bit of patience cutting and fasteninng together, but I'm hoping that it'll be enough to deter the rodents from eating the roots like last year.

Wire cages for plants

4 comments:

  1. I used to have gophers years ago. Cats and dogs help rid me of them. Good luck.

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    1. If we had gophers here I think the whole neighborhood would be up in arms! Fortunately (or unfortunately) it's either moles or some other much smaller rodent so I'm keeping my fingers crossed this year.

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  2. Love the vintage trap but what if your dogs get to close?
    I think the wire cages a great idea and will also keep the birds off.
    A lot of "old timers"(older people)use a bucket of water to kill mice and rats,balance a rod with a piece of string attached with tasty morsel of food over a bucket of water. When the mice crawl along string they drop into bucket of water and drown.
    In some parts of Victoria there have been mice plagues over summer and autumn and i know of a butcher who set up 2 buckets and was catching over 50 mice in each over night YUK!!!! We have to keep bait (hidden from native birds &animals) out all the time to stop them breeding and living in our roofs.

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    1. The garden is not easily accessible to the dogs since it's set on a slope behind the house, so no worries there. I'll keep that bucket trick in mind in the event the situation gets worse - 50 mice each night! That's an invasion!!

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