Gardening Travelers .... Question!


Jul 12th, 2005, 06:43 AM
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Gardening Travelers .... Question!

While TRAVELING around your beautiful yards/gardens, have you ever had problems with Voles? Have I ever learned to HATE them!!!! I'm googling info/remedies, and found one suggestion being to get an aggressive barn cat!!! Don't think my old doggie could handle THAT!!! Any brilliant ideas here, people????? They're definitely Voles ... we've seen them!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Bonnie...I know what Vols are, but not Voles?? I am assuming they are two different "animals"!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Funny OO, that's the first thing I thought of first. I was curious so I Googled "voles" and there are tons of articles on how to get rid of them. They're actually kind of cute!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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I did a google image search and was worried for you Bonnie when this thing popped up:

The real ones are cute, but gosh, I can see how you would not want them in your garden...or around your irrigation system! Destructive little critters.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Dear Bonnie - Yes I have had trouble with them and deer and squirrels and get the vole situation under control, I ended up changing out my mulch to really coarse pine bark and dug a deep trench around the bed that I was having the most trouble in - filled it with fine gravel (cheap coarse stuff, not pea gravel) and then worked more into the dirt as I replaced it. I also started working the same gravel into holes when I placed new plants. Pull back leaves, etc if you have a naturalized area near these beds as they travel under them. I also started planting on the perimeters of my beds plants that are not tasty to the little critters!! Daffodils, foxglove, snapdragons, etc.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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That's it, OO!!! I seed 'um more 'n once! (You are such a devil! ) I know a few VOLS ... not QUITE the same!

stjohnbound, they definitely AREN'T cute!!! (I'll bet you think mice are cute, too! I've never even cared much for Mickey!!! )

ausc59, sounds like an exhausting job to get rid of them .... My DH is going to read all the articles I've googled up, and get started ... while I look for a "magical" way to do it!!! Where ARE my neighbors' cats when I need them, darn it???!!!
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Jul 12th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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According to one of my gardening books, voles often gnaw on the roots of plants.

You can destroy them by putting mousetraps, baited with something tasty like apple or peanut butter, in their runways. Also avoid using mulch within a foot of tree trunks because it can be a haven for rodents.

We haven't had problems with voles (that I know of), but that sounds like what my husband does when the raccoons get into his corn or blueberries. He uses a "Have-A-Heart" trap which he baits with dog food on a cracker, and when he catches them, just releases them far from the garden.

They seem to like that little hors d'oeuvre, so maybe the voles would, too!

Happy traveling to your garden..


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Jul 12th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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We had one in a bedroom wall in the final stages of building my last house. It ate right through the wiring and housing on the activation light. They are definitely not cute.

We went with the planting borders that they do not like routine- and also do a catch and release with two traps. Now we are having many more rabbits than voles. Rabbits took the green beans this year, and voles are not visible or evident any longer, nor do we have holes.

Funniest thing happened yesterday with the catch and release trap. We caught an huge toad. We now have at least 2 or 3 toads in each circle (we have 5 garden circles / ovals) and they are probably one pound each. Toads are very good to have. We are in drought and got the first rain in almost a month this morning. Are we smiling! It is not enough, but it helps tremendously.

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Jul 12th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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My parents have had trouble with them for YEARS. Mom has to have all her hostas in containers because of them. Also certain vegetable crops area no-no (but that be from the rabbits though)

Besides a good barn cat, try to encourage owls to move to your neighborhod. You can get tapes of owl mating calls to attract owls. My parents didn't try it, but it couldn't hurt.

Another thing they tried was twirling windblowers. I don't know the correct name, but they look like a square of material where the corners are cut down towards the middle and folded over and stuck on a post. Can find on sale at Michaels right now for around $3 for a huge one.

Try asking your NC Cooperative Agent. They should know a bunch about vols.
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Jul 12th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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My parents had a cat (half Siamese, half Russian Blue) who was a champion vole hunter. They were his specialty--he ignored birds (thankfully). Not a barn cat, though, he enjoyed all the comforts of home. Our neighbors had problems with voles, but we were virtually vole-free. Sadly, Andy (Anwar SaCat, or Anwar's A Cat) went to his catnip patch in the sky a few years ago at the age of 19. By the way, he and our spaniel were inseparable buddies.
If you go for a cat, the local farmers told us that cats with big ears and long tails make the best mousers (or volers).
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Jul 12th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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Here are two suggestions that may work for you.

1. Mix 6 oz. caster oil
2 TB dishwashing soap
1 gallon water

spray near and into tunnels.

2. put mouse traps under overturned flower pots near their tunnels baited with apple pieces or anything you think they might fancy, something that smells delicious. don't get discouraged, it may take awhile.

we all had many voles last year. i sprayed the whole yard including garden and under trees and bushes with mole scoot or something like that which contained caster oil.

no moles so far, knock on wood.

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