Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I mentioned in an earlier post that voles had feasted in my garden over the winter.  I had more or less ignored them over the years but they crossed the line when they took out a Gardenia bush so it was time to engage the enemy.  I put out peanut butter baited mouse traps and caught a couple the first week but then nothing for the next 4 weeks.  I also placed d-CON bait trays near their exit holes--but they ignored the bait.  It was a stalemate--and then they took out a newly planted tomato.  I couldn't let that go--they had to be taught a lesson.  I began reading about methods others have used and trying to assess cost and effectiveness when I met a lady at the discount section of a local nursery and she said she too had tried several control methods.  She thought the noise makers were somewhat helpful in driving them away but had resorted to making wire cages for her roses to protect them.  She mentioned that she had over 90 roses--I was impressed and thought I would try it.  So I bought 5 feet by 2 feet of 1/2 inch grid wire fence and made four cages.   For the first cage I just dug a hole about 10 inches deep thinking that a vole isn't going to go that deep but I could be wrong plus I hit clay.

When I went to dig the next hole I thought I'd bend about 3 inches of the bottom in since it seemed like I was digging a really big hole for little plants.  I like this better.

Initially after they devoured the roots on a tomato I began cutting the bottom out of plastic pots with the intention of pulling the pot up once it got established.  It looks like it might work but I like the cages better.

Earlier this year I planted potatoes in pots for other reasons but voles eat potatoes too so I'm glad I'm using this method for the potatoes.  These are the healthiest plants I've ever had.

I think I've entered a new stage in the battle this week.  Due to 3-4 days of heavy rain I don't believe they were able to feed on the roots so they started eating the d-CON bait--6 trays in 3 days.  This evening I notice they were tunneling in the garden again and went straight to one of the cages--almost seems they can smell a new plant root.  In the side yard tonight I also noticed they had attacked a Hosta.  I hope the d-CON kicks in soon--this battle is far from over it seems.

1 comment:

  1. good luck gene, I've also heard that sharp aggregate like permatil can deter them, if it's mixed in w.the soil. But I've not tested it.