Rodents in the garden

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
We have some sort of rodent in the garden that is thriving, particularly near the compost piles. When we had an inch of snow, there were many trails hollowed out under the snow that were easily observed. I think they are voles, but need to catch one to be sure. They are moving a lot of dirt around.

I'm going to try to make a live trap to ID whatever they are.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,048
Eastern Central PA
You think you have problems now, wait until get ground hogs. You can either have a garden or you can raise ground hogs ,but you cant do both.
 
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mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
675
SE CT
We fought a BAD mole problem for several years. They were destroying her flower beds. She was repeatedly wasting good $$$ on mole repellent products. That just chased them out of the flower beds and into the lawn. I got medieval on them. We have eliminated most of the problem after a few years.

Get yourself a minimum of 2 (I recommend 4) of the Sweeney's traps. They are easy to set, easy to move around to problem areas, work quite well and kill over and over again.

Find an active trail. Stomp down a short section. Place a trap, then place another trap 2 feet down the same tunnel. If the little bastard makes it past the first trap he most likely will not make it past the 2nd trap. If you have outdoor pets, put a 5 gal bucket over the trap for protection. Our Shelties are only outside if we are with them and they don't mess with the traps so we leave ours uncovered.

If I see mole trails and set the traps, I get all giddy each time I go outside to inspect for tripped traps. Coming home from work and pulling in the driveway and seeing a tripped trap gives me the same feeling as a kid on Xmas morning. I use a round shovel to dig up a plug around the trap so I can observe the confirmed kill.

 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
You think you have problems now, wait until get ground hogs. You can either have a garden or you can raise ground hogs ,but you cant do both.
We have groundhogs moving through all the time. They are mostly kept at bay with the bottom two strands of electric fence. I've relocated a few with the live trap. I have not shot any yet, and don't want to. I save the lead for rats.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
We fought a BAD mole problem for several years. They were destroying her flower beds. She was repeatedly wasting good $$$ on mole repellent products. That just chased them out of the flower beds and into the lawn. I got medieval on them. We have eliminated most of the problem after a few years.

Get yourself a minimum of 2 (I recommend 4) of the Sweeney's traps. They are easy to set, easy to move around to problem areas, work quite well and kill over and over again.

Find an active trail. Stomp down a short section. Place a trap, then place another trap 2 feet down the same tunnel. If the little bastard makes it past the first trap he most likely will not make it past the 2nd trap. If you have outdoor pets, put a 5 gal bucket over the trap for protection. Our Shelties are only outside if we are with them and they don't mess with the traps so we leave ours uncovered.

If I see mole trails and set the traps, I get all giddy each time I go outside to inspect for tripped traps. Coming home from work and pulling in the driveway and seeing a tripped trap gives me the same feeling as a kid on Xmas morning. I use a round shovel to dig up a plug around the trap so I can observe the confirmed kill.

Medieval is right! Those look effective. I'll consider them once I confirm what I'm dealing with.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,048
Eastern Central PA
We have groundhogs moving through all the time. They are mostly kept at bay with the bottom two strands of electric fence. I've relocated a few with the live trap. I have not shot any yet, and don't want to. I save the lead for rats.
I just gave up on the garden ,i dont like shooting them either to be honest , i just do without the garden for now.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
I just gave up on the garden ,i dont like shooting them either to be honest , i just do without the garden for now.
Between the deer, groundhogs, and variety of smaller rodents (and then, bugs!) we have, I don't blame you. The electric fence is the single best deterrent for the larger mammals. I even got a wild turkey with it several years ago. He took off like a rocket.

Check out the following paper that discusses the best solution for deer, at relatively low cost. I added a fourth wire just above the ground that helps keep out groundhogs and squirrels. Works fantastically well.

 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
Yes. Vole.

They damaged my lawn one year. Destroyed it another year. Completely destroyed it. Used to have a really nice lawn.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
Between the deer, groundhogs, and variety of smaller rodents (and then, bugs!) we have, I don't blame you. The electric fence is the single best deterrent for the larger mammals. I even got a wild turkey with it several years ago. He took off like a rocket.

Check out the following paper that discusses the best solution for deer, at relatively low cost. I added a fourth wire just above the ground that helps keep out groundhogs and squirrels. Works fantastically well.

How tall is your electric fence?
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
How tall is your electric fence?
Probably about 40" at the top wire.

The key is to have them try to walk through it, not jump over it. We are trying to condition them, not exclude them physically. It's amazing. Essentially outsmarting them rather than building a wall.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
Our cat is a vole-killing machine. She only works when there is no snow on the ground, however. :)
Our cat lays by the fire with us. His hunting days are over, unfortunately. He used to terrorize the rodents and birds, but he's earned his retirement.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
887
Palmyra, WI
Check out the following paper that discusses the best solution for deer, at relatively low cost. I added a fourth wire just above the ground that helps keep out groundhogs and squirrels. Works fantastically well.
The most satisfying site here was of two hoof prints in front of a peanut butter fence and a 16 x 16 of tasty beets. Lick, snap, gone. Gone - for two years - told all their friends. Tried shade cloth, they used it as a trampoline. Coons - springtraps - noh hah, pets - no. Duke dp worked for coons. Electric fence for the rest, and it's bye bye amidos. Working on the little critters now, 13line gophers pulling every sweetcorn seed etc. Listening here intently for solutions.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
575
SW Missoura
Ive had rabbits nesting their young in the root wads of my tomato plants the last two years. I havent found a good way to keep them out short of killing them and i cant bring myself to do it. I like watching them in the yard to much. Its a raised bed....if anyone has ideas for rabbit detterrents im all ears.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
Here's April 2014. Our two cats are indoor cats. Tinkabell, neighbor's Norwegian Forest cat, would keep the voles in check. She was gone by 2014. Grrr!
 

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