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Video: Rodent Control In The Garden
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:24
Protecting your garden from harmful rodents
Among small mammals, the most significant harm to fruit trees, berry crops, vegetables and ornamental plants in our garden plots is caused by a forest mouse, voles, a water rat and a European hare.
An adult wood mouse has a pointed muzzle, large ears, a long tail, the color of the fur from the back is grayish-red, and the abdomen is white. During the warm months she gives birth to several litters of 3-8 cubs each. In winter, the mouse eats thin twigs and bark of young fruit trees in the part of the trunk, which is under the snow. Sometimes young trees and shrubs are completely “ringed”.
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The common vole is an inhabitant of grassy meadows, forest clearings, pastures, fallow lands, field crops and vegetable gardens. She has up to 8 litters per year, 5-6 cubs each. In winter, it makes numerous passages under the snow, nibbling the bark and small roots of trees, and in nurseries it destroys seedlings of fruit seedlings, strongly scraping their young bark. It is distinguished by a blunt muzzle and short, wide ears, by the coloration of the back - from gray to black-brown, gray-white abdomen.
On the back of the bank vole, the color of the fur is bright red, on the underside it is light gray. In gardens and nurseries, it damages the aboveground parts of plants. As a rule, damage caused by these small rodents to fruit and berry and ornamental plants is detected only in the spring, after the snow melts. In years with mild snowy winters, warm dry (with an abundance of food) summer, these rodents can reproduce, creating a high number.
The water rat (water vole) has a blunt muzzle with small ears almost hidden in the fur, and a short and thin tail is covered with thick small hairs. The color of the fur is usually brown (with a slight reddish tint). It is widespread in gardens and orchards located near water bodies. During the warm season, it gives 2-4 litters of 5-7 cubs each. From natural food, the vole consumes soft and succulent parts of marsh plants. In household plots, the water vole digs at a shallow depth complex, long burrows in dry soil, throwing a significant amount of soil to the surface. With its moves, it penetrates the fertile layer of well-cultivated soil.
The water rat often arranges exits to the surface in the thickets of grass, along the edges of ditches, in heaps of peat and rotted manure, in places cluttered with branches, polyethylene, stones and under shed buildings in garden plots, as well as in nearby landfills. In warm weather, the vole also opens holes in open places.
Settling near garden plots, in the first half of the growing season, the water rat can eat up the sown seeds of grain and pumpkin plants, gnaw the root system of pepper, tomato and other nightshade crops, and in the second half of the growing season it actively feeds on potato tubers and flower bulbs in the gardens, root crops of beets, carrots, etc. In some years, water voles cause significant damage (including in winter), gnawing at the roots of young trees and shrubs, which often dry out when severely damaged.
Control measures for mice and voles
To prevent massive reproduction of these pests, the garden plot and vegetable garden must be kept clean. All plant debris is removed from the garden, the soil is dug up along the hedges and paths. In winter, the snow on the garden plot is trampled down, which prevents these rodents from penetrating under the loose snow to the trunks and root systems of trees. But if, with a small snow cover, severe frosts are expected, the compaction of snow should be postponed. In this case, experts do not even advise to often walk around trees and berry bushes, since with a sharp drop in temperature under the footprints, the soil freezes faster to a greater depth and the roots may suffer from this.
Small rodents (mice, voles) run into the garden rooms, so they do not leave the remains of bread, cereals and seeds there.
For the destruction of these rodents, bait is arranged, the best basis for which are: for voles - carrots, for mice - bread, and from exterminating means for catching - small traps-crushers.
If in the spring period against the water vole, baits based on carrot root crops chopped on a grater are most effective (you can also use potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini), in the autumn period baits consisting of poisoned grain are promising. Vegetable oil and rodenticides are added to the baits. Scientists have developed and recommended a biological preparation - grain bacterodencid, obtained on the basis of bacteria that are safe for humans.
The rodenticide "Rat Death N1" MB is approved for use in personal and household plots against the indicated pests. Its briquettes (12.5 g each) are recommended to be placed in burrows, shelters, bait boxes. For successful destruction, if necessary, it is laid out again after two weeks, observing the safety rules for working with pesticides and the rules of personal hygiene.
Some owners of household farms, in order to fight the water rat, in the spring, dig around their area adjacent to the reservoir with a ditch (15-20 cm deep) around the perimeter. At the bottom of the groove, cylinder traps (about 50 cm high, 20-25 cm in diameter) are dug in at a distance of 25-50 m from each other.
With the establishment of constant severe frosts, high snow cover in the second half of winter, a hare-hare can often visit summer cottages (especially in gardens adjacent to the forest) to feast on the bark and shoots of young trees located at an accessible height for this pest, from which they may suffer greatly. Plants damaged by a hare are clearly visible on the traces of two incisors, which are sometimes located above the snow cover at a height of up to 70-80 cm (hares often stand on their hind legs and reach the trunk at a rather high height).
High snow helps hares get to the crown of young trees. Damage to the trunks by these animals are sometimes quite deep, so the tops of young fruit trees (especially when gnawing round) usually die. But do not rush to "bury" this plant. He urgently needs to be covered and wait for spring. If the buds remain viable above the grafting, young shoots will go out of them and form branches, from one (the strongest) it will then be possible to organize a central conductor at the seedling, which will need to be tied from its southern side to the support (for straightening).
You should not arrange a heap of cut branches of fruit trees in the garden. This can bring hares to the site: then the rodents will move to living trees.
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Hare control measures
Even now, those gardeners who did not have time to take care of the protection of young seedlings in the fall need to do this as soon as they visit their garden plot. The most reliable protection can be a high dense fence. The fencing of the site is made of boards, but a metal mesh stretched over the posts is preferable. The stems of young apple trees are carefully tied with spruce branches (needles down), rags, roofing felt, roofing felt, burlap, plastic wrap and other covering material. But using such means, replacing them every year, is relatively laborious, and the tied plants do not look very aesthetically pleasing.
In recent years, our industry has begun to produce a special plastic netting to protect seedlings from hares (and even mice). Such a fine mesh (8x8 mm) is not available for these rodents. It does not interfere with light transmission and air circulation and does not interfere with chemical treatments and tree care. The net is produced in two types: in a roll (it is fastened with plastic clamps or wire) for trees and shrubs with a spreading crown and self-twisting (in piece packing) for trees with a narrow crown shape. It quickly installs around the trunk of the seedling, thus protecting against the encroachment of animals (with this procedure, young shoots are not damaged). According to manufacturers, the plastic mesh should last at least 15 years.
It is important to cover the buried seedlings of fruit crops with spruce branches.
Many gardeners scare off hares by hanging long ribbons of shiny or clattering foil or tin cut from cans on each tree at the beginning of winter (at a height of 50-70 cm above the snow level). It is important that these strips move from the slightest breeze and do not get entangled in branches. Other hobbyists protect their small trees by hanging garlands of black cardboard circles on the branches, clearly visible among the white snow. They scare away the animals with their movement in the wind. They also use red rags moistened with carbolic acid (lysol, etc.). In their opinion, as a result of these measures, hares bypass their garden plots until late spring.
And some gardeners use to protect young plantations from hares by coating their boles with mixtures containing substances with a pungent odor. The most popular composition here is a mixture of clay and mullein (in equal parts), to a bucket of which a tablespoon of carbolic acid is added. The coating is prepared in water in such a way that this mass acquires the density of sour cream. Another composition is prepared from 800 g of finely crushed rosin per liter of denatured alcohol, mixing the compositions until a thick mixture is formed. It is used to coat the stems and lower branches of fruit trees. Zaitsev is scared off by the unpleasant odor and disgusting taste of carbolic acid.
Some gardeners offer to lubricate the stems and part of the branches to scare away hares with lard, but this is quite an expensive pleasure.
There is information that a thick creamy decoction of lime bark can be used to heal wounds inflicted on boles by hares. In early spring (preferably before the start of sap flow), the linden bark is crushed, poured with cold water and boiled for 30-45 minutes. Then the wounds on the plants are covered with a strained and cooled jelly-like mass. From above, the damaged stems are wrapped with thick paper and tied with twine for a period of 1-1.5 months (until the wound is tightened).
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