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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Voles - Part Two

Hi Pat and all,

Here's what I learned about voles yesterday from an avid Hosta collector. Voles are voracious eaters in the spring. You can make poison balls to put down their holes. This is what you will need:

Heavy duty rubber gloves
Heavy duty plastic bags
Plastic container for mixing (that you can throw away)
Rat Poison in a bar form
Cheap Peanut Butter

Put the rat poison in a plastic bag and bang with a hammer or mallet until it is very crumbled. Mix crumbled poison together with cheap peanut butter.
Break off pieces and roll into balls like little meatballs.
Stuff balls into vole holes.

You can freeze the unused poison balls if you do not have children around and clearly mark the container.

Saftey precaution: Wear heavy duty rubber gloves at all times. Do not use any utensils that will later come in contact with food. Preferably work in an area that will not come in contact with food (garage? shed?) Dispose of any containers that were in contact with the poison.

Stan also told me that he has great luck in the fall with the clay pot/trap/peanut butter method that was in my previous post. When I explained my dilemma about taking voles out of the traps he told me that he disposes of the whole thing, trap & vole. Traps are sold cheap, in multiple packs at the supermarket.

Good luck and let me know your favorite way to eliminate voles!


Anonymous said...

This works for chipmunks: Take a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Fill halfway with water. Pour an inch of sunflower seeds on top. (They float.) Put a ramp or some logs next to bucket. The rodent smells the seeds, walks up, sees a bucket full of seeds, and jumps in. Fish out drowned rodents daily.

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,

contrary1 said...

anyone know if a vole is the same as a mole?? Little brown creatures that leave mounds of dirt in the lawn and bulbs & such??

I'm anxious to try the rat poisen/P. butter balls.....I've tried everything else, to no avail.

Anonymous said...

I have been in a bitter battle with mole and VOLES. Last summer my husband almost committed me to a mental institution (I developed Obsessive Convulsive Disorder due to the voles).

I am swamped with perfect little holes, connected with raised ground. I assess a hole for activity, place a trap with peanut butter (also great for mice) and got my first mole. This is ONLY the beginning.

Oh and just to be mean (because I can) when rinsing out the cat box, I pour it down the holes. I doubt it really has any effect but it makes me feel better!