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How To Get Rid of Voles in Your Garden

How To Get Rid of Voles in Your Garden?Getting rid of voles is a challenge. The best strategy for gardeners is to learn to live with voles, minimizing their damage. The most vital tool for controlling voles is good information. You must know your enemy well.

Voles are pretty interesting little critters. They’re closely related to house mice and about the same size, but with shorter tails and different habits. Voles live outdoors, moving around through a system of tunnels that keeps them out of sight most of the time. They live only about a year, on average, but in that time they stay busy having lots of babies, sometimes several litters per year. They don’t hibernate in the winter; they keep right on eating their vegetarian diet of leaves and seeds throughout the year.

There are two types of voles hang around. The pine vole or woodland vole is furry all over, with tiny eyes nearly covered up by fuzz. They burrow in the soil and chew on plant roots and bulbs. The second vole species, the meadow vole, spends more time above ground. They construct tunnels from tall grass and weeds. They damage the tops of plants and can “girdle” mature trees by cutting bark around the entire trunk, eventually stunting or even killing them.

Pine voles, since they have a restricted range, maybe a bit easier to control, though their underground sneak-attack tactics are tough to counter.

A good control option is to bury the roots of your plants into underground cages of wire. These cages should be installed when new plants are planted, making sure they won’t interfere with root growth. Gardeners should also simply dig up and disrupt any vole tunnels they find.

For meadow voles, with their above-ground habits and wandering ways, a very helpful strategy is to mow short any tall grass or weeds where they might find cover.  Gardeners growing vegetables should use straw mulch for soil, but be careful not to create vole corridors.

Gardeners should mulch trees correctly. Don’t pile bark mulch right up around a tree’s trunk; always pull it back to create a bare space.

Vole urinary tracts “leak” as they move around, creating a trail that reflects ultraviolet light, something that some raptors, such as kestrels, can see. House cats also like voles on their snack menu.

Traps can be effective, especially against pine voles, if they are put where voles are active. A standard mouse trap baited with peanut butter may work reasonably well.

Perfect Tips To Control Pests and Insects

Perfect Tips To Control Pests and InsectsAfter months of prepping the soil and tending seedlings, you won’t like the pests and insects to chew up all your fresh vegetables. Deer, small rodents, insects and other creatures can quickly destroy a gardener’s hard work, but there are ways to prevent them from launching a full assault.

In earlier time the gardeners did not have easy access to commercial products and fancy gadgets to protect their lettuce and tomatoes. They relied on techniques passed down from generation to generation.

Old-fashioned fixes included sprinkling hot pepper or concentrated animal urine (specifically, that of a predator such as a fox) throughout the garden bedOther repellents that were commonly used included mothballs, cotton balls soaked in vinegar, crushed eggshells, human hair clippings, bacon grease, soap shavings, and garlic juice. Some gardeners plant marigolds among vegetables, because the flower has an unpleasant smell to animals.

The problem is, these remedies are usually temporary. Animals will find a way around repellents if they’re hungry enough.

In order to control the “Groundhogs, Rabbits and Voles” you can place a barrier between animal visitors and your plants, such as fencing made of chicken wire or mesh plastic. It should be high enough to keep rabbits from hopping over (about 18 inches ) and deep enough to prevent burrowers from getting to root vegetables (at least four inches into the soil). For raised beds, lining the bottom with fine-mesh hardware cloth protects against critters that can dig even deeper, such as groundhogs. Check for large holes under fences or shrubs where bigger rodents may have entered, and seal them with wire mesh or wood planks.

Fabric screens (available pre-cut from $5-25), staked over plants, still allow sunlight and water to penetrate. But they also provide shelter for mice and voles, so if you have those, consider another method.

Keeping Deers away from the garden is one of the biggest challenges. Once they show up, it’s difficult to discourage their return. Deer are creatures of habit, so once they find a spot with enough food to eat, they’ll keep coming back for more.

High fences help keep deer from reaching the tops of vegetable plants, but if that’s is not possible, use a repellent that emits sulfurous odors ( i.e., bloodmeal or egg solids).

You have another problem known as “Garden Buggs“.Insect infestation needs to be controlled effectively. While chemical-based sprays and formulas destroy insect pests and keep rodents and other creatures at bay, they also might contaminate your crops and the environment.

Insecticidal soaps and natural, non-toxic oils such as neem oil, which prevents insects from reaching the maturation stage — are recommended to control whitefly, earwigs, aphids, thrips, and other insects. Various types of Insect and animal repellents are available in garden centers nowadays.

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