Tuesday, July 22, 2014

War on Pests and a Politican Statement

Arkansas Patti apparently feels a bit guilty about giving her new pup rein to indulge its hunting instincts.  She has a problem with voles.

There is a lot of that going around.  I went to the hardware store just the other day and asked about traps, poisons, machine guns, anything that might get rid of these little pests.

Wikipedia image.
Much cuter than a mole.

We did not have this problem when our cat was alive.  Perhaps he was more of a hunter than we ever suspected.  Now there is such a system of tunnels in the yard that I sink when I work in the garden.  The tunnels rim the perimeter of the house.  I live in fear that the place will sink into the center of the earth.

Our neighbors old cat saunters over to lie down under the shady astilbe and seems to just watch the voles scamper around him.  Useless.

Poison all over the yard is a bad thing for other forms of life while the voles a happily pulling the grass down from the roots.  Traps are distasteful when you have to empty them and supposedly don't always work that well.  A machine gun would not really do much more damage than a vole colony as far as tearing up the lawn, but I believe our town recently passed a noise ordinance.

Moles tend to be fairly solitary critters.  They are easier to trap successfully and you can impact their food supply to some extent.  Voles eat grass and garden plants--hard to eliminate.  Voles give rabbits a real run for their money in the family planning (or lack there of) department.

Oh! Oh! I just thought of the solution.  I will set out have-a-heart traps and send all my VT voles and my FL rabbits to Ted Cruz.  (You know, because he is the expert on reproduction...even though I am still convinced he himself is, in fact, a Disney animatron.)

19 comments:

  1. I don’t think we have voles here, at least I have never seen any. We have chipmunks and squirrels and they eat our bird seeds. We have 5 bird feeders and it is a constant battle to get them away so the birds can come. I like to see other wildlife though – there was a sweet little fawn a while back and duck also came from the lake behind our house. I enjoyed reading your post and got a chuckle at your mention of Ted Cruz.

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  2. Just remember that when you pursue the lowly vole, you are killing true love. At least if they are prairie voles (Vermont is on the prairie is it not?). Prairie voles mate for life, love their mates dearly and have contributed to much of our understanding of oxytocin and vassopressin hormones' role in human pair bonding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_vole

    See Pair Bonding and Biological Factors in the above article.

    Perhaps you can find a small drone outfitted with a modified automatic Red Rider 200 shot BB gun with a compass in the stock. Hell there may be an app to control it from your new smart phone.

    http://www.amazon.com/Daisy-Outdoor-Products-Model-Ryder/dp/B001IB4SBM

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    1. You mock me and make jokes!?! You know how seriously I take life in general and my blog posts in particular. My daughter's contention that I lied to her throughout her entire childhood is an outrageous exaggeration.

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  3. I feel your pain. We have voles in this area too, but I am mostly bothered by the rabbits that eat everything I plant. I was adding up all I spent on perennials the other day, all of which have been nibbled to the ground, and became pretty discouraged. I am ready to move. I don't like sharing my space with wildlife that don't respect me. LOL

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  4. Sorry you have to contend with the voles.. We have none, but I'm sure they must be dreadful! Good luck with your exterminating choice!

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  5. One thing that seems to work (for me) is that you apply when you see the tunnels a mixture of cod liver oil and dish soap (one bottle of the oil and about 1/4 cup of soap) in a sprayer attached to the hose. Soak the area of tunnels and the whole bed super well and keep applying each week for a few weeks. It is expensive, but they either die of diarrhea or move on it does do not harm any other animals.

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    1. I hadn't heard of this. I may give it a try.

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  6. Love that last paragraph but if Walt were still alive I don't think he would appreciate the comparison!
    I think you need a new cat! We don't have voles but we sure have gophers -- at least we did until I started putting the hose down their tunnels and Twursula my cat started standing guard over the holes!

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  7. Lets pray we don't have prairie voles. I may not forgive Sextant for that info. I mean they are cute enough as it is but being monogamous also?? Good grief. Good luck gal, I'm in the war with you.

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  8. Boy, don't get me started on Ted Cruz. David and I hate him.
    As for voles, I never saw one in my life.

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    1. They are pesky, but much cuter than Ted Cruz.

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  9. Huh. I wonder of we have those here. There is a little tunnel in my vege garden but it doesn't seem to be affecting my plants. I thought it was a lizard.

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  10. Now that the summer drought is upon us, most of the neighborhood has gone brown, but we water our lawn and gardens, so now the moles are gathering here in our yard. It happens every summer, and now we will have tunnels and eruptions everywhere. They are good at avoiding the traps and the cat.

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  11. Just field mice around here and our cat enjoys catching them in the area alone our fence line. She schedules a visit to the fence each eve after dark! Smart plan.

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  12. So far, no major pests in my yard, except mosquitos. Good luck with the attempts to rid yourself of the voles. I hope you can find something that will take care of them without harming other animals.

    My brother, who lives on a farm, invites the local police sharpshooters out to practice on the prairie gophers. They go through a boatload of ammo and get rid of a pasture full of gophers..maybe your local police would...probably not!

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  13. We have 'em here too. I heard (seriously) that male human urine is supposed to get rid of them. But so far it hasn't worked!

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  14. This is such a big issue. We have voles, moles, field mice, deer mice and 4 cats. That said, we have deer mice in the attic. I put traps into the cat carrier (there is no way we can poison them, as the cats could ingest them), and caught 5 mice. The deer mice (like the one in your photo) carry disease, which makes humans sick.

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  15. Voles? Oh my! We don't have voles, but we have mongoose in Hawaii. Chipmunks were a bad problem in Illinois.

    I'm so happy I'm able to visit this afternoon. I volunteered to be a proctor in Honolulu for a bar exam. I'm sitting in a COLD testing room watching 150 people periodically. Sort of watching since they just want us mostly as warm (why can't they turn the air conditioning down!).

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.