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Author Topic: Voles, dammit...
markgatter
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Post Voles, dammit...
on: February 26, 2012, 09:11
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If you see what used to be green shoots nibbled to the nubs, the chances are you have a vole visiting - or living - in your polytunnel. The solution is a Longworth trap, a 2-piece aluminium affair (there are apparently NO stainless steel ones on the market, despite what some vendors say) that's sturdy enough to work for years. However, they cost around £60 + shipping. If you suspect you only have one or two voles, a 'trip trap' is a cheaper, plastic alternative, at around £10-15. However, voles will chew their way through to freedom pretty soon, so they don't work for larger infestations.

Don't forget to check traps often (morning and evening) as voles are delicate little things and will die unless they have something warm - grass cuttings are ideal - to curl up in. And then release them far, far away...

plantitgro-
witeatit
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: April 6, 2012, 07:32
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Think I've only ever seen vole near water, I know this might sound daft but would a common mouse do the same thing? I know they made short work of a pair of gardening gloves and most of a fleece I kept in my shed! I reckon we have a family of them living in the garden and was gutted to find one of them dead inside a watering can, from then on I've always made sure I empty these before leaving them around. Glad to see you condone humane methods for "processing" the critters :-)

markgatter
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: April 7, 2012, 13:14
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Mice are definitely a problem in a polytunnel, and a live trap is a good way to deal with them. I just re-baited mine, this morning, with a bit of peanut butter on bread. It's useless putting cheese out, they don't even like it much!

The voles you're referring to are probably water voles, larger and quite different from field voles, and much in need of protection as their numbers are way down on a few years ago. I've only ever seen one, near Dorchester. Field voles, on the other hand, are very common - especially round here! They make burrows, eat LOADS, and won't be caught in a mouse trap - whereas I caught a mouse in my live vole trap just last week. Either way, release them far, far away from your garden, or...they'll be back, disturbingly soon. And, a bit of bamboo left in anything that holds water means mice, bugs etc can climb back out if they fall in.

Thanks for your comment re. humane methods. I think it's the way to deal with any pest, including slugs and aphids. After all, I'm never going to feel guilty about NOT killing them...

plantitgro-
witeatit
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Posts: 10
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: April 11, 2012, 21:54
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That me made me laugh, since that last post I dug out a pair of rubber coated gloves from the lockup at the end of the garden and most of the cuff on one of them was nibbled away....including the the rubber bit! I think you are spot on, I'm going to need to get tough on the little guys when the polytunnel is at the productive stage........it's just that I'm not used to seeing that kind of wildlife normally as I live at the edge of a large new town.....gaah, more expense! Good tip on the "water trap", never thought of that.....although I'm a bit less kind to slugs I have to admit....they can reach lengths of 5" here (due to moisture level) ...unfortunately those guys are unceremoniously "flipped" over the wall...lol....at that size maybe I should tag them! Can't even bring myself to squashing those damn things....getting soft in my old age!

andymckee
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: May 1, 2012, 11:52
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That gave me a turn... I'm always getting the symbols for inches and feet muddled up!

plantitgro-
witeatit
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: May 9, 2012, 12:21
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I just got what you meant by that! Turns out the slugs I'm referring to are Leopard Slugs (I now know that thanks to your book)so, despite causing terror amongst my older children I will be giving them free range of the garden seeing as they seem to be the good guys. In return, here's a joke for you -
My racing snail is not winning races anymore so I decided to take his shell off to reduce his weight and make him more aerodynamic. It didn't work...if anything it's made him more sluggish.

I promise I can do worse than that :-)

andymckee
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: May 10, 2012, 09:38
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Argh! Have at thee!
http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Slug

polyanna
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: May 12, 2012, 00:19
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don't have a problem with mice or voles, however my cat loves to lie on top of it i have been skooshing her with water every time i see her which seems to be doing the trick ! i have noticed however that my cabbage leaves have been nibbled at with no evidence of slugs or snails any ideas who is the culprit ????

andymckee
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Post Re: Voles, dammit...
on: May 12, 2012, 18:29
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How big are the cabbages? If they're still young and tender it could be woodlice, which can breed fast if there are uncomposted 'browns' around. If you want to find out, visit the tunnel with a torch about an hour after dark, preferably on a humid evening. If that doesn't work leave some moist shelter like a piece of damp cardboard near the plants, and see what's under there next morning.

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