Monday, December 10, 2012

Operation Vole Control - Setting up a Defense Perimeter

It's been a battlefield out there.  All year we have been besieged by that family of organized rodent crime - the Vole family.  Every single one of them has proven to be a serial plant killer, and these tunneling mice-like fiends are apparently also masterminds at avoiding all efforts to trap them.

We have finally pushed them back using deterrents made out of castor oil, but let's be honest - we know it isn't going to last.  

We need to set up a defense perimeter.  


Okay, troops, this is the plan:  we are going to surround our borders and valuable plants with what we hope will be Vole kryptonite - plants that are either poisonous or distasteful to Voles.  Daffodils have been trucked in by the dozens, and other plants resistant to these little monsters have been purchased.  

It is our solemn duty to see that our garden is protected - let's turn it into a veritable minefield for these creatures!

****Bulbs and Vole-resistant Plants included in our defense perimeter****
Daffodils, Alliums, Hyacinths, Grape Hyacinths, Snowdrops, Summer Snowflakes, Star Flower, Fritillaria, Hellebores, and Mountain Mint.

Other Vole-repellant plants for future consideration include:
Glory-of-the-Snow, Squill, Autumn Crocus, and Goldenrod

If any other Gardening Soldier out there knows of any other plants, intel is always appreciated.  

Disclaimer: This Garden Commander does not guarantee all of these plants listed to be completely Vole-proof - when it comes to these nefarious plant killers, all bets are off!


To your trowels, Soldiers - Operation Vole Control is a go!

24 comments:

  1. Great post, and good luck with your vole control. I launched my own vole control campaign, though it was really aimed mostly at rabbits and I call it the vole patrol because nothing rhymes with rabbits. I'm mostly worried about my young trees and shrubs, which I've surrounded with hardware cloth.

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    1. I've lost of lot of plants to the voles. I have a fence around the back yard, so I've only had limited trouble with rabbits, thankfully. They've managed to squeeze under the fence every so often in order to enjoy my hostas. The voles are the worst, though - oftentimes you don't know they're there until it's too late.

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  2. I know of no other plants, but I wonder - won't the evil voles just burrow past the stuff they hate to get to the stuff they love? Or will they really be stopped cold? They are persistent little devils.

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    1. Shhhh... Don't tell the voles that!!
      I'm hoping that all the bulbs and such will naturalize to the point that the voles won't even be able to see all the yummy roots, or will at least think that a different yard will be less effort than mine.

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  3. You might consider enlisting the aid of the vole eaters! Cats can be helpful, as can owls, but the best vole-eaters are rat snakes and their clan once warm weather returns.

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    1. We've had a couple stray cats come through - I wish they would help out! The only snake I've seen here, though, is a little brown snake that I mistook for a big earthworm when I saw it. I've hear some owls in the evenings sometime. Maybe I should put up an owl house.

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  4. Funny and sad. I was thinking cats too, except the voles are underground much of the time. Maybe an army of 'ground' dogs like the Jack Russel or other small terrier. Just kidding, but you have a real problem to tackle. I can't poison them though, so I would be defenseless.

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    1. I've tried different traps and such with no success. I'm usually against killing off wildlife, but these voles are pushing my buttons!

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  5. Well my voles don't eat the plants listed but they are not deterred by these plants either and seem to continue to frolic all throughout the garden...good luck...love to hear how you make out...a local fox would help.

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    1. Maybe in numbers? Hopefully? I'll try anything at this point?
      We actually have a local fox, but I think it's been scared off by all the construction going on nearby, unfortunately.

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  6. Good luck! It sounds like a great plan. If I were a vole, I'd definitely stay away! ;)

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    1. Thank you :) Hopefully the voles will think the same way!

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  7. Nefarious! That is not a word you hear every day, but definitely describes voles. All I can say is good luck... yer gonna need it. ;)

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    1. Thanks for those oh so encouraging words. ;)

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  8. Phew, glad I don't have voles, Hope your plans work out.

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    1. Thank your lucky stars you don't! They look all furry and cute (not that I've actually seen any of my little tunneling criminals), but they are a garden nightmare!

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  9. Honestly! I leave you alone for a few weeks and you completely lose the plot Indie!!! :-)
    Have you considered digging a moat round the RedHouse garden with a draw-bridge, canons and maybe hiring a hitman? x

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    1. A MOAT!! That's just what I need! Anyone know where I can find a good hit man around these parts? These voles are going to drive me to the loony bin (no comments from the peanut gallery).

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  10. I'll be interested to see if this works. I have many of these plants but that hasn't stopped the voles from passing them by and continuing into the garden. We line all our holes with wire mesh when planting. This has worked. I hope your voles will find other pastures to feed!

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    1. I'm hoping that this, along with the castor oil deterrent, will finally push them on to greener pastures. I'll try anything at this point!

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  11. Our cats catch voles all the time. My husband also catches them in mousetraps in our carriage house.

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    1. I tried the mousetraps under a pot thing, trying to catch them. Still no luck - these voles are wily!

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  12. I have the perfect vole control - birds of prey!
    We keep Eagle Owls, Barn owls, Hawks and a Buzzard and vermin literally run for the hills - don't know whether they can sense them or something!
    We had a mole pop up twice but even that never stuck around and we have 4 acres for it to happily demolish.
    Also barn cats - not necessarily your average moggy but cats that like to hunt for their food - works wonders.
    Good luck with your vole control and fab drawing btw ;)

    Linda
    http://thetenaciousgardener.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. We have several hawks nearby, and I'm pretty sure we have owls. They need to come to my yard more often!

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