Getting voles/move out of green house

DelcoMama82

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Hello everyone,
BYC member, newbie here.
We put up a hoop house this fall to attempt to grow some cold weather veggies through the winter. Everything was going fine until we noticed holes dug up all over the place, raised cedar beds chewed through, and almost everything eaten... of course.
We’ve recently put out some rat traps and caught a few voles, I think. But I’m hoping someone here has figured out how to keep theses little buggers out of our veggies.
Thanks for reading 😺
 

DelcoMama82

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a good sturdy wire mesh. all around and underneath.

rat traps with apricots as bait.
Chicken wire or so I need to get my arms all scraped up using hardwirecloth?
And by underneath do you mean dug under the earth? Like 8-12 inches below what is growing?
Any advice on mesh on top that will be secure but also open easilywhen I need to weed or harvest?
 

flowerbug

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chicken wire isn't strong enough, rusts through pretty quick in the ground and doesn't have a fine enough mesh. you can try to just put it around the outside down in the ground a foot to a foot and a half and see if that deters them enough. i don't use it to cover. i don't think they climb much. whichever ones get inside, traps should take care of them.

if you can encourage snakes, hawks and owls you may find the voles to not be too bad. we don't have kitties but the semi-feral ones wander through from time to time looking for easy treats and they usually find some (chipmunk heaven, some mice, a few voles, moles once in a while too).
 

CrealCritter

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I'll tell you what I used to do in NC, but it is not safe. Long copper rods and electricity. They had a socking experience... Probably not the best solution for a greenhouse though. Good luck...
 

Lazy Gardener

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I had the same issue this season. My greenhouse planting is a bust: vole and mouse infestation, possibly followed by rat or squirrel. I called my county ag extension agent. They put their team to work to give me the most thorough answer they could.

1. Exclusion with hardware cloth skirt is the first line of defense. (not an option for me based on my construction methods and frame of greenhouse rotting at ground level.)

2. Traps: Snap traps or live traps.

3. More traps.

4. The Vitamin D based rodenticides (Cholecalciferol ) are the only ones that are approved for use on organic farms. D-Con is changing all of their formulation to Vit. D. This poison is toxic to any animal that eats it. It has a very fast break down in soil. It rarely causes secondary poisoning. (Meaning, that any animal that eats a poisoned rodent would not ingest enough of the Vitamin D to cause any issues) My state Ag. extension DID NOT recommend that I use this rodenticide in my greenhouse. Neither did they discourage it's use. But, they did strongly recommend that I not eat any of the veggies that likely came in contact with the rodents.

Based on this information: I used snap traps until the rodents became trap wary. (I killed 4 mice and 2 voles. After that, traps were snapped, but no bodies.) I chose not to eat the luscious greens that had not yet been chomped. I set up a bucket trap, and found a dead vole just yesterday. As weather warms up, I intend to get out and re-set all the traps. BTW, voles and mice LOVE chocolate chips. I once caught 5 voles with a single trap baited with a single chocolate chip w/peanut butter. (Dump dead vole out of trap, re-set trap... rinse and repeat every morning.) I will also set up a bait station with the Vitamin D based poison before re-planting next month.
 

Britesea

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A friend of ours who maintains the repeater for the local HAM club found that sprinkling gum killed off the rodents very efficiently. He uses Big League Chew, and just sprinkles it around. I don't think it has Xylitol in it, which would be a hazard for any dogs.

I also recently found out that Buckeye chickens are as good as cats about hunting and eating mice...
 

Lazy Gardener

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I also recently found out that Buckeye chickens are as good as cats about hunting and eating mice...
Please, @Britesea , tell that to my Buckeyes. I bought them based on that reputation. I've put dead mice, squished mice with innards hanging out, and wounded mice in my chicken run. All the birds will gather around and talk about the rodent. But... NONE of them will touch a rodent, including the BE's.
 

Britesea

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sigh... another Rural Legend then... like broody Speckled Sussex. Hubby did have a chicken when he was young that liked hunting mice. She came in one of those variety packs from Murray McMurray apparently, and they thought she was a Rhode Island Red. Judging from pics I've found, I suspected she might have been a Buckeye instead.

There's also Rat Terriers, but I suspect it would take a lot of training to keep it from going after small livestock too.
 
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