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Mole or vole inside my critter cage!

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Mole or vole inside my critter cage!

Post  kgooding on 4/22/2012, 7:32 pm

Okay, so this is my first year doing a square foot garden. Now, my garden is trex made out of 8 inch sides, so there is a lip around it. I've had voles in my lawn in the past so under my boxes I put a layer of landscape fabric and a layer of metal hardwire cloth, I think it's got about a 1/2 inch mesh. Earlier this week I planted a couple squares of bush beans and covered them with a critter cage that I made with a 2x2 wooden base and 1" chicken wire that was also covered with clear plastic for starting the seeds. Really, the whole thing is text book. Anyway, I didn't really check on things until this evening and when I lifted the cage to water I found something furry. At first I thought it was mold somehow, but upon closer inspection it was definitely a critter of some sort. I looked at the square and I really don't think it came up from underneath, there were no holes, but based on the size of this thing it could have easily scooted under the edge of the critter cage. Now, I'm not a critter expert, I may have taken some microbiology courses in college, but this was a bit too big to look at under the microscope and I didn't exactly measure it's tail to identify if it was a mouse or a vole (actually, I screamed like a little girl and made my husband dispose of it, lol). Anyway, I have some concerns. First off, do we think this think ate my seeds? It's too early to see sprouts but I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and replant the squares. I'm thinking it might have been willing to eat about anything in it's last hours. Second, based on the size there is no way that my chicken wire is keeping these things out of my beans, lettuce, or really anything. Are there any crops that I need to worry about these things destroying? Third, this seams like a freaky thing to find a dead critter in the garden, anyone else ever experience this?

Any ideas on improving my cages or if I even need to?

Thanks!
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kgooding

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Re: Mole or vole inside my critter cage!

Post  Lindacol on 4/22/2012, 8:19 pm

Use the search button in the upper left corner. There have been several threads about voles. Here are 2:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5998-vole-warning-tomato-destruction-overnight

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6089p15-moles-voles-and-holes

When I thought I had a vole or mouse problem(holes being dug & some plants eaten & I have wire bottoms on all my beds because of gophers) in my garden last year I set out traps and never caught anything. I finally bought a little bait staion that is supposed to be dog & kid resistant (I wouldn't trust it). My garden is fenced away from my dogs and we have no children or cats so I gave it a try. It is a Tomcat refillable bait station for mice. It holds one little bait block. The 1st time I filled it the bait was gone in a few days. I don't remember exactly but I am on only the 2nd or 3rd block and it has been out there nearly a year. No more holes. I do have an occassional rabbit or squirell that go thru the chain link fence (I have seen them) but mostly the dogs keep varmits away.
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