European water vole

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svalli
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European water vole

#1

Post: # 69382Unread post svalli
Tue May 10, 2022 6:31 am

Year ago I found that some of the fall planted garlic did not start to grow. There were areas where none of the cloves seemed to survive the winter. Later in the summer when mowing the lawn next to my vegetable plot I smelled garlic and noticed garlic growing in middle of the grass. I suspected water voles and got a sonic mole repellent, which is pushed into the ground.
When I started to dig up potatoes in autumn, there were tunnels in the potato rows and many potatoes were badly eaten. Carrots were still growing at that time and I decided to let them be on the ground and moved the repellent thing closer to carrots. When few weeks later it was time to harvest the carrots, I found only the stems and a tunnel where the carrots used to grow. It almost seemed that the repellent had attracted them to where the carrots were. Only couple of red carrots had remained.

That meant war and I got couple of rat traps and a black plastic storage box. I attached carrot pieces to the traps and put them on the ground above a tunnel opening and put the plastic storage box over them. Before winter I checked the traps couple of times and there was nothing, The carrot pieces softened, so I threw those away last time I visited there before snow covered everything.

Week ago we visited there and snow from top of the storage box had melted, so I turned the box around and found nothing in the traps. I did not have any bait to put into the traps, but I reset them and left there. Last weekend we went back to start working in the garden and to my big surprise there were water voles on both of the traps. One of the voles had bitten the plastic trigger so hard that I had to pry its jaws open to get it out.
Rat traps.jpg
Rat traps.jpg (207.61 KiB) Viewed 166 times
Water vole.jpg
Water vole.jpg (158.38 KiB) Viewed 166 times
It seems that the traps set under a box work, so I will keep on setting them through the summer and hopefully I will be able to harvest potatoes and carrots this year.
Luckily this year they had not touched the garlic bed, since almost all of the garlic had sprouted. I think that they do not eat the garlic, but the digging messes the planted beds. Last fall I found out that birch tar oil could repel voles and is not harmful to beneficial soil organisms, if diluted. I put some of that in a watering can and sprinkled it on the soil around my garlic bed after planting. I do not know if that repelled the voles, but I will try any means which could potentially work to get rid of them.

Sari
Last edited by svalli on Tue May 10, 2022 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
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Bower
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Re: European water vole

#2

Post: # 69384Unread post Bower
Tue May 10, 2022 7:03 am

Wow, these are quite large compared to our little meadow voles here.
Here's hoping that your methods continue to work.
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AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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svalli
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Re: European water vole

#3

Post: # 69387Unread post svalli
Tue May 10, 2022 7:30 am

Bower wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 7:03 am Wow, these are quite large compared to our little meadow voles here.
Here's hoping that your methods continue to work.
First time I saw one of these I was shocked about the size. I have seen the small mouse size voles before but these things are like rats. I had heard about these big ones and the harm they can cause in a garden, but we have not had problem with them until now. Unfortunately my father-in-law's cat passed away last summer, so it is now up to me to try to keep the population from exploding.
"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
- Moomin-troll by Tove Jansson

rxkeith
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Re: European water vole

#4

Post: # 69481Unread post rxkeith
Wed May 11, 2022 5:02 pm

catch enough of them and you can make a fur something........


keith

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svalli
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Re: European water vole

#5

Post: # 69505Unread post svalli
Thu May 12, 2022 4:35 am

rxkeith wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 5:02 pm catch enough of them and you can make a fur something........
That's what I thought, when I saw the shiny and soft coats of these things. Fur mittens maybe :lol:
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"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
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