Last winter the voles ate most of the "corm" on my Musa basboo, planted close to the house foundation, which had otherwise survived four winters. They ate every scrap of Canna 'Purpurea' and Alstromeria planted in the same location. My organic pest control devices are slowing down. Madam is 19 years old, Miss Chubette is not as swift as she once was, and the grey shadow is not leaving as many fertilizer packets on the deck as he once did. I read a suggestion of dipping bulbs in Ropel before planting, and also one that suggested using a solution of castor oil to deter moles/ voles in the lawn. I am considering pouring some of both on the banana this fall. Anything that poisons domestic dogs and cats seems likely to kill other canines such as foxes and coyotes, felines such as bobcats. Poisons need to be kept secured, in pest-proof containers: galvanized garbage cans (do they still make these?) or tightly lidded sturdy plastic, with the poison in its original package. A handy, dandy slug bait poison station is easily made from an empty 2-liter plastic soda bottle. Cut it apart at the shoulder. Scissors or a box cutter works well. You now have a cylinder piece and a funnel piece. Insert funnel into cylinder and staple together. Toss some slug bait into the contraption, and lay on the ground. Slugs are attracted to the ? smell of the bait, crawl down the neck and dine on the bait. They are not smart enough to find their way back out. When the contraption gets too raunchy, toss it into the trash and make another one. Side benefit: no slug slime on your hands. A pit trap for small rodents is made by burying a plastic bucket or similar container in the ground. They go in after the bait, and plastic sides are too smooth for them to climb back out. Partially cover lid to make it more attractive to them. Check regularly (daily) and dispose of the critters - they starve fairly rapidly, will cannibalize on each other - you may want them dead but there is no need to be cruel about it. Placed under an angled board, snap traps have no secondary harmful effect to chicken toes, cat paws, etc. Such placement also makes the "run" more attractive to voles and mice. Assiduously set, emptied and reset, they can be quite effective. Better on mice and voles, rats are too smart. Once you trap the first one, the others stay away. Same with rats and poisons, or so I've heard. Ah, the joys of gardening, such a genteel pastime, suitable for ladies in flowered dresses, big brimmed straw hats, gloves, drifting through the garden picking bouquets. Me, I'm in blue jeans hurling rocks and imprecations at the deer. regards from Judy on this Labor Day weekend.