Gophers, Moles, Voles, and Mice

Judy Glattstein
Wed, 28 Dec 2011 17:26:30 PST
Carol in Connecticut asked about controlling the above critters.

A good hunting cat makes an excellent organic pest control device. They 
come in several colors, are affectionate, easy to care for, and 
effective. Some say females are better hunters but I've had males that 
would take squirrels and young rabbits. While there are rants about cats 
killing great numbers of wild birds this has not been my experience. 
Rather, it is very infrequent (compared to mice and voles) and usually 
just fledged youngsters who in any case would be at risk from the local 
foxes, coyotes, raptors, snakes.

Some cats are great hunters, others not so good. If mother is a good 
hunter, so are her kittens. Several of my neighbors have barn cats to 
control the mice that come after the grain for the horses, sheep, etc. 
And it is not true that a hungry cat is a more effective hunter.

Terriers are good at rats but also tend to dig, another reason you might 
prefer a cat.

Don't want a cat? Talk to a friend with a cat, and ask for the solids in 
the cat's litter pan. Dump them down vole holes and the critters will 
tend to move out.

Next year, at least here in New Jersey, we will likely see a population 
crash in small rodents over the winter. Usual production for a mature 
oak is about 25 pounds / tree. This year oak trees had a very poor mast 
crop - only about 5 pounds / tree. Small rodents will starve, and the 
knock on effect will be reduced numbers of foxes, red tail hawks, owls - 
all the predators that rely on mice, voles, squirrels.Wild turkeys will 
also suffer. Cycles of nature.

Judy in New jersey where the weather is quite wet but fortunately warm 
enough to be precipitating as liquid rather than snow

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