voles and bulbs

Mike Rummerfield mikerumm@gmail.com
Sun, 16 Jul 2017 22:41:53 PDT
I lost some of my prized lilies this last winter.  We had unusually
prolonged snow cover which the voles take full advantage of.  As the snow
melts you find the tunnels where they've been busy doing their dastardly
work.  One winter's melt I found stockpiles of perhaps 500 crocus corms
stashed throughout the garden, most partially eaten (*!##d'x!! - Why me,
Lord???)).  In my experience, Scilla spcs., Camas, Galanthus, Freesia laxa,
Anthericum, Paradisea, Crocosmia, Alstroemeria and, of course, Narcissus
are not bothered by them.  They also favor California native bulbs, at
least here they do.  Haven't tried the stalite, yet.

Part of the problem is my beloved, cherished cat died last November.  He
was a great mouser and voler(?) and would call (yowl) to me to come and see
what he'd proudly caught, luxuriating in the praise heaped upon him, before
devouring his prey.  Cats are great assets in the control of all rodents,
except perhaps moles which my cat would never eat (or catch).  Minus a cat,
I've had no luck with baited traps, voles appear to be bait shy or else
their tastes are too discriminating for me, but have had much success with
the very small have-a-heart traps.  I noticed an area frequented by
scurrying voles, field mice, and kangaroo mice - a transition area between
heavy perennial cover to a more open area.  I laid only about ten feet of
hardware cloth (12" tall) with a cut section near the middle where I place
the trap.  Sometimes I'm astounded how often the trap has a prisoner.  How
to dispatch with the live rodents can be a problem.  I've had success using
the same technique, larger trap (double open ends), with rabbits.  I live
in a  rural area, so it's not difficult to find a new home for them.  Let's
not even talk of the problems caused by the largest rodent, namely deer.

On the Galanthus thread - Galanthus, Crocus tommasinianus, Scilla siberica,
Chionodoxa, and Camas all have naturalized here (with some help from me and
rodents), especially the first two - mostly in partially shaded meadows,
where they receive no additional water, ever.  The soil is very well
drained.  The Freesia laxa is naturalizing in both more shaded areas or
areas that receive some additional water.

Sorry I've been so loquacious.  I guess I'm missing my cat - and all those
lilies and crocuses.

Western Washington, USA
zone 7/Mediterranean climate

On Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 8:55 PM, <nickplummer@gmail.com> wrote:

> I use stalite (permatill, volebloc) mixed into the soil when I plant new
> bulbs, unless they are toxic plants like daffodils. Stalite looks like
> pumice and supposedly voles don't like to dig through it.  It does seem to
> work.
> Picture and description on my blog here:
> https://sweetgumandpines.wordpress.com/2017/03/…
> Nick
> > On Jul 16, 2017, at 4:02 PM, Kathleen Sayce wrote:
> >
> > A horticulturist friend who gardens nearby says he lost a third of his
> lilies to voles this past winter. So I’m curious to know how others deal
> with these voracious herbivores. Do those non-poisonous pellets work? Or
> are predators (cats, dogs), poison baits, or traps the way to keep them
> somewhat at bay?
> >
> >
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