voles and bulbs (forwarded from old list)

David Pilling david@davidpilling.com
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:28:06 PDT
christian.lachaud writes:

?There is no easy way to fight Voles.

In many parts of France, it has become a cause of disaster to farmers.
The administration, previously banning poisonous commercial products for
the sake of environment protection, had to move backward.

We have tried everything, from traps to explosives (see Rodenator for

Indeed cats will eat some voles.
But the voles are very fertile and reproduce faster than the cats can eat.

Voles populations have a 5 years outbreak cycles.
They are more active from the fall to spring - they don't hibernate and
seem to have fewer predators after the snakes go into hibernation.

The best natural predators are snake and fox - they are very proactive 
in getting voles into the ground, when the cat only waits at the surface.

We have very good results by combining (i) the promotion of natural
predators, (ii) better protecting our crops, and (iii) anticoagulant baits.

Only one anticoagulant bait is needed per nest, because voles have 
cannibal habits and one poisonned animal will kill the whole colony.

Please be cautious with these baits though, they act on all mammals
including humans, pets and predators.

They need to be pushed deep in the galeries (for avoiding any animal to
catch it from the surface and eat it).
They must never be touched by hands (for avoiding human odours - if the
vole smells humans, he will never eat the bait; and for avoiding traces 
of the poison on your skin).

In case of problems, for instance if your pet ate a poisonned vole, the
cure is vitamin K for a few weeks.
Cats will have the instinct to avoid eating an unhealthy animal, so it 
is unlikely to get this kind of problems with cats - it could happen 
with dogs.

If you have a nice collection of rare plants, do not wait, go 
immediately for anticoagulant baits.
You would lose everything by applying the wrong methods and feeling so
frustrated and angry at the end.

I know someone who invested 30'000 ? in saffron bulbs and lost everything
in a month.

Good luck in this war.

David Pilling
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