Garden Varmints

And then there were the voles. I used to attempt to make life difficult for them by shoving stones down their burrows. The following morning they were just pushed out.

I would also stick the garden hose down a burrow and flood the ground in a vain attempt to make them take up abode elsewhere. They did not mind the mud. Several mothballs topped with stones were also inserted in burrows to discourage them. Nothing worked.

The critters always pushed the intruding objects back out again. I guess that they just held their breaths when they were removing mothballs. Once I left gobs of peanut butter around. I had read that when eating peanut butter it would stick in a voles throat and choke it to death.

To my surprise, when I tried it, I did find an expired vole. I have no idea whether it was the sticking peanut butter or just that the vole laughed itself to death. Nothing discourages them.

In the spring the burrows they make just under the snow wind all over, many ending under the bird feeder where fallen seed may be found. But who would have thought that the lowly vole could be the subject of an investigation into love and sex.

Kay and I like sugar snap peas. So do other critters including rabbits. For some years they ate them as soon as the plants appeared above ground. The peas never recovered. Then I planted a row of garlic alongside the peas. It worked.

Garlic starts growing in the fall and it is already there before the peas emerge. Rabbits have not bothered them since. Garlic is also good for keeping werewolves and vampires at bay. We have never been troubled by them. I wish I could say the same for deer.

Being adjacent to a state park, there is an unending reservoir of voracious deer that favor my shrubs above all else. Covering them with burlap for the winter did work but took a lot of effort. One year festooning them with Irish Spring Soap was successful.

But only for that one year. The next year it did not discourage them in the slightest. They enjoyed eating everything right up to the soap bars. This year I tied clothesline between the trees and shrubs across their favorite path to my garden. Long strips of cloth dangling vertically were tied to the lines.

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