The Q&A Archives: Beet Roots Eaten

Question: Could I have mice that eat my beet plant roots ? I have 6 cats.

Answer: Well, perhaps a KIND of mouse! I'll bet what you have are "voles". They are also known as meadow mice or meadow voles. They grow to about 7 inches and nest in shallow underground burrows, sometimes taking over abandoned mole tunnels. They usually feed at or just below ground level. The stuff they like are bulbs, tender veggies, flowers, grass and bark. What do you think? Is this the likely culprit?

As far as control is concerned the best thing would be "sanitation", barriers and trapping. Sanitation involves replacing thick, fluffy mulches with more compact materials...maybe plastic. Fencing should consist of 1/4 inch diameter wire mesh, extending 6-10 inches below the ground and at least 1 foot above. Trapping can be accomplished with ordinary mouse traps in burrows. I'd avoid poison to protect your cats.

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