RODENT TUNNELS - Knowledgebase Question

White Bear, MN
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Question by MargaretGal
March 28, 1998
After removing the much from my backyard flower bed, I noticed an unmistakable rodent exit/entrance hole in the middle of my bed. The hole is maybe 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter. The flower bed backs up to a chain-link fence at the edge of my yard - on the other side of the fence is a small grove of trees - which may contribute to my problem. I put poison feed down the hole. What else should/could I do now to get RID of this pest? I plan on putting some gopher spurge in during the planting season. I can't really tell yet, but it looks like this monster may have been dining on my lillies and other plant roots during the winter.

Answer from NGA
March 28, 1998
It's good to be aware of potential pest problems in your garden, but are you sure the creature is actually a pest? Rodents often do munch on some of our favorite plants, but they also eat insects, so unless they're populations are high, their benefits can offset their pest status. Also, it's really tough to control critters as ubiquitous as mice and voles. You can try different methods to discourage them, such as reducing protective cover to make them vulnerable to predators; use fox scent (see Burpee Catalog) or scatter cat/dog hair from a local pet groomer to make them think predators are present; strategic placement of inflatable garden snakes and/or owl/hawk models (move these around often so rodents don't just get used to them); protect your choice bulbs and other fleshy-rooted plants by planting them in "cages" of hardware cloth. I hope this helps!

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