melon eating mice - Knowledgebase Question

Greenville, NY
Question by LAEVPEJR4
August 6, 1998
For the second year in a row, mice are nipping and scratching at my cantelopes and melons. I get a few with traps, but that is a real pain. Any suggestions? Can the fruit be wrapped in something? What about sprays (i.e., pepper spray)? Can it be home made (I've got a lot of jalapenos)?.

Answer from NGA
August 6, 1998


Mice and other small animals often develop a taste for melons, so some gardeners wrap or cage their melons with wire screeening or mesh to prevent nibbling.

Here is a recipe for a repellent pepper spray. Although the recipe calls for Tabasco, you might be able to soak your jalapenos in vinegar to make a substitute "pepper sauce".

Mix together 1/2 oz. Tabasco sauce, 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 1 teaspoon chili powder. Put it in a squirt bottle and spritz the melons or use a rag to wipe it on them. You may find that simply dribbling it on the ground around the melons is enough of a deterrent. In any case, wear rubber gloves and be careful not to get this in your eyes or on your skin. Wash the melons well before you cut them open, too.

Good luck with your melons!

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