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Thread: Voles eating pea vines

  1. #1

    Default Voles eating pea vines

    Something, presumably field voles, is chewing through our pea vines just above the soil surface,
    killing the vines. We want to eat our peas. Any suggestions ? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Where are you at? Seems unusual for voles but not impossible.

    Figure out where they're living nearby and trap them. My veggies have a "no voles allowed" policy, mostly due to the potential for winter damage of fruit trees.

  3. #3

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    We live in interior alaska. Usually the cats take care of the voles, but it's been really rainy and they don't want to get wet.
    Because of the rain, the weeds have grown like crazy. A gardener told me to beat back the weeds, as that is where the voles
    hang out. I did weed recently but will go after them again. Was wondering if anyone had tried blood meal or something like that.
    Will put out some traps, but not sure what would taste better to voles than fresh pea vines !

  4. #4
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    Peanut butter. The freshly ground stuff.

    And I agree, get rid of their cover (weeds) they don't like to be out in the open.

  5. #5

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    I use a bit of dish soap around the bottom edge of my trees and vegetables to keep voles and rabbits away. It doesn't seem to hurt the plants but the voles hate the taste. I also spread some birdseed on the opposite part of the yard and they tend to flock there instead of my garden.

    I also had a pet vole once! It's not relevant, but I named him Skipper. He was a baby with a broken leg, so I healed him up and rereleased him.
    Lone Alaskan Gypsy
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  6. #6
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    We had the same problem.
    I put out mouse traps, but they kept disappearing. So I thought “I’ll fix this” and started staking the mouse traps to the ground with some 60d nails and fishing line.

    Then I started finding missing or busted up mouse traps, but never anything in the traps.
    So I thought “I’ll fix this” and started putting out rat traps staked to the ground with logging spikes. The traps stopped disappearing, but were still empty.

    So I thought “How in the world do I fix this?” When one day my wife said “Have you seen all the owls around here?” I looked up and saw four owls watching me, waiting for me to put out more traps. So I picked up all the traps and made those owls start hunting for themselves, our vole problem went away.

    So now the routine is when we start having a vole problem I put out traps staked to the ground, but leave the voles in them. When the owls show up I pull the traps and the vole problem is solved for a couple of years. Then repeat every couple of years.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    we don't have any peas either. i have them planted around the house porch and the little critters barely have to sneak out to get them.. we also have teeth marks in all our Zucchini and squash...good thing i don't like veggies anyway.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  8. #8

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    We have a little boreal owl that sits right above our bird feeder, pushes seed onto the ground, and waits for voles. When he's done hunting he stays in our smoke-house for the day and then comes out again at night to lure more food to his dinner plate. The owls in Alaska are unbelievably smart! I'm not surprised they caught onto your traps. Pretty affordable way to keep voles from your garden! I'm sure weasels would come and eat them too if they had the chance.

  9. #9

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    I had a vole problem last year and I also tried trapping them. I caught a few. The problem is that they start reproducing at 45 days old so there is almost an unlimited supply of them. It doesn't help you out this year, but I bought some OSB and ripped each piece into three 16" pieces. Then I buried half of it in the ground (8" below ground, 8 " above ground) around the entire garden. I haven't had a single problem this year. Apparently they wont dig under it if they hit any resistance and they don't like to climb.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomerAdam View Post
    I had a vole problem last year and I also tried trapping them. I caught a few. The problem is that they start reproducing at 45 days old so there is almost an unlimited supply of them. It doesn't help you out this year, but I bought some OSB and ripped each piece into three 16" pieces. Then I buried half of it in the ground (8" below ground, 8 " above ground) around the entire garden. I haven't had a single problem this year. Apparently they wont dig under it if they hit any resistance and they don't like to climb.
    Yeah, but you should see the lil' buggers when they're pole vaulting!! ;^>)

    Sorry, it was difficult to resist. I was up much of the night dealing with bulk-quantity salmon brining, and the qualirty of humor may be suffering some..

    We've had varying degrees of vole issues here. The little fellers can put the hurt on a good carrot and potato crop, fer' sure.

    I used to have trouble with the mouse traps I'd place in the garden area, as when I'd water the garden, the wooden platforms that many of the old-style traps are built on would absorb the water from the rain and sprinklers, swell with the increased water content, and then, (POOF!!), the pressure caused by the springs would cause the staples they're bound with to let go, pulling the staples from the swollen wood base, and the things would disintegrate into pieces scattered throughout the area they'd been placed in.

    All in all, I guess I helped to provide employment security for those poor folks who have to admit to others that they make mouse traps for a living. I figure someone's got to do it...

    Anyway, someone, a few years ago, advised me that the voles are most likely drawn to our compost during the winter and spring months, creating a more centralized area to trap them in, without any damage to the traps from more regular watering. They said to place LOTS of baited mouse traps (we use peanut butter mixed with oatmeal on the triggers) around the compost in the spring time. This is claimed to maximize the number of the little guys that meet their maker, saves on buying more traps, uses the compost as a primary attractant instead of the spuds and carrots, and, all in all, reportedly makes for a better strategy.

    Now if I could only motivate myself to be forward-thinking, and take their advise.

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