Monday, August 4, 2014

Under Assault

Earlier this Summer, it was discovered that I had a vole infestation.  

Voles, not moles.  Not cute, tiny, velvety bug eaters, but nasty rat sized vegans, who travel in tunnels, erupting at night to treat your landscaping as their personal salad bar.

Jamie's Most Wanted
They've obliterated all my beets, twice razed 20' rows of lima beans,desecrated all but 6 bean plants, ravaged my hostas, assault my sweet potato vines daily -- well, you get the picture!

The protective netting I had placed over the original remaining sweet potato plants confounded them only temporarily.  Only four healthy plants still exist.

They are the ones planted around my single tomato plant.  Maybe voles hate tomatoes -- I second that emotion!

Team Smith is losing, in spite of Jinx catching and eating one and Cole bringing me two live but dazed voles.  I've trapped two, perhaps more.  Apparently they're too big for ordinary mouse traps and they've made off with a few of mine.  

I've since switched to rat traps, with still no luck.

All this warring hasn't been without casualties. Amphibians are precious to me, they are my canaries in the coal mine. A backyard full of toads, frogs, skinks and lizards is a sign that I'm doing a good job as steward of my land.

So, it was a bad night when I accidentally crushed a toad while skulking around the yard checking traps. Further upsetting was the next morning's emergency amputation to save the life of a big mama toad whose front limb was mangled by my trap.
The icing on the cake was the bird, who had to fly off obscenely bare breasted, after getting stuck to one of my Super Sticky Trap Pads.

New tactics are required. I found exactly what I need online. Greatest 30 second video:

Dear Santa, I need one of these! 

Pity all the vole tunnels are primarily under my home and the old farmhouse. Somehow, me thinks Dr. P would not be amused.