4 effective ways to protect your garden from rodents in winter

4 effective ways to protect your garden from rodents in winter

While pests and pathogens hibernate, rats, mice and hares because of the cold cannot find food in the fields and in the forest, so a garden and a vegetable store with a harvest becomes their goal. Of course, you need to prepare to protect the garden from unwanted guests in the fall. And in the cold season, you need to check the effectiveness of these methods and take new steps to protect your work.

Trampling and redistributing snow to tasty plants

In winter, snow has a protective function for the garden. It protects bare soil from freezing and weathering, as well as plants from cold weather. In addition, it is better to add snow so that it effectively moistens the soil in the spring.

To prevent rodents from getting close to bulbs, bushes, flower gardens and trees with the help of passages and minks, you need to trample the snow carefully near the plants, without touching them.

We regularly check the shelters of plants

Hares love to feast on bark, so always check the binding of tree trunks with fabrics, nonwovens, and twigs. If you notice that the mounts are not securely held, then immediately take action. Examine plants that are covered with air dry, leaves, straw and sawdust, as voles can nest when warm and dry. Make sure that hares and mice do not get to the branches and buds of trees, bushes.

Take additional measures to wrap or set traps if necessary. Stocks of dry twigs or spruce branches should always be in your arsenal to refurbish, strengthen, or create a new shelter. Check mouse traps, fill baits, upgrade deterrents.

In cellars and places where seeds and vegetables are stored, carefully check the loss of cereals, nuts and seeds. If you notice bitten vegetables or a mouse smell, then it's time to take urgent action.

Stocking up on means for repelling rodents

If basic protection measures are not enough, then you will have to resort to chemical and environmental means. It can be elderberry tincture or tar, ammonia, creolin, diesel fuel, special preparations that are mixed with grain and flour, or ready-made mixtures for baits. Be sure to choose for yourself at least one means of dealing with intruders.

Prepare a supply of rags, cotton pads or foam rubber and some products to impregnate them. Spread rags, cotton pads or bait containers over the holes and burrows. Place scarers near plants or in places where vegetables are stored, and bait with poisons away from the crop and garden.

We use decor as a means of fighting rodents

Lapwood can be laid out on flower beds or tied into bouquets and build huts. You can use rustling materials, such as Christmas tinsel, and at the same time decorate the garden with bright colors. Also tie the tree trunks with red bandages, ribbons, colored cloth soaked in repellents. So it will turn out to scare away fans of eating bark. Tie up the spruce branches and arrange them through pipes, drainage systems, and other channels through which voles and rats can get into the house and storage facilities.

But remember that no matter how you prepare in the fall to protect the garden and harvest from rodents when winter comes, fighting them and constantly monitoring their distribution on the site is your constant job.

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How to protect your garden and vegetable garden from rodents

Protecting the garden from pests

With the onset of early winter, when loose snow covers the still warm ground, the garden-garden is filled with various rodents crawling out in search of food. They are capable of causing serious damage to cultural plantings.

First of all, you need to spend time researching the flora and fauna of the site. It is recommended to write down observations in a diary, systematically record the appearance of various creatures and symptoms of plant damage. It is imperative to indicate the date of observation, the phase of the biological cycle of the plant (flowering, ripening of fruits, etc.), the type of parasite, the characteristics of the disease manifested in the plant, the size of the affected area, measures to eliminate undesirable consequences, as well as how effective they were. In this case, it is better to allocate a separate place in the diary for each plant. All this is necessary in order to understand which parasites are causing harm, the degree of this harm, the frequency of their appearance, and to determine the control measures. To reduce the interest of rodents in the site, first of all, you need to keep it clean and tidy. The grass should not be grouped near tree trunks and stems, since pests visit there for nuts, seeds, roots, etc. It is necessary to remove dry branches and weeds in time, since mice like to make their nests in them.

There are two categories of pest control methods: mechanical and chemical.

The first of them is very reliable, and also, and this is important, environmentally friendly. The bottom line is the use of materials that rodents cannot overcome or they are not interested in. These materials are wrapped around the trunk and the base of the branches, while invariably burying the lower edge into the ground, and then carefully trampled. Attach the protection to the tree with wire or twine. These procedures are carried out in late autumn, before stable frosts strike.

In the old days, green spaces were protected by tightly wrapping the trunks with spruce branches, and the needles were directed downward, with reeds, sunflower stalks, wormwood. Of course, such materials require some skill, and it is not always possible to get them in the right quantities. Modern monolithic pieces of material are easier to use in this sense.

Some time ago, plant lovers tied the trunks with roofing material or tar paper, but these materials turned out to be inconvenient, since they did not let air through, which made the tree unable to breathe. Therefore, when using them, you should wrap the trunk with matting.

The use of a chain-link mesh with small cells is somewhat more costly. First, the trunk is wrapped in newspapers or burlap. The coarse mesh is wrapped a couple of times. The edges above and below are fixed with wire, while the edge is carefully deepened from below. Such protection is effective and durable, but it must be removed with the arrival of spring.

Recently, modern pest control materials have appeared on the market, for example, plastic mesh. It is thin, but does not attract rodents. This mesh does not rot, does not rust, is extremely durable and can withstand extreme conditions.

❧ Infusion of walnut leaves helps against the Colorado potato beetle. First of all, fallen leaves, which are harvested most often in autumn, go to infusions. Keep in dry ventilated areas. Apply 21-28 days before the beetle raid, moisturizing the leaves.

The second category of protective equipment is chemical. Pests really do not like the scent of chemistry. In a domestic environment, you can make a protective whitewash: add 1-2 tbsp. To a bucket of a mixture of clay and mullein (1: 1). l. turpentine, creolin or carbolic acid. The result is a substance that scares away not only rodents, but gardening scientists who believe that the bark lubricated with it hardly breathes. A more preferable option: 3-5 g of creolin or carbolic acid and 1 liter of water are mixed and moistened with a sawdust solution, then placing them near the trunk. Applying a creolin solution (6-10 g per bucket of water) to lubricate the greenhouse foundation from the outside and from the inside will ward off mice.

A variety of poisoned baits are widespread, which you can buy or prepare yourself by mixing:

• 1 kg of grain with 5 kg of "Rat" or 10 g of karbofos

• flour, sugar and alabaster or cement in equal proportions

• crumb of black bread and alabaster in equal proportions.

If you add a drop of vegetable oil to such a treat, then the mice will surely show interest. Baits in small thin bags are placed in mouse holes. Substances should not get into the soil, since they are harmful to humans and animals.

In the fight against mice, very effective pesticides are sometimes used, which are classified as phosphides, which are dangerous for any warm-blooded animals, respectively, for humans and domestic animals. It is necessary to use such chemistry carefully and preferably only in closed rooms. In open areas, phosphides are fatal in any animal. Usually a highly toxic agent called "Storm" is used. They use it very carefully, after carefully reading the instructions in order to accurately calculate the dose of the drug.

The famous Vishnevsky ointment is also suitable for rodent courage, and the effectiveness of the remedy is very worthy. They take sphagnum moss, spread ointment (a tablespoon) on it and put it in the burrow. Pests will flee from the smell like the plague. Tar and turpentine will also help, although not so effectively. In addition, the ointment is more difficult to wash off with rain.

And here are some of the popular ways:

• overlay tree trunks with blackroot or tomato tops

• at the hole leading into the burrow, lay out the heads of the burdocks.

• if you put herring waste or cat hair near the minks, then the mice, frightened off by the smell, will leave the site in search of a new shelter

• pour cold infusion of minks from branches of evergreen trees - thuja or spruce (at the rate of 500 g of branches per 10 liters of boiling water)

• to scare away hares, you can hang black paper or ribbon on the branches

• hang plastic bottles with mothballs on branches, cutting holes in them, they will scare away hares and mice

• when planting bulbs, periodically plant daffodil bulbs, so unloved by mice, unlike other bulbs. Of course, such methods do not guarantee success, but you can try it - it will suddenly help.

If the area of ​​the site is significant, you can apply the method of creating trapping grooves. It is quite difficult, but very rewarding. The method is not used by everyone, but rather by professional zoologists who are closely involved in the study of rodents. The principle of operation of this method of catching rodents is that they do not die and do not lose health. The grooves are placed around the perimeter of the site where young trees are planted. To the depth of the bayonet, a ditch is dug with smooth walls and a trampled bottom, equal in width to the depth. In the ditch, they measure about 10 m and a plastic bottle with a capacity of 2 liters, or better even more, is stuck with the neck down by 2 cm into the ground. The top of the bottle should be approximately level with the soil surface. The pest usually falls into this trap.

Rodents have excellent hearing, so you can use ultrasound that is not perceived by humans. Of course, devices that produce ultrasound require power. In addition, such devices operate within a certain area and cannot send a signal through an obstacle, for example, a building. So the feasibility of using this method is sometimes questioned.


A little about the past: my experience

I remembered that a long time ago, when my site was a pure field, open to all winds, I had problems with the wintering of young seedlings. And how could they not be, if the site was not yet fenced off, and the former owners of these lands - hares and goats - still considered them their own. Even the high snow cover did not save - the goats and hares happily devoured the tender branches of young plants. Hares - they generally prefer branches and buds of apple and pear. But if everything has already been eaten, then they are taken for cherries.

The question of the fence was still open then, plus the rules of horticultural associations of those years prohibited fences between gardeners' plots. It was possible to fence only from the street, and just bushes were planted between the plots.

I had to save my young trees. Many options have been tried. Wrapped young trunks roofing material, tied spruce branches (but you can’t save enough of it!), and settled on one well, purely ours, a shovel version: she wrapped trunks and skeletal branches with nylon hosiery. All out of order nylon stockings and tights went into business. It was nice to dig in the strapping material at the base to block the path of not only lop-eared, but also small tailed rodents.


It is necessary to block the path of not only lop-eared, but also small tailed rodents

To be honest, and now I see no alternative to this method when it comes to preserving the trunks of young seedlings in winter. Spunbond, of course, good, but for the price it can not be compared with tights (forgive me the male readers for talking about such intimate items of women's dress, but you cannot erase a word from the song).


2. Regular shelter checks

Whichever way of protecting the trunks you use, how it "works" in practice, it is better to regularly check in winter. With the arrival of real frosts during a visit to the garden, regularly inspect all the shelters.

If you use fabrics, nonwovens, spruce branches, twigs, reeds, etc. for tying tree trunks, check how securely the fasteners are held and whether there are gaps on them. Particular attention should be paid to plants covered with an air-dry method and mulched for protection with dry leaves, sawdust and straw, because mice often find additional shelter in dryness and warmth.

Even if trees and shrubs are protected, it is worth making sure that mice or hares do not reach the branches and buds by examining the entire crown above the shelter. If protection is not enough, additional measures must be taken to wrap up or install repellents and traps. Stocks of dry twigs or spruce branches should always be available to renew, strengthen or create a new shelter.

It is worth making sure of the effectiveness of other measures:

  • check if the mouse repeller is working properly
  • inspect and fill traps and baits
  • update deterrent agents by replacing the “fillers” that have lost their smell with new ones.

In vegetable stores and places where seeds, planting material, food stocks are placed, inspection and verification of the effectiveness of rodent control should be even more thorough. Even the slightest signs of an unpleasant "mouse" smell, afterbirth, missing nuts, cereals or seeds are a reason to immediately take additional measures.

With the arrival of real frosts during a visit to the garden, regularly inspect all the shelters. © David Beaulieu


How to protect your garden and vegetable garden from pests in winter

During the summer, gardeners and gardeners, examining plants damaged by various pests and diseases, ask themselves the question: "Where did all this misfortune come from?" And most often they immediately answer themselves: "Probably, it flew from the neighboring area." The neighbor at this time is busy with the same thoughts.

Where do pests and pathogens in our areas actually come from? The answer is simple - they are here all the time. After all, most of our pests are transferred to cultivated plants from their wild relatives. Naturally, succulent cabbage leaves will be more attractive to cabbage than wild crucifers, and potato tubers are much tastier for wireworms than wheatgrass roots.

Even in winter, pests do not leave our sites. Each pest species is able to survive the winter only at a certain stage of its development. For example, many isopteran insects (aphids, suckers) and some butterflies (gypsy moth, winter moth) hibernate in the egg phase. Another group of pests hibernates in the larval phase. These include wireworms (larvae of click beetles), beetles, bears, onion flies and others.

In the pupa phase, many butterflies (cabbage whites, scoops, moths), cabbage flies and other flies overwinter.And finally, weevils, Colorado beetles, cruciferous fleas spend the winter in the phase of an adult insect.

Wintering sites for pests are quite diverse. Most often, insects spend the winter in some kind of shelter. However, eggs of sucker moths, ringed silkworms and some other insects are found openly on tree branches and survive even in severe frosts. The same can be said about the pupae of the cabbage whites hanging openly on the fences. On fruit trees, some caterpillars overwinter in nests of leaves tied with a cobweb.

The surface layer of the soil is most often used by pests for wintering. After all, under a layer of snow, the temperature is not as low as on the thermometer outside the window. Most of the beetles and their larvae, pupae of flies and scoops, bears, eggs of slugs and other pests find refuge here. Many harmful organisms also spend the winter in heaps of garbage and in uncleared fallen leaves. Pests such as whiteflies, some aphids and thrips can overwinter in vegetable stores, and if a greenhouse is located next to the plots, then a variety of pests in summer beds, and especially in protected ground, is practically ensured.

Diseases cause great harm to cultivated plants. The most common cause of the disease is fungi. These organisms also winter next to us. Pathogens of black leg and keel of cabbage, fusarium overwinter in the soil. On plant residues, spores of brown spotting of tomatoes, anthracnose of cucumbers, scab and fruit rot of an apple tree, powdery mildew persist. Phytophthora and potato scab are preserved in tubers during storage.

In order to reduce crop losses from pests, protective measures should be started in the fall. The area should be tidied up - to remove fallen leaves, plant debris and weeds. With this simple technique, we remove a huge reserve of infection and deprive many pests of wintering places. From fruit trees it is necessary to remove the fruits and leaves remaining on them.

You should also dig up the soil onto the bayonet of the shovel. With the help of this technique, all pests and pathogens of plant diseases wintering in the surface layer of the soil are buried in the ground, from where they will not get out in the spring. And those species of insects that prefer the lower horizons of the soil for wintering, when digging, turn out to be brought to the surface, where they have little chance of surviving the winter.

When planting crops before winter, only healthy planting material should be used, diseased and suspicious bulbs should be carefully discarded. Tree trunks must be wrapped with roofing material or sewn into a wooden box to protect them from rodents. On the territory of the site prepared in this way for winter, a minimum number of pests remains. Birds that stay overwinter provide invaluable help in the fight against tree pests. Tits, nuthatches and pikas are especially useful. By hanging feeders during the winter, you can attract them to the area where the birds will destroy all insects available to them.

In the spring (in March - April), the trunks of fruit trees must be whitened - treated with a solution of lime. To do this, 1.5-2 kg of slaked lime must be diluted in 8-10 liters of water. For better adhesion, add 200-300 grams of flour paste. The solution is applied with brushes or a clean mop. It is useful to spray this composition and branches. This technique protects the tree from sunburn of the bark in spring and destroys harmful organisms. Before whitewashing, the trunk must be cleaned of dirt, lichens and pieces of loose bark.

As soon as the soil begins to warm up in the spring, hungry insects crawl out of their shelters. There is still nothing on the site, and the pests have already begun their dirty work.

The first to appear are apple weevils, which fly to the branches of the apple tree and damage the buds. After a while, the females will lay eggs, one in each bud. Each female lays up to 100 eggs, thereby causing significant damage to the crop. So the fight against this pest should be started when the daytime air temperature reaches +8 + 10 ° С. To do this, early in the morning, when it is still cold, you need to spread old plastic or tarpaulin under the apple tree and then shake the tree strongly. Beetles fall down where they are easy to collect. If possible, this operation should be carried out as often as possible. When the buds begin to loosen, the beetles stop laying.

Around the same time, cruciferous fleas appear from the soil, which begin to feed on the overwintered shepherd's bag and wait for radish shoots and cabbage seedlings to appear on the beds. If the weeds are removed, the fleas will be left without food.

Buds begin to bloom on the black currant bushes. Some of them have grown a lot, but do not bloom. This means that the bush is infected with a currant kidney mite, the fight against which is very difficult. These very kidneys are simply stuffed with microscopic mites. When the currants bloom, the mites move into healthy buds. It is almost impossible to destroy a tick on an adult bush. One can only advise to prune heavily infested shoots and remove affected buds.

All these techniques, carried out in autumn and early spring, will reduce the number of pests on the site, greatly facilitate the fight against them in summer and significantly increase the yield.

T. Zavyalova,
candidate of agricultural sciences


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