Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Snakes, Voles, Moles and other Critters

Rather than write an excessively long, witty blog post with all kinds of useful information about these landscape "pests", while throwing in some philosophical ponderings, I think that I will just link a few good articles about some critters that show up, or might have shown up, this time of year.

Garter Snakes, maybe even by the dozen, as was the case of my client who seemed to have a little hatchery happening near their foundation by the front door, can be a nuisance and be really gross.  I removed a bunch by hand and sent them to greener pastures 100 yards away, and then used Bonide "Snake Stopper" to create barrier around the perimeter and to just create an area where the snakes will find annoying to be.  There is also a product called Dr. T's "Snake-A-Way" and a spray by Liquid Fence called "Snake Repellent".  The Liquid Fence product might smell foul as it contains their patented "putrescent egg" ingredient, as well as "mint oil".  But that might be good for spraying into the crevices or wherever they are actually dwelling.   I found the Bonide "Snake Stopper" to have a very pleasant scent, and made me want to go home and have a snickerdoodle cookie and some spiced cider.

Here is a good article about Garter snakes, and what their benefits might be, but what can be done to remove them.  http://www.ehow.com/how_4869404_identify-amp-rid-garter-snakes.html

Here is a good article about getting rid of them:  http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-snakes.htm

Voles are the little field mice that you may find evidence of when the snow melts.  They are the vegetarians (Voles = Vegetarians) that like to feed on plant roots and gnaw on tender tree bark.  One chewed and killed my crabapple tree a few years ago that I had salvaged from a landscape renovation. It kind of irked me after I had spent a long summer reviving it and keeping it watered.  I just forgot to put the tree rap on it as the fall had gotten so busy.

Here's a good article about Voles: http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/voles.asp

Here's a good/funny article about getting rid of Voles: http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-voles.htm

Here's an awesome video about Voles being trustworthy lovers:

Moles are the "Meat Eaters" as they eat Grub Worms.  Mmmmmmm, delicious.  Usually if you want the pest gone, take away its food.  That is the common logic to this one.

Here is a decent article on how to get rid of them:  http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-moles.htm

Smile for the camera!  Such cute little buggars. 

Other Critters?

Deer Ticks!  Mosquitoes!  My friends Russ and Tom at Mosquito Squad of Minnesota have a Deer Tick eradication program for treating your property, using mice to carry a product called Pyrethrum (an organic insecticide) onto their bodies and into their bedding.   They also have a way to remove mosquitoes from your property.  Please watch this video, where "special guest" Russ tells us about the way to remove them from your property using "The 5 T's".

I also don't like these.  

Or these:

Or these:

Or these:

And, my absolute worst-hated bug, ever........ EVER!