BAMBOOWEB.INFO
It is currently Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:10 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Voles & Bamboo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 1605
Location: HALIFAX, NS
Shmubamboo in his reply to bamboo planting on a dam mentioned that voles can be a problem for bamboo as they eat underground rhizomes. Last year I noticed 2 fallen canes on my southern S. palmata and also this year a couple of green dolphins that when beige after a couple of weeks. I suspect voles. Also I had always wondered why my P. japonica really has never had any vigour in the mild south and now I suspect voles may be at work underground. This spring they mowed down a new planted F. scabrida, I guess I should have dug it, potted it and tried to get some shoot growth; seems anything under a 5 gallon is apt to be decimated when planted out in the open woodland wilds.

Are the any recommendations for getting rid of these critters? I thought of some insecticide granules but reckoned in the wet climate where these bamboos grow it would dissipate too quickly to be much of a deterrent.

johnw - rain all day long and to continue until Tuesday unless Hurricane Leslie strikes and then it will be floods.

_________________
johnw coastal Nova Scotia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Voles & Bamboo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:35 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Not here
Voles and gophers are really hard to erradicate in suburbian settings, and in open areas like you describe (likely similar to where I live) they both are impossible to completely erradicate. Voles reproduce rapidly and in large numbers and have up to 5 litters a year. They do not hibernate, and they are very active in winter under the snow. If you kill all the voles off in one area, they will just move in from an adjacent area, and you will likely never see them. There are three basic types of voles, one lives and forages almost completely underground, one lives at and above ground level under the leaf litter, weeds and grasses (they forage for food mosly above ground) and the above/below ground voles that tunnel, live and forage above and below ground.

The best way to get rid of them in a smaller area is with an O2/Gas mix (ie, the Rodenator) that is ignited below ground. The explosive concussion kills them (if they are underground at the time of ignition). It will also kill moles, gophers, wood chucks, mice and shrews as well. I have tried everything to kill voles and gophers here and in California: traps, bait, gas, .22 shooting, and the O2/gas mix, and there are threads on this site that several of us had some years ago about how to get rid of them. I used to use poison bait, but our dog ate some bait with Warfarin (the most common vole and rat bait used) and it nearly killed her. It is also toxic to cats (and people). So I stopped using that. For the past 5 years or so I have relied on my very large orange tom cat; he is very effective at keeping the numbers of voles down around here so that populations do not bloom. He loves hunting voles and they are his favorite delicacy. He will bag up to 3 a day in the spring and fatten himself up on them without eating any cat food for weeks at a time. He has virtually erradicated the red backed voles here, as they are commonly above ground. He has a harder time erradicating the smaller grey Oregon voles that are mostly underground. Also as he greatly reduces the numbers of voles, mice, moles and shrews, they just tunnel in from the tree farm next door. He has my one acre here pretty much hunted out right now, so he spends more time over at the tree farm hunting of late.

I find vole runs whenever I dig around my bamboos. They nailed one aureosulcata this year. It is half dead. All the new shoots died in the first heat that we got this summer. With gophers, they are larger so you can use chicken wire around plant roots that you want to keep them out of. Voles are a lot smaller, and they can easilly dig and squeeze between the chicken wire spaces and dine on your rhizomes to their delight. I find that sizing up the boos in pots to at least 5, but preferably 10 gallon size before planting them will increase their chances of surviving the winters and the voles.

_________________
Happy trails...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Voles & Bamboo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:13 pm
Posts: 2831
Location: St. Louis area Location Details
Hardware cloth seems like it would work instead of chicken wire, but it might restrict rhizomes from spreading. Has anybody tried this?

I've planted perennials (not bamboo) in hardware cloth "baskets" before, and although it works to prevent the plant from being destroyed underground, it's a bear to dig up if you ever have to.

I was also going to suggest "cat" for voles, although it depends on the cat. Some are great and active hunters. Some, well, they're more mellow and won't help much.

What about predator pee? Has anybody tried bobcat urine?

_________________
Alan.
My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Voles & Bamboo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 1:28 pm
Posts: 1605
Location: HALIFAX, NS
Alan - I thought of covering a big tomato cage with hardware cloth or metal screen - sides & top. Then I realized it would have to be sunk about 5" in the ground and as you say the roots would get entangled.

I suppose if it were three ft in diameter and high it would at least allow the plants to size up and be far enough away to be clear of the root zone - Fargesias at least. Once large enough the plants would be on their own and guess we'd just have to live with some rhizome damage; living with total destruction of tops is not tolerable.

johnw

_________________
johnw coastal Nova Scotia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Voles & Bamboo
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:35 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Not here
Alan_L wrote:
What about predator pee? Has anybody tried bobcat urine?


Urine will not work on mice, voles, moles, ground squirrels or gophers. I tried that at my ex's place and they ignore it. It breaks down pretty fast in the soil and most of the nitrates just waft off. Actually my cat is rather cruel, in that he usually poops around the area that the voles nest and buries it. So the little buggers get to see/smell the digested remnants of their family as he picks them off, one at a time. He pees all over the yard as well, and they just ignore it. My prize aureosulcata aueocaulis has a vole colony poking holes up around it. :twisted: And the Institute of Bamboo Disinformation thinks that bamboo will take over the planet???

_________________
Happy trails...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group