Battling the Critters


This year my battle with the neighborhood critters escalated to full blown war. Squirrels are thankfully a mild nuisance in my garden. They might pull up some of my bulbs. But my neighbors must have much better squirrel food because I never catch them eating any of my vegetables.

My big problem are mice. Deer mice to be exact. At first I thought I had rats due to size of these guys. I also thought I might have voles because of the way they dig under the fences. But after closer inspection it appears that I have very well fed, large deer mice.

Last summer, I was able to repel them with a mixture of mint branches and cayenne pepper spray. But over the winter they developed a tolerance to these smells. They could even handle the smell of coyote urine. I surprised that you can purchase coyote urine at just about any hardware store.

They were particularly annoying when I was waiting for my first tomatoes to ripen. I would go out to my tomatoes and see a bright shiny one and only to find the entire back half was missing. I was like Captain Kirk in the Old Star Trek movies yelling at Kahn. Seriously, I yelled out to the mice who ate my tomatoes.

I eventually had to bring out the big guns and trap a few. The numbers have dwindled a little. I still see evidence of them hanging around but they eating my entire bounty.

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