5 ways to protect your garden from rodents in winter
Even with the advent of winter, when the garden is bound by an ice crust and covered with a snow cover, we must not forget about plant protection. Pests and pathogens hibernate, but rodents, who have nowhere to look for food, become even more dangerous. Mice, rats and hares are enemies of plants no less dangerous than rot. If all measures to prepare the garden for winter were taken on time, then in winter you only need to check their effectiveness and take timely steps to protect plants from rodents.
One of the most dangerous enemies for every gardener in the cold season is voles and hares. But a huge family of rodents is not limited to them. In the winter garden you can easily find even rats. And if the hare feasts on the bark, then the other visitors are not averse to enjoying the accumulated harvest.
During the autumn preparation of the garden for winter, an important and mandatory item of work is protection against rodents for all plants that may attract them - new plantings of bulbous plants, young seedlings of ornamental shrubs and trees, fruit orchards and berry plants. Rodents do not ignore the stored seeds, tubers, bulbs, tubs, and, of course, the crop.
Wrap and surround the trunks with special nets, shields, bandages, burlap, lapnik, experiments with household tools (tights, old fabric, linoleum, etc.), whitewashing with repellent compounds is carried out in the fall.
Protection is thought out before and during planting of bulbs and bookmarks for storage of crops and planting material. They use special baskets and nets that do not allow mice to get close to the bulbs, place repellers, baits and traps in storages and hozbloks.
But whatever you do in the fall to protect the garden and the crop from rodents when winter comes, the fight against them and constant monitoring of their distribution on the site does not disappear from the list of works.
Even if you use modern scarers, rodents should continue to be controlled. In winter, the means of combating hares, mice, and rats spreading through the garden change. The natural protection for garden plants - snow - also serves as an additional measure to prevent problems with rodents. And on the premises, the measures already taken are only supplemented.
We will get acquainted with effective ways to protect the garden from rodents during the winter.
1. Snow trampling and redistribution
In order for rodents to get close to such dainty plants - bulbs planted in flower beds and perennials, bushes and trees - they must get through the snow and freely dig a mink or move. The easiest measure available in winter - trampling snow - creates a barrier for rodents that is sufficient for effective protection.
They trample snow, moving from the perimeter of tree-trunk circles to the trunk, on flower beds - between plants, trying not to touch them.
The snow cover rarely covers the garden evenly, and snow periods are not stable. Effective redistribution of snow and additional snow shelter for flower beds, workplaces, protection of wintering shrubs and trees allows you to stabilize temperatures and use the best natural protection wisely, increasing the barrier for rodents.
Snow is always distributed so that the most vulnerable plants are reliably covered, and bare soil is protected from weathering and freezing. In addition, snow should be added so that in the spring it effectively moistens the soil.
By completing each snow distribution by trampling it near rodent-attracting plants, you reduce the risk of rodent problems.
2. Regular shelter checks
Whatever method of trunks protection you use, it is better to regularly check how it “works” in practice. With the advent of real frosts during your visit to the garden, regularly inspect all shelters.
If you use fabrics, non-woven materials, spruce branches, branches, reeds, etc. for tying tree trunks, check how securely the fastenings are held and if there are any gaps on them. Particular attention should be paid to plants covered by the air-dry method and mulched for protection with dry leaves, sawdust and straw, because mice often find additional shelter in dry and warm conditions.
Even if the trees and shrubs are protected, it is worth making sure that the mice or hares have not reached the branches and buds, examining the entire crown above the shelter. If protection is not enough, additional measures must be taken to wrap or install repellers and traps. Stocks of dry twigs or spruce branches should always be in place to renew, strengthen or create a new shelter.
It is worth making sure of the effectiveness of other measures:
- check if mouse repellers are working properly;
- inspect and fill traps and baits;
- update repellents, replacing the lost “fillers” with new ones.
In vegetable stores and places where seeds, planting material, food stocks, inspection and verification of the effectiveness of protection against rodents are placed should be even more thorough. Even the slightest signs of an unpleasant "mouse" smell, afterbirth, loss of nuts, cereals or seeds - an occasion to immediately take additional measures.
3. "Extreme" funds are always at hand
Regardless of the autumn preparation, for the winter it is worth stocking up with drugs or deterrents and poisoned rodent baits. Ecological and chemical, in case of violation of shelters or insufficient effectiveness of fixed assets, they will help to quickly take measures to protect crops and plants.
What could it be? Elderberry or tar tincture, creolin, ammonia, diesel fuel, special preparations that are mixed with flour and grain, or ready-made mixes for lures ... Among the wide range of products presented in garden centers and hypermarkets for the winter, you should choose at least one “emergency fight” option.
It is enough to take with you or to prepare in advance a supply of unnecessary rags, cotton pads or foam rubber and 1-2 means with which you can soak them. During the inspection of shelters and storages, if traces of the activity of field mice are noticed, it is worth immediately resorting to additional means, taking time to move and mink, evenly distributing rags and containers with baits.
Repellers are laid directly around the plant or storage location, but the bait with poisons - so as to lead the rodents as far away from the crop and plants.
4. Stock of fragrant twigs
For an additional fight against rodents in winter, it is worth preplotting or purchasing fragrant natural products in spice shops that play the role of repellers and additional protection against rodents.
Fragrance coniferous conifers - a tool not only for the main, but also for additional protection. If the main shelter "does not work" or you notice traces of mice in unexpected places, the stock of spruce branches will help to quickly create a barrier and shelter for your favorite plants.
You can stock up with twigs of wormwood, prickly shoots of raspberries, lavender, santolina, elderberry and dry stems of cilantro, coriander seeds. Bundles of medicinal and spicy herbs, spices, the expiration date of which has passed, can also become an additional aromatic means of fighting rodents.
Having created a special supply of twigs of fragrant plants and spruce branches, you can always at the right time additionally protect the garden from rodents in winter. To do this, wrap twigs and trunks or spread the grass so that they scare away mice or block their passages and access to protected plants, vegetables and seeds.
5. Decorative tricks
Decorating a conservatory is a real pleasure. If you visit the site regularly even in the coldest time of the year, you can add a festive charm and bright colors to the garden with the help of natural decor and accessories, tinsel and lights. At the same time, you can use purely decorative means to control rodents and protect garden plants from them.
Bright red ribbons hung around the garden, painted nets and fences, the use of red twine and ribbons in the winding are one of the means of scaring hares. If you hang small delicacies for birds on red ribbons or paint birdhouses in such a way, then such protection will also be a bait for useful birds.
Decorative tying trunks with a bright cloth or tying ribbons soaked with repellers will add color to the conservatory. Materials that rustle strongly upon contact - for example, Christmas tinsel - can also play the role of an additional repeller for those who like to feast on the bark.
Do not forget that the main means of protecting plants from rodents - lapnik - is also a very decorative remedy. Lapnik for shelter on flower beds can not just be laid out, but tied in bouquets and huts, considering not only as a means of combating mice, but also as an additional decor.
Yes, and beautiful bundles of fir branches laid along pipes, drains, covering air ducts and other “channels” through which mice and rats can get into the house, hozblok and storage, will only decorate your garden.