Saturday, May 08, 2010

Spring pest alerts.

1. There are voles in our vicinity. Many of you are probably well aware of the Ways of the Vole, but here are some facts I did not know until recently, when the historian (a) announced that we had voles, and (b) did some research ("Google") on the vole:
  • the vole is very mouselike. In fact, it's hard for the uninitiated (aka Those Ignorant of the Classes of Rodents) to tell the diff.
  • Utah is rife with voles. RIFE.
  • They tunnel.
  • They eat plant matter, to wit: grass, your darling perennials, tulip bulbs.
  • They also will nibble upon the occasional snake (!) and various insects, and also snails.Then it's right back to your Tulip Bulb Buffet.
  • What to do with the vole? Your humane traps are useless. There are 900 million voles in your backyard and they are reproducing like, well, voles, with their natural predators being the hawk and the coyote, neither of which we happen to have in residence for Predation Duty.
  • Poison is right out. It will not be done in this backyard, neither in the here nor the hereafter, that is how strongly I feel about this.
In sum: Voles! F***ing voles!

2. There was one brief snake sighting today, in the grass (i.e., on the lawnlike roof of Voleville). It slithered away on its own recognizance. Perhaps it overheard us talking about the voles.

3. While I was out and about purchasing a lovely little gift for my mother today, I ran into the snail bait section of my local garden shop. Let me just say, the snail bait people are not subtle. There was one variety of snail bait called, and I did not make this up, "Snail Death." Poor snails. Do they have a choice about having that thin candy shell not fully enclosing their gastropodic bodies? or about the slime? or about the fact that they are disgusting. They do not. Yet the snails I cannot abide.

Perhaps the voles will be on the snail beat, and I will not have to pick them gingerly off my geraniums and lemon verbena (I'm sounding like a crotchety old lady, I'm fully aware of this) and toss them with great accuracy onto the parking strip, where they are (a) far away from my crotchety old lady plants, and (b) not in the street, where Snail Death of the non-bait variety surely lies.

tags: pest, rodent, reptile, gastropods, facts


  1. This made me laugh, out loud, several times. F***ing voles, indeed.

  2. Our house is sounding more and more like a place I am afraid to live at.

  3. Voles! Oh, so sad. And the snails. Luckily the Box Elder bugs are not cute or sympathy worthy, but yet we still do not chemicalize them.

  4. Can't you convince the snakes to take care of the voles? Practice some snake talking and see if that helps. If you can't have one kind of predator, perhaps you can persuade another.

  5. I think you need some predatory birds. Wouldn't it be awesome to see an eagle or a couple of red-tailed hawks soaring overhead and then diving towards the lawn, sweeping up to the heavens with a vole in each talon?

    Okay. I admit it. I don't like voles anymore than I like mice. Rodents--I spit on you. (And that's as bad as I can get.)

  6. Yeah. Well. I hate snails and I'm not afraid to say it. I actively wish them ill. And whenever I go to the garden center and see statuettes of snails for DECORATIVE PURPOSES I always go WTF?

  7. Perhaps a Disney movie would help the vole image? Voleville? Villainess in pink paisley pantsuit? Alliance with snails in climactic battle scene?



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