critter wars

ant guard

Our cheapo hummingbird feeder had outlived its usefulness. At one time, it had effectively foiled the ants attracted to the sweet nectar, but now they were back and the results were fairly disgusting. At our local one-stop-shopping center, I found this glass ball feeder. It is better than the kind with the feeder tube, because several birds can use it simultaneously. My experience has also been that the rubber nipples on those tubes have a tendency to fall off, letting the nectar drip into a big, messy, sticky puddle. On the same shelf as the feeder was a baffle device to repel ants (it’s the green thing at the top). Guess what? It works!..at least, so far.

foiling the raccoons

We have tried several methods to protect the goldfish from marauding raccoons. The water lily pads and duckweed give them places to hide, but lately the raccoons have taken to feasting on the lilies. The small stakes placed across the pond are not about to prevent them from having their salad course, but by disturbing the stakes, they signal to the fish to swim for cover. So far, they have avoided becoming the entree.

I have written here about our many pacifist efforts to come to terms with wild visitors. Gophers, on the other hand, have been known to drive the gentlest of souls to acts of revenge. It is only in the last couple of years that they have shown up here. Neighbors who have lived here for 30+ years say that it is a new problem. Our yards look like the battlefield after a cannonade.

gopher’s victim

The Pinus mugo ‘White Bud’ is not the first precious plant to fall victim. When something begins to look a bit peaked, we can be pretty sure that when we dig it up we will find the root system eaten away. Sometimes we will find just the tip of a plant showing where the rest of it has been pulled down into the villain’s tunnel.

illustration of gopher

Last time we went to Portland Nursery, we picked up one of the sound devices advertised to drive rodents mad (or at least drive them AWAY).

sound device

Four D size batteries go into that white tube, which is then inserted into the black tube. The whole thing gets buried in the ground and capped off with that green lid, emitting a high-pitched sound that goes undetected by all but the target varmints for the life of the batteries. It has been successful enough to prompt the purchase of four more, to keep at least the areas close to the house from looking like a war zone. When we first googled the problem, we laughed off many of the suggested remedies as far too violent. As conflict escalated, we found ourselves praising the cats for their hunterly instincts. Yesterday, I caught sight of R oiling and cleaning his .22

5 Responses to “critter wars”

  1. Grace Says:

    Cats have solved the problem for me but I don’t have any bird feeders up either so I guess it’s a catch 22. And by 22 I’m not thinking the .22 that R is oiling and cleaning, LOL Or maybe I am. :) Frustrating, isn’t it?

  2. linda Says:

    Wild critters …in deed. I’ll never complain again about my squirrels !

  3. Wendy Says:

    oh my gosh. i hate raccoons. There is a family that raids my trashcans every night. They’re really bold and don’t care if you try to scare them away. Sometimes I just sit in my kitchen listening them go at the trash in there - too tired to move, and all the while getting really pissed off.

    Glad we don’t have groundhogs - to see my stuff get pulled out like that, I would be driven to revenge, definitely.

  4. ricki Says:

    Grace~The cats enjoy the sport of it, but have failed to keep up with the problem. I used to be bemused by gopher rants, but that was before they invaded our space.

    Linda~Squirrels: mere child’s play…but the ground squirrels in Bend were as bad as the gophers.

    Wendy~Aha! Another gentle soul admitting to revenge fantasies!

  5. sprig to twig » Blog Archive » bloom day & other stuff Says:

    […] may remember the troubles we were having with rodents tunneling into the roots of newly planted treasures. Our latest […]

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