Friday, March 11, 2011

Varmints! I Can Take These Guys!

Photo Courtesy GreenNature.comMeet Mr. Vole. This isn't our vole, but it'll do. We've been "blessed" to enjoy this pesky bit of Creation for a few years now. Voles are rodents, with all the things rodents bring: disease, waste, plant and foundation damage, and fleas.

They look like mice with shorter noses and stubs for tails. Out in the wild or on farms, they are controlled by hawks, eagles, cats, larger rodents, and often agricultural specialists with human weapons.

If they were way out in the yard somewhere, I wouldn't care. But last year I noticed a hole at the patio foundation, and didn't want the concrete to be compromised by their burrowing. My bug guy made several applications of granules, but it took a very long time for the entry to become inactive. This year, their presence demands immediate action. It is time to eradicate them, because they have crossed the line. That line is the one that separates the outside from the inside of my house. Yup, they're living inside the walls now.

This is part of the front of our house. The living room window juts out about six inches. At the X (about two feet up from the ground), on the inside, is the living room floor; in front of each pane is a floor vent. It's a warm, dry environment for a rodent in that area above the foundation sill. When I sit in the chair in front of the window, my fur allergies are irritated. And, to my son's horror, we can hear scratching from the basement right where that X is!

Behind the pink rigid insulation in the basement is where the varmints are, I believe. There is protection from the environment, warmth from the ducts, and plenty of burrowing area to get to their home/nest/playground through the fake brick facade, which falls below the grade line.

As you can imagine, I don't care to remove the insulation and have all that vole-ness fall inside. At least not till they're gone and the mess is inactive. And that brings me to the issue at hand. The granules last year took for-ev-er to work, and the voles kept digging more holes till they apparently moved. So I've been researching on the Internet (as I am prone to do), and found some great information.

There is a guy in North Carolina who developed a "better" system for eliminating voles using bait. Not just any bait, but a new kind of bait that not only kills the buggers (yes, I'm going to kill them, because they leave me no choice), but also kills the fleas that go with them. The way this guy addresses voles considers their living and foraging habits, and their survival instincts. Ironic, huh? I'm going to use a modified version of his system, using the same rodenticide newly available here in Nebraska, and at only one place in Omaha. My goal is to be the Ninja Mom Vole-Getter in the most frugal way.

There are progressive steps to vole eradication. Follow me through yet another home-based saga, as I battle with the rodents. Select the category "Voles" to view all the episodes.

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