Voles

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
Amanogawa
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Post by Amanogawa »

Bonjour!

I started farming this March and at first I didn't understand my fields are full of voles :eek:
But some of my plants started to disappear around May, and my Papaya small trees vanished, having just a hole left.
Then s lot of my potatoes were half eaten and I'm not sure I will have sweet potatoes left.

I totally agree with the concept of sharing my ressources, but at this point it's not anymore about sharing :(

After searching a lot on the internet, I found cats are a good help to get rig of voles, and got 2 on my farm. I will have 2 more (actually at my home).
I also put some of my cat toilet wood chips because it's stinky and I read the voles have a good smell.

But yesterday I found an unhealthy small blackberry plant, and after checking, it roots have been eaten...

I don't know exactly what to do, I checked a lot on internet, in French, English... Just haven't the miracle solution!

Does anyone has encounter the same problem with voles?

tataminodani
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Post by tataminodani »

No ideas sorry, but I have had at least one (or maybe a mole..) scurrying around my Japanese garden area this year. I found a line of raised dirt poking out of my gravel paths and I followed it to find a bunch of almost cartoon like raised tracks criss crossing one of the beds under the trees and a couple of entrances I stomped on.

I was pretty impressed with how they managed to traverse the rock walls and elevation changes, but not so impressed with the damage. I haven't seen them for a while though so maybe they didn't like the roots at my place and moved on.

A quick google claims that smelly plants like

Side topic, but how do your papayas fare over winter? Does it get below 0 in Fukushima? I picked up a few of them because they were on sale at my local nursery for ¥300 each but it was already September by then so I just have them in big pots waiting inside for a re-plant next spring. I have heard they don't handle frost well, so I am expecting to have to either dig them up again, keep them in pots or just call them an annual and thank them for a single year of Papayas.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Bonjour

I don't have any firm advice either, I didn't even know voles lived in Japan. Here is our solution for small creatures.

Image

She catches lots of moles, mice, lizards and frogs but isn't good at catching birds fortunately.

Google suggests planting alliums and fritillaria to deter them so maybe some nira dotted around, if they work you would also get a nira harvest whilst detering the voles. If not how do you feel about having a pet ferret ? Or what about making a few nesting boxes for Itachi, there is a fairly simple plan here

Stoat survey box
Stoat Box.png
Stoat Box.png (53.61 KiB) Viewed 158 times
I like that one because it has two entrance holes not aligned with each other to keep draughts out so should be nice and warm in the winter.

We have Itachi on our land and they are fearless when attacking something, we've seen them taking on largeish snakes and apparently they can tackle prey much larger than themselves.



I'm thinking only one of them came out of that shed and it wasn't the snake :lol:

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Post by gonbechan »

posting this here as well as on the other one about nesting boxes..

ooo Itachi eat voles... and I have a good tip for you about itachi.@Amanogawa
They LOVE matatabi (catnip)
I was growing it outside my kitchen window had daily visits from our local itachi.
I have watched her grow up... bring a boyfriend.. do the nasty in the catnip ... bring her offspring.. rinse and repeat for 4 years now.
She lives in our neighbour's stockyard (that corrugated semitransparent store room thing a lot of country houses have tacked onto them) in the winter .. (he is a bit of a hoarder)
Planting catnip might be your answer.. but like any mint.. do not plant it in the ground.. because it will take over.. put it in planters and then put the planters on top of concrete blocks....
You should hopefully get some itachi moving in to the area.

(just a note.. in case you eventually want to get rid of the itachi.. the female itachi is a protected species in japan... )
and another note
martens and stoats (all of the ferret like creatures) like catnip.. so you might end up with other visitors.. but I bet you the voles will move out.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Just a small correction and it's really no big thing. Matatabi (Actinidia polygama) is a member of the kiwi fruit family and catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family. Apparently you can eat the fruit of matatabi or use them to make snacks, although if you have cats around not sure how much fruit you'll get to harvest.

e2a:
Although you can grow nira from seed it might be better in this case to purchase some nira seedlings so they will start working immediately. Or you could plant rakkyo bulbs now and harvest them in the spring.

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gonbechan
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Post by gonbechan »

oooh i didnt know that.today I am one thing wiser.
the stuff i planted was catnip then, not matatabi.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

I'm now eyeing up matatabi seedlings on Rakuten :lol:

tataminodani
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Post by tataminodani »

And now I want some itachi :think: and maybe some matabi too :lol:

Keeping the snakes away is a bonus. I feel sorry for the frogs and lizards though.

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Post by Amanogawa »

tataminodani wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2023 4:14 pm
No ideas sorry, but I have had at least one (or maybe a mole..) scurrying around my Japanese garden area this year. I found a line of raised dirt poking out of my gravel paths and I followed it to find a bunch of almost cartoon like raised tracks criss crossing one of the beds under the trees and a couple of entrances I stomped on.

I was pretty impressed with how they managed to traverse the rock walls and elevation changes, but not so impressed with the damage. I haven't seen them for a while though so maybe they didn't like the roots at my place and moved on.

A quick google claims that smelly plants like

Side topic, but how do your papayas fare over winter? Does it get below 0 in Fukushima? I picked up a few of them because they were on sale at my local nursery for ¥300 each but it was already September by then so I just have them in big pots waiting inside for a re-plant next spring. I have heard they don't handle frost well, so I am expecting to have to either dig them up again, keep them in pots or just call them an annual and thank them for a single year of Papayas.
Thank you for your message!

I have a friend in Aizu who planted 4 papayas and they are growing well. We will see if the papayas will get over the winter which is pretty cold with snow in Aizu :think:
My papayas have been eaten by the voles so I don't know if it can stand during winter on the east coast of Fukushima, but I have 2 passion fruits :D

tataminodani
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Post by tataminodani »

Weird. My message got cut off. Maybe I accidentally deleted it myself :oops:

re papayas. Please keep me updated. I have 1 passionfruit, also in a pot, also on sale :lol:. I am trying to decide whether to risk it outdoors or keep it in the pot. It's about 2m high right now and capped out the trellis I put in the pot and is coming back down/out.