mice problem!!!

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mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:32 am

Hey in my detached garage, i have my winterizing trees set up. The soybean field was late on being harvested but anyway, the mice are quite a problem at the moment. I have laid out a few traps and set poison in a few stategic spot.
This dilemma has brought to mind : Can mice damage or kill the bonsai by chewing, urine, or any other way? Thanks scratch

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  coh on Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:07 am

They most definitely can damage trees, and even potentially kill them by girdling the trunk. I had a couple of pre-bonsai damaged last winter...trees that I left outside with the pots buried in the ground. Voles or field mice chewed on the trunks under the snow, even completely girdled a euonymus. Somehow it is still alive, but I wouldn't want that to happen to a tree that was further along in the development process.

Bill V suggested using some of those ultrasonic mice repellent devices, you can get them at Lowes or Home Depot...they plug into the wall and emit sound that is supposed to deter the rodents. That along with traps and bait might keep your plants safe. I used them around my indoor (garage) trees and didn't have any problems, and we live in an old (100 years) house in farm country...so there are lots of mice around.

Chris

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Mice Problem

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:11 am

Mice and voles are famous for killing bonsai over the winter. Suggest you make a chew proof enclosure to keep your trees in. Many people use an old metal clad picnic cooler or a dead freezer.
Iris

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  drgonzo on Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:34 am

Moth balls my son, Moth balls. Classic old technique I picked up from the guys at Miller nursery out my way, a few moth balls on top of the pots and around the trees and they wont go near them. I throw them everywhere under my house where I winter my trees and I have had no problems. This was also the way they mouse proofed the mattresses at my wife's old girl scouts summer camp.

As for trees out in the field wrap the trunks in aluminum foil, thats the old orchard growers trick and it works on rabbits too.
-Jay

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  JimLewis on Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:14 pm

Get rid of the poison (ALWAYS a good idea!) and put a cat or two in your garage.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  landerloos on Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:45 pm

JimLewis wrote:Get rid of the poison (ALWAYS a good idea!) and put a cat or two in your garage.

What the heck they have a variety of scratching posts in there then Wink

Peter


Last edited by landerloos on Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  coh on Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:45 pm

Jay, thanks for the reminder about the moth balls...will definitely give that a try this winter. Wonder if they would be effective for trees outside/in the ground?

As for the cats...think I'll pass on that!

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  drgonzo on Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Chris,

I've thought about them for outside as well, but I would think the snow and rain would significantly reduce the effectiveness thats why outside I do physical barriers, Just yesterday I had to build a chicken wire cone for a cotoneaster the bunnies found.

I've used moth balls (and don't skimp on them really throw em around) for three years now and not a nibble even on apples and deciduous figs that I'm sure would be very tasty. Its a clever easy trick the old Nursery men have known about for a long time.
-Jay

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:05 pm

I read all the posts. If the mothballs are truely good repellent, then i am by far going with that approach. I will definately stay away from those cats. I have had a couple visit the bench and lets say i wont see them again. They knocked one tree down and killed it due to exposed roots and they mark their territory on my trees. Cats are not too wise when it comes to bonsai situations.
Do i put just a few mothballs or do i throw them around liberally?

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  drgonzo on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:50 am

i put a few (3-5) on top of the soil in each pot then a few around the bases of each pot, like on the ground(2-3) Then I chuck some handfuls around on the floor of my crawlspace here and there, the idea is to really stink up the place.

I find baited traps only lure them in for a closer look and if your dealing with deer mice they're to smart for the traps anyway.
the camphor has worked well for me these past few years and its so much cleaner, neater, and less hassle.
-Jay

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Dave Murphy on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:50 am

Mothballs have napthalene in them which is extrmely toxic if ingested. Keep dogs and small children away from the mothballs.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  drgonzo on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Some mothball manufacturers substitute 1,4-dichlorobenzene instead. But it would be best to keep pets away from them anyway Moth balls WILL make them very sick or possibly kill them. I just checked my Enoz "old fashioned" moth balls and I find that they are indeed 99% Napthalene.

Also when you give your waterings in the winter, take the mothballs off the soil surface, water, then put them back on, Don't poor water over them and into the soil, there's a possibility that it could damage your trees.

With these precautions in mind I still think Its one of the best, easiest, and most effective preventions for mice, In fact the hunters even use it to keep bears away from kills or camps during hunting season believe it or not.
-jay


Last edited by drgonzo on Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mothball ingredients)

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Mice problem

Post  smalltrees on Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:57 pm

Last winter I had a problem with the furry things. My solution was a mouse trap baited wtih a small piece of bread with peanut butter. One week later I had gotten five. No more mice problems here. I didn't even feel bad.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:12 pm

Ha! I dont either. I am sure any of you wouldnt feel bad if you smelled what i had to when i inspected the soil the trees grow in. Ever since i posted the question, i have killed 7 in 3 days and its been 5days since i have seen or trapped one. Good times.....until they come back. I havent been able to get around to the mothballs but will asap.
The soybean field around my house must have stirred them up because its been cut for awhile and i have killed several mice and now they seem to be gone.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  drgonzo on Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:03 pm

generally I only use the mothballs when I put the tees into final winter storage, but by all means trap away until then, Problem I have up here is that once that peanut butter on the trap freezes it no longer attracts them, thats why i rely on the preventative measures once winter sets in.
-Jay

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:29 pm

Hey Mitch
Nice to see you here. We met in Kentucky at bonsai in the blue grass. Here is a low tech solution for mice. Next time you fry fish save the oil and put it in a plastic bucket and place it in the garage out of the way. They will come and check it out and fall in. At the end of winter dispose of the contents. It is safe and effective.

Mitch Thomas

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:27 am

Hey! Good to hear from you too. That sounds like a great idea. The way it seems, they are going to keep coming all winter. I am going to give it a shot and see how it works out.
Hey Mitch, how is your competition tree? Mines apex died but the rest is doing well. As a result, it seems to be lending itself to a cascade. I have it in my growing bed right now.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:49 am

Sorry to say my tree has joined the dead bonsai society. The tree I was given was extremely wet during the competition, but it was the tree I was given to style and I did. I knew it wasn't going to fair well, and it didn't. Live and learn.

The mice thing works great. You can also add some bird seed to the surface of the oil, they can not resist. The best thing there are no toxic chemicals or smell the oil seals it off.
Keep in touch

Mitch Thomas

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:29 am

I am sorry to learn of that. Alot of effort went into our trees there. You still have your bald cypress though thumbs up i love those emoticons!
I was thinking that the grease would basically trap the smell of the mices as they pile up in there.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:49 pm

Mitch
Happy Thanks Giving, I spent the morning in the swamp with my son soaking up the outdoors.
Yea I have many BC they are like weeds down here. Some of my other favs are cedar elm, water elm, buttonwood, Yaupon, weeping willow, I really prefer collected indigenous material.

Yea the oil seals all smells in side. You will be surprised how many mice will come. I can remember my great grandfather used to do it in the attic of the farm house in the winter and empty in spring. One of those old low tech red neck things that just works. Keep me informed on your results.

Mitch

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:11 pm

Good. Glad to hear that you prefer natives. ALL of mines are natives except the competition juniper, my original tree(wintergreen boxwood, and a dwarf alberta spruce. I am particularly fond of northern white cedars, juniperus virginiana, rock elm, and heres a new one-chestnut oak.
A friend of mines is going insane looking for good weeping willows...he began in february by the way. Do you know of a good source for weepers?
i will keep you updated. Hey Mitch, do you have a facebook? I have many good pics relating to bonsai and suiseki as well as my own. No problem if no.
Happy thanksgiving bro.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:09 pm

No facebook, I am not all that technical savy. I collect weeping willows here along the rivers edged. They make good bonsai but some times they will drop a branch over winter don't know why but it almost always one of the most imortant ones. But on the good side they grow amazingly fast. Easy to collect and almost impossible to over water. Down side must be repotted every year.

Mitch

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Dale Cochoy on Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:22 pm

Mitch,
I just noticed this thread.
I've used moth balls since I put up my greenhouse quite a few years ago. Me, and my teacher, had many trunks ruined over the years long ago and I used to put about 10 mousetraps in my old poly house. By spring they were all full of carcasses and still there was damage. The idea is to KEEP THEM OUT, not kill them after they've done damage.
I throw about 20 mothballs around the inside walls of my 16x24 greenhouse and inside my lidded cutting box that sits a bit below droundlevel that I put more touchy shohin in. I haven't had a problem in years! I don't put them ON the pots soil and watering and removing them to water would be problematic IMO. This year I've also used them in my outside shed where my wife stores all her bird food and squirrel food and mice have been getting into that the last few years, we'l see if it keeps them out this year. You MIGHT have to replace them here in Ohio later in the winter as they do slowly disappear.

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:42 am

I have not been able to come across any fish grease in good time so it looks like I am just going to continue to use mothballs. I placed them in there a week ago. I have not seen any nor have any been trapped so far. Seems to be keeping them away. IMO- it makes the garage smell better too. Is too much dangerous??

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Re: mice problem!!!

Post  Dale Cochoy on Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:16 pm

Mitch - Cedarbog wrote:
Is too much dangerous??

Mitch, if some air moves through the garage I'd not worry about it, unless you spend too much time in your garage.
Besides, they never seemed to hurt your great grandmas old winter coats! Smile

D.

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Re: mice problem!!!

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