Monday, February 09, 2015

Keep critters away...

I'm going to take the next week or two to give you a tour of our homestead and show you what we have going on over here. We have about an acre of land and there are lots of little pockets of it that have a lot going on. Today we will start with keeping the various critters away. We have so many uninvited guests to our property that we have become creative in mostly controlling them.

Bugs and insects. We have seen a lot of different kinds of these here. We have aphids, tomato hornworms, cutworms and grubs, mealy bugs, grasshoppers among some that I can remember. There are more. Believe me. We keep an organic garden so we use organic methods of controlling these. I pay my kids $1 for every tomato hornworm that they find, pick and feed to the chickens. The kids are so driven to go out and find those bugs and the chickens get a tasty treat. We also use a homemade insecticidal soap and spray on our veggies and fruit trees. We spray with a hard stream of water from the hose to knock the bugs off the plants too. We have used this organic neem oil as well but it is quite strong and may burn certain plants so we try to do other things first before resorting to that.

Gophers. We hate them. We have millions of them. They are so frustrating.We built raised beds lined with gopher wire so that we could grow veggies and plants in the garden. We have lost about 6 fruit/nut trees to gophers gnawing on the roots. We have been planting a few new trees and lining the hole with gopher wire about 3 feet down and 6 feet out of the ground. We got 2 dogs so that they could help..but all it's done is made a bunch of holes in the back yard. We can't use poison, we have children who like to dig, lots of wild animals around including rabbits and neighbors cats that we'd hate to poison. We have also trapped them, we use this trap. It has been the only one that works. This has been the most successful but they breed and multiply faster than we can trap them. So it's a vicious circle.

Crows and ravens. We have crows that live in the trees. They make a lot of noise some days but for the most part they leave our stuff alone. They do make the chickens nervous every once in a while when they fly overhead, the chickens freeze and turn their heads to see above them.

Skunks. We have skunks and they are sneaky! We have trapped a couple of them but they are smart and seem to remember where the trap is and move around. So these have been difficult. We have this live trap and caught a skunk in it last fall. It's still winter time so they may be taking a little break.

Squirrels. We can't control these but they don't bother the garden too much. We saw a lot of digging going on in the garden boxes in the fall but I read somewhere that plastic garden snakes can help keep them away. So far it's working! I move it around every once in a while but I'm not very regular with it. I haven't seen any little holes in our garlic bed lately.

I can't think of anything else that we "fight" around here but if I think of anything else I'll be sure to write about it! What critters do you have around your place? What do you do to control them?

Thanks for stopping in!

No comments: