19 January 2013

More about voles, rabbits and gophers - this time all about damage to roses

Roses of Tulsa, Inc. just put out even more information about a couple garden visitors.


 
Gophers do more damage to wintering roses than all of the other pest put together except under those conditions where deer are present. Each of these harm the roses by eating them. The Pocket Gopher eats roots. Your rose may look great one day and then the very next day it be wilting and dying. The pocket gopher lives entirely under ground except when it is changing locations or mating. They are very territorial and most of the time there is only one tearing up your beds and they are not very picky. They eat roots off many of your flowers and vegetables. Their presents in your yard can be detected by large mounds of soil in the yard with a tell tale indention somewhere around the perimeter. They are best poisoned because trapping them invites new gophers to the already made tunnels.
Cotton Tails are very numerous in the Tulsa Area and do not mind having their cousins, nieces, nephew and all other extended family dine with them. Rabbits generally eat new growth and are therefore very problematic in the spring and early Summer months. In the Winter they will strip bark and eat leaves. They leave a noticeable bare line around the plant up to the limits of their reach. Trapping them or killing them with a pellet gun are the most effective means of ridding yourself of these pest. Baring those methods you can try and use 1 inch web wire around the perimeter of the area you need protected.
rabbit fence

This is an example of a fence built by Roses inc to preclude cotton tails.
Last but by far not the least worrisome critter to your rose bushes in the winter is the Vole. Voles leave little trace of being around that are noticed by the casual eye. They do leave trails on top of the ground and burrow holes near their nest. They will nesty under building and around just about any structure. Voles do tunnel and eat roots, especially if the roses are well mulched or the earth is very friable. Voles are not especially afraid of people and in fact before I realalized what they were eating a long time ago, I had a couple that would come right up to me a I prunned in my garden. They would set an watch me for a long time and scamper and play. Treat them the same way as you treat gophers.
Be careful when purchasing product for critter control. There are many on the market and only a few that really work. Sonic or windmill chasers are seldom if ever effective and products containing caster oil will tend to run the critters to another part of your yard or the yard of your neighbors.
If you are having problems with these or other rose pest or just having trouble identifing which one is bothering your garden. Give me a call or e mail me at astelljes@cox.net and I will give you some help

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