Mice Damaged plants
So I discovered that shrews were taking up residence in my bog that has been under cover and under snow all winter. I had set traps last night and caught a fat shrew this morning. I was also able to check out the damage more. The things have dug under several crowns and ate all the roots from some plants and others both roots and then partially into the tubers themselves. (yeah)
The good news is that all the plants still look healthy even after being outside during the days and days of ultra cold weather we have had here in zone 6 ohio. My question is... since the bog is still in full dormancy with the media partially frozen.... for the plants that have had the loss of roots (but otherwise look good) and for the ones that have damaged tubers... what should i do with them at this point in the game?
A- bring them inside to baby them along under grow lights with household temps? I have a decent grow setup that i am using to start perennials already going and have the room.
B- bring them into the garage under my grow lights with colder temps? This is where i have overwintered my more "special" plants this winter in pots.
C- or just make sure they are secured in the outside bog media and let nature take it's course over the spring? Thinking maybe letting them slowly come out of dormancy might give them a better chance
Any help would be great!
Ummm...you haven't stated what genus/genera you are seeking advice for......
Sorry about that... they are all Sarrs that I see are damage... don't know about the VFT's yet.
I would vote A for keepers/more damaged plants, and B for less damaged/less important plants. I've done fine with abbreviated dormancy on (stressed) Sarrs...
Just keep them where they are. I had a very similar situation here a few years ago. If the plants are too damaged, no amount of babying is going to help them. Maybe apply some fungicide to the damaged rhizomes and keep your fingers crossed. You also may want to install some pro-active pest control in the vicinity of your bogs. I installed some rodent bait stations right beside the bog and it seems to have helped quite a bit. While shrews are insectivores and not rodents, they will still consume a good quality rodenticide like Contrac or First Strike.
Last edited by Cthulhu138; 02-22-2014 at 07:26 PM.
A leuco by any other name would still be as gluttonous.
^^^^^ +1 for Cthulu. I think disturbing them further would do no good for the damaged plants.
They are all dormant, anyway. In a sense, the rodent damage is roughly equivalent to a mangled division and repotting. As such, i would guess that your plants will be fine, if not just set back a bit.
Also, I followed your bog build thread linked above. It is a nice example that I hope to emulate someday. Great work!
Thanks for the advice! It's quite disheartening to pick up a big crown and it just lifts right up with all the roots gone! I might take a few small divisions off now and bring them in so that I have options. I at least I hadn't kept my "fancier" varieties out in the bog this winter since it was the first year in the raised bog... I wanted to see how the collection would do out there. It also doesn't appear they messed with the VFT's.. so that's a good thing.
I forgot that shrews are not plant eaters! I did end up catching two mice over the weekend though in the mean time. For the remainder of the year and next year I will set reminders to set and check traps every week or so. We have too many hawks and foxes to go the poison route.
The "poison" is actually an anticoagulant. The dose is based on body weight so the amount needed to kill a mouse will not harm a larger predator or scavenger that would eat the target pest. Your average cat would have to eat about a pound of these baits to harm it which just isn't going to happen.
shame you can't use a trap that catches them alive and relocate them somewhere else,could be an option maybe,they can be effective,sure would be a shame to indiscriminately poison the shrews or any other critter (just a thought)think shrews eat slugs too
Last edited by corky; 02-24-2014 at 12:12 PM.
There's no rehabilitation for a rodent. Catching pest species and releasing them elsewhere is not only irresponsible but often illegal in most areas. Commensal rodents are not endangered species and are vectors for many mammalian diseases. Crashing a local population is never a bad idea.