A Good Winter for Rodents and Rabbits

Mice, rats, moles, voles, rabbits.  Nibbling, gnawing destroyers.  This winter was a good one for them.  When the snow piles up, they are able to reach places they otherwise can’t.  All winter long they assiduously work, and now as the snow melts it reveals the scope of their accomplishments.

Two pear trees and all our new blueberries were killed.  Several other trees were damaged, but some of them might survive since the damage doesn’t fully encircle the growth layer.  The rats and mice perforated the lower end of the greenhouse film and destroyed a surprisingly large section of the hens’ winter hoophouse cover.

Pear Sapling
The snow drifted above the tree guard, allowing the mice to kill this young pear sapling.  I assume it was mice because there aren’t any rabbit droppings.
Rabbit Damage Apple
Rabbits were clearly responsible for this, as evidenced by the abundant droppings on the ground.  This particular stripped branch snapped off from snow loading, so I suppose I don’t begrudge the rabbits eating this one.
Shredded Hoop Cover
This is particularly frustrating.  With the snow we had drifts 8 feet high along one side of this hoophouse.  Rats found this a cozy home and destroyed 60 square feet of the canopy.  I might be able to fasten the remaining intact vinyl to the wood inner liner with battens to avoid replacing the entire cover.
Well, cat, do something about it.  The rodents are your department.

2 thoughts on “A Good Winter for Rodents and Rabbits”

  1. Jennifer Vigario

    Yikes. That is a crazy picture with the pear tree! Who knew! That cat needs some buddies. Is he the only one left from last years litter?

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