Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Field mice will attack trees and shrubs during the winter, using the wood as a food source. Fruit trees are frequently damaged.

To prevent mice damage, encircle the trunk of the tree with chicken wire fencing at least three feet high. Leave an inch space between the fencing and trunk to prevent mice from gnawing through the wire to the trunk.

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As additional safeguard against mouse damage provide poisoned grain in large mouthed bottles tilted, mouth slightly downward, to prevent the entrance of water. ......... 

Plants in coldframes need protection during winter against rats and mice, especially if mulched with hay or straw. Delay placing such mulches until after the ground outside the frames freezes hard so these pests will have made nests elsewhere. When the ground is frozen they can't burrow. As additional protection scatter bits of sweet potato poisoned with strychnine in the frame and after spreading the mulch. 

Protect trees against mice which often gnaw the bark when snow prevents their getting other food. The best protection is galvanized hardware cloth (wire netting) made into cylinders several inches longer than just the circumference of the tree trunk. They will thus last till the trunks get rough bark when mice will be less likely to attack. Thrust the lower ends into the ground and fasten with paper clips or wires. 

Give mice a chance to make their winter nests before spreading winter mulches of straw or marsh hay around shrubbery, woody vines and bulb beds. Wait until the ground has frozen hard. When such mulches are applied early they provide nesting quarters for mice and thus often insure the loss of the plants. 
Copyright Information: Gardening Short Cuts See also Garden Pests & Insects

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