[permaculture] Urine against voles?

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Wed Nov 7 01:29:29 EST 2007

Dieter, I have no experience dealing with this problem.

Have you any experience with terriers? It strikes me that you need 
something with a good nose.

I lived for while on Amherst Island in Lake Ontario which was overrun 
with voles and had been for many years. It struck me that the island 
seemed to lack large snakes, which are well known as enemies of voles, 
possibly because it had been heavily cultivated and populated in the past.

I have known an apple grower to use a sudden abundance of medium sized 
snakes (garter snakes) as an indication that he needed to do something 
about his vole population. Snakes need winter shelter from frost among 
other things.

Chickens are great mulch sifters and enemies of voles. Baby mice are 
tiny and helpless, ideal chicken snacks.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Dieter Brand wrote:
> Hi,
>   Does anybody know whether urine is effective for
>   repelling voles? Voles are supposed to have a very
>   sensitive sense of smell and seem to avoid anything
>   with a human odour on it.
>   At what ratio is urine diluted when used in the garden?
>   Is it used immediately or do I a let it sit for a while?
>   For how long is the repellent effect likely to last, if 
>   there is one?
>   This is rather urgent, the buggers finish off one 
>   salad after the other before I get a chance to harvest
>   any. In the summer they destroyed almost all of my
>   sweet potatoes. I bought 10 sweet potatoes to grow 
>   more than 100 seedlings. When I harvested last week, 
>   all I got was 5 sweet potatoes.  At this rate I might 
>   as well give up or use poison.
>   Dieter Brand
>   Portugal
>   PS:  I use no-till with mulch, which doesn't help in
>   detecting the voles.

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