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Rodents in my hugel?

 
pollinator
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Location: NorCal
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I built my hugel this summer.  I don't know how successful I was, but tried to make sure all the space was filled with dirt.  As I planted and watered I have not found any open spacers.  Yesterday I found two perfectly round holes.  The diameter was maybe the size of a golf ball.  I have seen these holes in my yard before.  I don't know if it's mice, rats, or squirrel.  I opened the hole up, and filled it up with dirt.  Is there any thing you all have tried successfully to keep the critters out?  My plan at this point is to keep opening the hole, put some ammonia in, fill it back in, spray ammonia around the perimeter of the hugel, and hope the little beasts find a new home.  I can't be the only one with this problem, so I wonder how your handling it. Thank you.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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This is a super common problem, in my case with buried wood beds - loads of mice.  Later came beneficial snakes and then over a few months everything settled down and the critters went on their way.  No unusual mouse or snake activity these days.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I used a lot of rock on my southern slope of a big hugelkultur. It was planned as snake habitat, and it has become a winter nesting ground for many garter snakes. Wireworms get into every potato on some parts of my land, but I've never had one within 50 feet of the snake habitat. I've also never had slug damage and the garden is 100 feet from a skunk cabbage bog. Yay snakes !

I will do something similar for the Philippine cobras on my next farm, but they will be living under forage trees and not in the regularly cultivated areas. Local people kill them, and then complain about whatever is eating their corn.
 
pollinator
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I used a lot of rock on my southern slope of a big hugelkultur. It was planned as snake habitat, and it has become a winter nesting ground for many garter snakes. Wireworms get into every potato on some parts of my land, but I've never had one within 50 feet of the snake habitat. I've also never had slug damage and the garden is 100 feet from a skunk cabbage bog. Yay snakes !

I will do something similar for the Philippine cobras on my next farm, but they will be living under forage trees and not in the regularly cultivated areas. Local people kill them, and then complain about whatever is eating their corn.



Oh now that is exciting to hear. I had a hell of a wireworm problem this first growing season on my farm.

Fortuitously, I just finished a couple hugel beds right next to the garden in question. Already have boulders on the south side of the east/west one, think I will add some on the south end and west side of the north/south hugel!


I really appreciate not having any venomous snakes around. It's less the danger, than that I am so damned used to all snakes being safe that it would take a lot of mental energy to change the setting.

OTOH maybe being face to face with something deadly would make it easy to remember!

(And let's be honest, there are so many amazing upsides to your transition, there had to be *something* for the downside list!)
 
Dale Hodgins
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Not a downside at all. I will put snake habitat at all areas where people will find it easy to sneak into the place. I want everyone to know that this is where to meet a cobra.

It did startle me, when I met one and he flared his hood. And just like a rattlesnake rattling, you pay attention to that and back off.

I'll probably get bitten eventually, many people do. You have a long time with those little snakes and I will always have antivenom. My wife was bitten as a child, so it's going to be a hard sell. :-)

The mamba I disturbed in Africa was far more dangerous. Three minutes to respiratory arrest.
 
Can you really tell me that we aren't dealing with suspicious baked goods? And then there is this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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