Isn’t it ironic that with all we do to protect nature, it’s nature’s creatures who come bite us in the ass?
We want to be green, healthy homesteaders, tending our organic gardens and protecting the earth’s natural balance. But then our homes become overrun with pests in the order of the ten plagues. Well, at least mine does.
Last year my garden was a complete failure partly due to slugs, squirrels, and I’m not entirely sure what else. My compost bin has been invaded by mice, who also took over my home for most of the winter. And as soon as the mice found warmth elsewhere, the ant colonies entered and were pleased to find enough crumbs to make a permanent home. In all of these cases, natural remedies pretty much failed me. City critters seem to be impervious to peppermint, garlic, vinegar, and cinnamon. The ants found mountains of Borax and Diatomaceous Earth to be a lovely ski slopes.
Trying to move on for a more successful summer, we have employed traditional ant traps (helpful but not full proof), an enclosed compost tumbler, and a new batch of seedlings. Though it was not long before the holes and tunnels began appearing in the soil. Moles? Voles? Squirrels? We should be so lucky.
We have rats. Big dirty scary city rats. On my patio. Digging up my garden. Vile.
Lest you think what we need is a predatory animal of our own, let me just say that we already have a Rat Terrier. Born to hunt rats, our dog wouldn’t blink if the rats crawled up his back. He couldn’t care less and only barks at his own reflection.
Do you think a spray bottle of vinegar and garlic will deter a city rat who is used to residing in sewers? Because it won’t. So my neighbors and I have decided to purchase a couple of rat traps that will attract and electrocute the suckers. I don’t really care if that is inhumane, I just need to keep my dog away from it. Oh, yes, I will risk the life of an errant squirrel because this is war.
In the meantime, with all my herbs sure to languish, I have planted a couple tomato plants on our top deck. It is a less scenic garden and makes no use of our actual plot, but at least the plants will get sun and be less accessible to crawling creatures. I am only waiting for the vultures to arrive.