Friday 14 December 2012

Pesky rodents!

The mice recently discovered that I was keeping a big bag of seeds in the garage, as Winter food for the birds. I had stored it in a big plastic container in which I had previously grown tomatoes or something (hence it had some drainage holes). Anticipating the possible rodent problem I had put a close-fitting lid on it. However the mice outsmarted me - they managed to enlarge one of the drainage holes so that it was big enough for them to get in, and therefore to gorge on what to them must have seemed like a lifetime's supply of food. Round 1 to the rodents.

Round 2: a visit to the shops to buy some patent rodent-eradicator (about which the less said, the better), and a removal of the source of temptation. Keeping back a small quantity of seeds in some large glass jars with screw-top metal lids (hopefully mouse-proof), I put the rest out in the garden down by my composters and the insect hotel, for the birds to eat. They were going to have had it sooner or later anyway. [The seeds are visible as the white splashes in the photo below.]

Well, no sooner had the seeds hit the ground than a different sort of rodent entered the scene: a Grey Squirrel.

This squirrel is undoubtedly the one we see so often dangling upside-down eating seeds from the bird-feeder. He certainly looks well-fed. He couldn't believe his eyes! He started dashing to and fro, digging little holes and filling them with seeds for later use (and in between trips pausing to eat another few mouthfuls). He must have been thinking "Christmas has come early this year".

As you can see, the squirrel was also eventually joined by some birds - in this case a Wood Pigeon. I have to say though that I was slightly surprised not to see a huge flock of birds descend en masse, as opposed to the occasional rather reluctant Pigeon and an apathetic Blackbird or two. Well, I expect after dark Mr.Fox waded in and ate his fill. Makes a change from dry bread, I suppose!

I just hope the mice haven't turned their attention to something more precious than a bag of bird-food (and / or the rodent-eradicator stuff has done its thing by now...)


  1. Snap, we are purchasing a metal bin at the weekend after Mike discovered mice in the shed eating the bird seed stored there.

  2. Hope the squirrel doesn't find the eradicator. We keep our bird food in dustbins in the garage

  3. The squirrel is way cute - I hope to see one in real life one day.
    Love Leanne Nz

  4. Don't get me started on rodents, they aren't just pesky, they're cursed destrucive PESTS, and that's the clean version of my opinion. I can't put out seed for the birds anymore because of them and I so miss having the finches flock to the feeder, they were so much fun to watch. Last year they ate their way through my garden and even munched on the wiring in my car. My opinion of them is very low indeed. Good luck!

    I have to admit, the squirrel is cute, but I'm glad it's in your garden and not mine!

  5. Awww, you've got to love those squirrels. You'll probably have loads more rodents in the garden now you've put all that food out en masse.

  6. I so hate mice. So far they haven't been a real problem for me. They did get into my compost pile so I had to deal with that.

  7. The Grey squirrels and Wood pigeons are a big enough nuisance, but mice (and rats) have the edge on them when it comes to intelligent methods of getting at food sources. The Grey squirrels may look cute, but they should never have been introduced into this country. The Red squirrel is native and a lot less destructive too.

  8. When I kept hens I used to have a lot of problems with rats but as soon as I got rid of the rats the mice moved in. Squirrels aren't such a problem round here, great shots of yours.

  9. It's the chipmunks here that are destructive. But it is easy enough to reduce the population.

  10. Que maravilla!!! Una ardilla!!!
    Igual no es bueno que esté en tu huerto, pero a mi me encantan. He estado 2 veces en Londres y me sorprendió el verlas en los parques, en Santander no las hay.
    Tienes un huerto increible.

    1. Hi Monica; It's nice to hear from you again. I had to look up the meaning of the word "ardilla"! I'm sure my squirrels / ardillas would enjoy visiting Santander, because I have heard that you have good Chestnut trees there.


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