NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?  (Read 438 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« on: February 10, 2018, 11:19:06 pm »
I mentioned this last year but no one had any ideas.
Mice ate not only my entire beetroot crop, but also most of the peas right out of their peapods, hanging on the vine, just before I was ready to crop them.
I've trawled the Internet, but 99 out of 100 posts are about mice eating germinating pea seeds.  I know how to prevent that.  What I'm searching for is a way to prevent the mice getting to the peas, but as they can climb and dig, it seems a lost cause.  People have mentioned mouse traps along the rows, but we have pets, wild birds and animals, and poultry which could get their feet trapped, or would eat poison if I put that down.
A possibility is to spray the plants with dilute 'hot sauce' (American suggestion) so I shall try that, and wear gloves to pick and pod the crop.


I shall be growing lots of peas this year, for eating fresh and for drying, so can anyone please please help me come up with some mouse training ideas.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus
Voss Electric Fence

Malcolm Brown

  • Joined Jan 2018
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 08:36:59 am »
Not a solution I'm afraid because I cannot direct sow any seeds because of mice.  We are surrounded by 250 acres of woodland - mouse heaven.  Any bones, chicken carcases we get I put out for the foxes because they are good mouse and ratters but they cannot keep up with the hordes.  Tree rats and pigeons are also a problem.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 09:23:19 am »
The mouse population will expand to suit the available food supply, so perhaps you could not crop for a year and bring it down considerably?


We have a terrier- she's a fantastic mouse and rat catcher and brings them to us in exchange for treats. She has cleared 2 ½ acres so far and has now started clearing the neighbour's fields. We only use traps in the buildings where she can't get since the incident when she came home whining with a rat trap clamped on her nose! No injury fortunately.


Luckily here we didn't grow any veg in the enclosed garden so let the dog in to kill all the resident mice. Whist there may be a fair few holes to fill-in, there are now no mice.


We also have at least one very large European Whipsnake to mop up anything the dog has missed. Unfortunately I don't think they can survive much further North.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 11:43:43 am »
I direct so under chicken wire tunnels.. and lift/peg one end up as the frame for peas to climb on.
As to mouse prevention at the crop.. no good answers. If spraying with hot sauce then after every rain you're doing it again. bait inside narrow lengths tube would work with dead mice being eaten by scavengers (or pets).  (Trained cats and trained birds of prey aren't practical either :-))

I can understad why you want to do this but for myself I've got pragmatic. I'll grow some peas for grazing off fresh from the vine but having shelled buckets-full of pods for a small number of bags in the freezer compared to how cheap they are to buy..and more importantly i don't see all the larvae when shelling.. and worse those that float up when cooking afterwards (missed during shelling or inside peas or still growing).

A bit tongue in cheek but the reality is you're probably better off nutritionally eating the empty pods and the mice... more fibre, less sugar and lots of protein and calcium....

I do feel guilty with all my unused land but the effort and pain crawling around planting and weeding for stuff that's cheap to buy... It's a bit like growing calabrese.. I can't see the caterpillars even after washing until they float up in the pot. They stick between the stalks deep down.  So I just grow cauliflower instead....

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 11:49:39 am »
I'm not sure if the shape/size of a pea plant would allow this, but could you perhaps feed the growing stems through some kind of barrier that would then prevent the mice climbing up the plant? I have visions of 12-18" wide strips of that clear corrugated plastic sheeting running along the row. They could be suspended from roof bars, or supported on canes and have small holes drilled through them big enough for the stems but not large enough to let a mouse through. If outdoors then your problem might be keeping them from disappearing in the wind with the plants in tow  :roflanim:

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 03:01:43 pm »
We have similar problem at the allotment.

We alternate/ring rows of beetroot and onions and we seeme to crop a bit more beetroot. I make chutney for my Brownies for selling at Christmas Fayre so I need all the beetroot I can.
Last year OH did the planting and forgot to mix the rows.  I managed to get enough for two batches, the mice got the rest.

They are also finding a taste for the peas.  Especially last year.  I was finding pods peeking out from under the raised beds and scattered about the paths.   

While I object to them munching on the beetroot  I don’t mind sharing the peas as there is more than enough for us.  I just don’t like the chewed pods being left lying around.  Not that I’m house/allotment proud.  That badge goes to OH  :roflanim:

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 08:23:43 pm »
OH has no interest in gardening but if this probelm happened here she'd insist on a row of humane traps along the pea patch baited with peanuts and chocolate and then drive the mice miles away for release.

It's an option thats safe for all creatures and might even work.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 08:30:47 pm »
Our mice decimated my chillies at the end of last season so hot sauce may not work...

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Anyone have an ingenious idea to stop mice eating pea pods?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 12:11:09 am »
Thank you all so much for taking the time to answer and for your varied replies.  It's good to know I'm not the only one with mice who love their greens MB.


Our terriers love digging out mouse nests and feasting on the jelly babies they find inside, but unfortunately in the garden they would cause more damage than they would save, so they are not allowed everywhere.  I'm not sure what a whipsnake is CM but I'd rather not find out.  I don't dislike snakes, just not in my garden  :o .  There's no chance of enclosing our veg patch with a mouse proof barrier, although I would dearly love a walled garden.


pgkevet, I'm totally with you on the pain of crawling round planting and weeding veg which is why we try as many low maintenance growing methods as we can.  Also why I now refuse to grow veg to sell, or even to give away - if others want them they can grow their own.  I mainly grow sugar snap peas, as they don't have to be podded, but the mice were attacking those too latterly. This year, I am trying to improve our diet by eating more pulses, but if I have no success in repelling the mice this time I think I will just buy organic dried pulses which are not particularly expensive. Caterpillars and larvae are not too bad really - they are just made of the veg you are growing anyway - extra protein  :yum: .  Humane traps might not be as humane as all that.  It takes the poor wee mice days to get home, if they survive all the terrors on the way.  Not as long as snails and slugs of course, but they all do come back. Or maybe it's just their chums filling the gap they leave behind.


Now that is ingenious Black Sheep  ;D   It wouldn't work though, as mice seem to have collapsible skulls so they can get through tiny holes, but that is the sort of idea I was hoping for.  Keep thinking  :thinking:


TT - mmm, you could be right.


So, I've been doing some research, and thinking about your method Cans.  I suspect it's the bitter onion taste and smell which deters the mice for you.  I looked up some research and they find that mice and humans have almost identical taste receptors (including in mouse testicles  ??? ), and a 'new' receptor for 'calcium' - interesting.  Mice seem not to like bitter tastes - onions - and strong smells such as peppermint.  So there is a product specifically to repel mice made of peppermint oil with some other stuff in and...tada... it's not expensive.  So I've sent off for some.  But I thought I would add my own extras such as mustard, onion and chillies (it's worth trying - maybe Scottish mice are different to Norfolk ones TT, not such refined tastes).  I'm hoping the oil will help the stuff to stick a bit but I will accept that I need to repeat the spray every evening (it rains here all the time) and it's only for a short while.


Please keep the ideas coming, but at least I have something to try now  :yippee:



www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

 

Radish pods

Started by Cinderhills

Replies: 4
Views: 897
Last post October 16, 2011, 09:03:49 am
by Blonde
Mice

Started by Dizzycow

Replies: 6
Views: 1563
Last post July 16, 2011, 12:19:09 pm
by feldar
mice??

Started by northfifeduckling

Replies: 25
Views: 6332
Last post January 31, 2012, 09:02:59 pm
by JEP
mice!

Started by chairmanphil

Replies: 20
Views: 7742
Last post March 09, 2012, 09:15:54 am
by Smalltime
MICE!!!!

Started by suziequeue

Replies: 6
Views: 1518
Last post April 24, 2013, 11:34:31 am
by Bodger

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Assist Animal Care Services Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2018. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS