London (change)
Today 15°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 8°C
1 to 20 of 26 messages
17/04/2013 at 10:39

Our pea seeds are being eaten by mice & I wondered if anyone has any tips to avoid this? We sow them in the greenhouse in lengths of guttering & haven't had problems before this year. We also have 2 cats (& another living next door) so imagined we were fairly safe from mice, but yesterday found several mouse-sized holes in the soil in the pea gutters, seeds missing and tiny shoots & roots left behind. I've heard people used to soak the peas in paraffin before planting but not sure if that would be considered safe now? Any other ideas?

17/04/2013 at 10:56

i had the same problem. i sprinkled powdered chilli to mask the smell. it worked only a few days and they returned to chomp on the rest. i have put in some new seeds. i am hoping as the weather has warmed up, they will get another source of food and leave my beans alone. good-luck.

17/04/2013 at 11:15

Thanks Franco6832 - did you sprinkle the chilli  on the surface or on the seeds? I might give that a try.

17/04/2013 at 11:45

Use mouse traps, the electric ones if in the greenhouse, they are safe to use with cats (I have dogs and children).  You can also buy the conventional traps that are in locked boxes that your cats won't be able to open.  Bait the traps with either tuna (wouldn't recommend as it will drive your cats bonkers) or chocolate spread - nutella or something similar.  Don't use cheese, mice have a sweet tooth.

We occaisionally get refugees from the fields at harvest time or during harsh winters, I like the electric traps, as they are safe & clean, you do need to check daily as they have a light that flashes geen if the batteries need changing, and flashes red when it's caught one of the little buggers.  Pick it up inside a polyethene bag, open the trap door and the corpse will fall into the bag, double bag it and put it in the dustbin.  Reset the trap by flicking the switch off & on again, and off you go.  Most mice are like women, they will go for chocolate over peas every time!

17/04/2013 at 11:53

i sprinkled the powdered chilli on the surface of the compost .

17/04/2013 at 13:10

Oh gosh, I'm a bit of a woossy vegetarian so don't think I'd like to kill the mice (though I know that's a bit hypocritical when the cats kill them....). I've used the traps which don't kill them before (when I didn't have cats) but I think you have to take them miles away or they just come back again.

I'll give the chilli a go and see if that makes a difference before I try trapping them.

I'd love to know if the paraffin is ok to use or would it contaminate my peas?

Is it just peas and beans they eat or are they likely to be a problem with other plants too?

17/04/2013 at 14:11
Unfortunately they like all seedlings really, they do tend to go for the more succulent ones and will often dig up seeds to eat. I've tried humane traps but with no success, getting cats seems to have worked for me (not deliberately for that reason though).

I'd try the paraffin trick as it's the smell that's supposed to put off mice rather than the pea taking on too much of the chemical.
17/04/2013 at 14:42

I asked a similar question last week. The answer I got was soak the peas in paraffin. it works a treat doesnt harm the peas and keeps the furry criters away from them. Alternativly you can sow them in gutters indoors and transplant them when they've established, by that point they're not much interest to the mice.

 

17/04/2013 at 15:57
Greenfingeredsmoggy wrote (see)

I asked a similar question last week. The answer I got was soak the peas in paraffin. it works a treat doesnt harm the peas and keeps the furry criters away from them. Alternativly you can sow them in gutters indoors and transplant them when they've established, by that point they're not much interest to the mice.

 

I think the original poster is having problems with mice eating the peas that have been sown in guttering in the greenhouse.

I don't know how acrobatic mice are, but maybe you could suspend the guttering from the apex of the greenhouse?

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/22209.jpg?width=600&height=350&mode=max

 I know the picture's not in a greenhouse, but you get the idea.

The link is http://thehomesteadsurvival.com/hanging-gutter-garden/#.UW630KKG2-l - might be a neat idea to adopt in other places, not sure well how outside suspended guttering would stand up the windy days though.

17/04/2013 at 17:10

peanut butter , mice love it and its easy to load. The only real problem with traps is you could have 10 identical looking traps and maybe 2 that actually catch mice, but those 2 are very good.

Bare in mind mice are incontinent and prolific do you really want them p& b ing over everything you own and they will.

17/04/2013 at 17:21

You have to move the traps, they get to know one of their mates goes in there & doesn't come out!  I can't use conventional traps any more, we had one that went off in a shared house at Uni, & didn't quite do the job.  I drew the short straw & took it outside in a plastic bag (made sure it wasn't see-through) and a housebrick.  Not nice, but a lot nicer than the mouse dying a slow, agonising death with a broken back.  I was one of two vegetarians in the house (I'm not any more, meat is dinner!), so was really not a happy bunny.

Blackest, peanut butter was the third thing the rentokil man said to use to bait traps.  I remember the first two, as I have them in the house, but never really been a peanut butter fan, so don't  have it in the cupboard.  Tuna and chocolate spread always in the cupboard.

17/04/2013 at 18:17
I don't like the paraffin treatment or the red lead treatment advocated few years back
My way is foolproof.
I sow in trays. Then Imto 9 cm pots....all indoors.
Right now they have outgrown their seed cases and ready for planting out. Even then I will cover with fleece....not for mice but to,prevent them being pulled out.
When growing well....couple of weeks....I will remove fleece.
I have tried the growing peas in guttering technique but it's flawed. Peas do transplant without problem if done without too much disrurbance
17/04/2013 at 18:19

Raisins are good in mouse traps.

17/04/2013 at 22:17

I get mice in my greenhouse - I balance my seed trays on top of tall upside down plant pots  so that the edges overhang.  Mice can climb up the sides of things but they can't hang upside down (its the theory behind the old saddle stones that barns used to sit on).  Once the plants get to a certain size the mice lose interest.  It does mean my greenhouse gets a bit precarious, with things balanced all over the place, but it seems to work.

17/04/2013 at 22:53
Cover the area your peas are in with small sprigs of holly sprigs. They dont like the jaggy points and cant get through to the seeds. Ive used this trick for years. No mouses are harmed and you still have your pea seeds and seedlings
Hope this helps.
18/04/2013 at 09:13

THanks for all of those ideas. I already do sow them in the greenhouse in gutters and haven't had a problem before this year, though I suspect it might be because one of our cats is getting older and isn't such a good mouser any more. I hadn't  thought of suspending the guttering - will try and work out if I can do that somehow. Also will work my way through all hte other suggestions until I find something that works! Maybe we'll just have to get another cat

18/04/2013 at 12:47
The advantage of trays is that they can be covered....I use those see through seed covers
19/04/2013 at 10:00

I live in a very rural location and cannot grow any peas/ beans sweetpeas outside because there are lots of mice, voles and shrews around. I  have to start mine off indoors in pots and plant them out when they are about 2/3ins tall.

29/04/2013 at 21:15

I have never grown peas before but am going to try this year.  Thanks for the tips and hints about protecting from mice.  My greenhouse backs onto a farm field and mice are regular residents/visitors in winter.

29/04/2013 at 21:31

I'm started to think that mice have been eating some my seedlings, particulary my sugar snap peas,will try the holly springs. My first year of growing edibles

1 to 20 of 26 messages