Field Mice In Your Garden? Keep Them Out With This Information

Posted on: 31 March 2016

Mice don't always invade your home. Some mice, such as field mice, can also take up residence in or near your garden and wreak havoc on your fruits and vegetables. Placing snap traps and poisons in your garden may not be the best thing to do, especially if the poisons travel into the garden's soil or the traps harm birds and other wildlife. In addition, field mice can reproduce rapidly, which means you must take proactive steps to keep the rodents out of your garden. Here's what you should understand about field mice and tips to keep them out of your garden.

What Are Field Mice?

Although field mice, also known as voles and meadow mice, are similar to house mice, they have distinct habits and features that set them apart from house mice. Field mice tend to have small compact bodies that feature short legs, tails and ears. Unlike house mice, which tend to enter human dwellings for food, field mice may reside in outdoor areas that provide sufficient shelter and food, such as tall areas of grass, bushes and even your garden.

Because of their brownish-gray fur, field mice can easily blend in with their surroundings. Voles also create 2-inch wide trails on the surfaces of your property that allow them to move quickly between their nesting sites and food sources. The trails appear as zigzagged lines surrounded by raised tufts of grass. 

Field mice may choose to build nests inside the garden if it contains patches of overgrown grass or tangled plants to protect them from predators. You probably won't see the rodents often because they may scurry underground once they sense your presence. However, if you examine your property, you might find trails that lead you to the rodents' nesting sites. 

If you notice strange tunnels in your yard that lead to your garden or anywhere else on your property, take steps now to keep field mice out of it.

How Do You Keep Field Mice Out of the Garden and Property?

One of the first things you might do to keep field mice out of your garden is remove all areas of tall grass, weeds and dying plants. You want to eliminate all possible hiding spots for the rodents. Also, install a wire fence or mesh around the garden to help keep the mice out of it. 

You can keep field mice out of your garden with the tips below. Be sure to follow the measurements listed in the tips to avoid problems when you purchase and construct the wire fence:

  1. Purchase wire fencing, such as chicken wire, from a local hardware store. It's a good idea that you measure the length of your garden beforehand to help you obtain the right size. The wire's mesh should also be about 1/4 of an inch wide or smaller to keep the mice from squeezing through it.
  2. Dig a 6-inch deep trench around the garden, which may deter field mice from digging below the garden to enter it. Don't discard the grass and dirt, as you can use it later to fill in the trench after you install the fencing.
  3. Insert the wire into the trench until it extends about 12 inches above the ground. 
  4. Fill in the trench with dirt and grass. 

To reduce the presence of field mice in the rest of your property, place baited live mouse traps with peanut butter, grains or pieces of vegetables along the rodents' trails. Live traps are special containers with one-way doors that allow you to trap the mice alive and safely relocate them to places away from your home. The mice will generally follow the same well-traveled trails or paths they use to reach their food sources, so it may be easier for you to catch them by placing traps there. Release any mice you catch about one mile away from your home and in a wooded area, such as park or wildlife sanctuary. The mice will be too far away from your property to return.

If you need additional help with your field mice problem, or if the steps above don't work within two or three weeks, contact a pest control company like Garrie Pest Control to help you with your problem.