After 3 years, something has figured out how to get into my fenced garden and eat all of my young shoots, but first some background… I live in Northwest Montana on a 7 acre parcel and have built a large fenced in garden with raised beds for vegetables. This is our 4th season, and for the first 3 seasons we didn’t have any problems with varmints eating our young plants.
There is an 8 foot fence covered in chicken wire to keep the deer and black bears out, but we have our share of squirrels, rabbits and other critters, like chipmunks. Everything is fine on one day, and the next day all of the young sprouts are chewed down to the ground. I have checked for holes in the fence, and I have layers of rock around the fence to keep burrowers out. I have only seen one critter actually in the garden, and that was a Columbian Ground Squirrel. When he saw me he made a bee-line for the fence and either went over it or through it with ease.
Since I don’t want to get up at 5 am every day and wait in ambush with my pistol I was thinking of using a large Victor rat trap. The only thing I could think of to bait the trap was peanut butter, the bait I use to catch mice that happen to get into my garage or house.
Is there a better way to deal with this problem? And wrapping the multiple beds in some kind of netting would be difficult and expensive given their size (8 feet by 11 feet). Is there any poison I could use that would be selective for this particular menace?
Any useful advice would be greatly appreciated!