Gardening with voles

I am being tormented by a critter.
Or maybe two critters. All I know is that if you are reading this–the vole is winning. One day he simply came into our yard, which was blissfully unprotected. He slipped into Harry’s raised planting beds that contained all of our tender vegetables for summer. And right in front of Harry’s face, that stupid vole sucked down an eggplant bush like it was nothing.
Once he finished the veggie garden–and I mean finished as in no more plants–he moved through the yard. Suddenly there were holes in the lawn. And soft spots in the flowerbeds.
So we did what anyone watching their yard disappear would do. We screamed helplessly while the vole ate half the day lilies. We watched in horror as every day we walked out to the yard and another pincushion plant was missing.
We sadly watched the nettle get sucked back into the earth.
I swear to you, that vole has eaten so much it should weigh a billion pounds. I can’t even imagine how large the tunnels have to be to accommodate its girth. I’m scared my house could sink. But what do you do when confronted with an apparently ginormous eating machine determined to destroy an entire yard and create a massive sinkhole in which to consume a house? You whine to anyone who will listen. That’s how we got the brilliant idea of getting these solar stick things that emit a high-pitched noise guaranteed to drive off voles. It seemed like a miracle. For the low, low price of $9.99 and free shipping, we could finally be vole free.
Seriously, who wouldn’t jump on that offer and order 10? Other than people who are clearly more intelligent and less desperate than we were. There are only so many day lilies you can lose before you lose your perspective, and we had clearly lost ours.
So the sticks arrived and we gleefully put them in the yard. Soon, our peaceful little house was filled with the incredibly annoying sound of high-pitched beeps. Obviously, the sticks were going to work. I didn’t even want to go into the yard due to the stupid beeps, so surely a vole would hate it.
Turns out, not so much. I’m fairly convinced that these beeps are actually vole mating calls. Within days of putting the sticks out, all the pincushions disappeared, the nettle is down to one, and the day lilies … I miss them.
Of course, there is a drought, so maybe the vole and his harem are doing us a favor. If there’s nothing in the yard, there’s nothing to water, right? On the other hand, if it’s a mating call, then there might be some vole babies. And we will never have another plant again.

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