Underground Varmints

We seem to have an abundance of  little creatures that dig holes and scurry underground.  I’ve seen voles and chipmunks enter these holes frequently.   I’ve read about several possible deterrents – many having to do with Castor oil or planting the Castor beans near the holes.  Much of what I have read indicates that the Castor plant is toxic, even if you touch it, so you must always wear gloves when handling.

One bit of advice I read said to douse cotton balls with Castor oil and stuff them in the holes in the ground.  I tried that, but it didn’t work.   Somewhere else it said to shove thorny branches(such as after you prune your roses) into the holes.  Still, no luck.  They just go and dig right next to it.

I planted a couple of Castor beans, and this is what they look like now:

IMG_0749See the holes in that leaf?  Apparently something doesn’t know or care about the supposed toxicity!

Here is the other one:


I think they are rather pretty.   I still see the holes in the ground, but we tried to further outwit the little guys with some hardware cloth underneath the whole darn garden – before adding soil.

I think it’s working?  So far, so good by the looks of my garden.  We are being taken over by pumpkin vines and squash vines at the present moment!  Here is a look at some of the squash, with nasturtiums entangled:


May you have a varmint-free day!