One of our problems here are the rabbits. Wild rabbits are a real pest, not only do they like eating your vegetables, they’ll strip the bark of saplings so killing the tree. Now the answer is to fence them out of the vegetable plot and to use tree guards on saplings as well as control their numbers.
Let’s not beat about the bush, control means killing them. It’s been suggested I get a powerful air rifle but my concern is injuring rather than killing them. I abhor cruelty to animals, even pests. Leaving a wounded rabbit to slow, lingering death is not something I could do,
So, I’m sitting in the office enjoying the first cup of tea of the day in my dressing gown when I hear this squealing sound and the cat trots in with a young rabbit in her mouth. Now a perfect opportunity to rid ourselves of one pest with a quick heavy blow to the back of the neck.
So I grabbed a towel, dropped it over the rabbit and carried it outside where I set it free in the field. Normally there’s nobody about but today there’s a group of hikers coming up the track and I’m outside in my dressing gown. Somewhat embarrassing.
My name is John and I am a softy.
It doesn’t end there, as I took the rabbit out of the front door the cat left through the back and two minutes later was back with her catch. So this time I locked the cat flap and set bunny free again to the further amusement of the hikers. That Watership Down has a lot to answer for.
When we had the old cowsheds at the back of the house renovated, we discovered the woodwork was riddled with woodworm. Although a rafter looked perfect from ground level, close up you could see little pin-holes in the wood as if someone had thrown darts at it.
When we handled it we found the wood could be crumbled into dust just by squeezing it with your hand. Apparently the larvae eat the wood and then the adult beetles bore the tell-tale holes on the way out. So the little beasts aren’t even visible when they’re doing the damage.
That left a couple of wooden lintels, two doors and their frames with tell-tale holes in. So we spent a small fortune (£44.00) on 5 litres of wood treatment liquid and I sprayed and painted the timbers. Of course, I couldn’t find my rubber gloves so got the stuff on my hands and some spray drifted onto my face.
Well it tastes horrible and it’s a bee to wash off. Chances are I’ll live and I very much doubt I’ll ever get woodworm. NB don’t do as I did, get some rubber gloves, a mask and those cheap protective eye goggles before you start!
Having done it, I then discover there’s a much cheaper and safer treatment for woodworm. Apparently you can use borax as a 15% solution in water (ourproperty.co.uk). Too late now for me but maybe it will help you.