American Heirlooms - February 2019




As we finish the end of a northeastern winter storm and look forward to spring, I’ve already begun to think about protecting my home from springtime pests. We’re thankful for the bats and snakes that eat the various pests that roam our yards, and even the owls and bald eagles are a welcome sight. But we’ve still had to get creative when it comes to protecting our property from moles and mice. Through trying many different poisons, traps, and fences, I’ve found that a few methods work best for my yard. I know that no two yards are alike. What works for me might not work for my neighbor or someone living thousands of miles away. I once had an Amish friend tell me that what worked for his yard was his wife sneaking up on the moles midday, so as to not create vibrations that would send them digging away. She would then jam two shovels on either end of the tunneling mole and scoop them out. Now, I don’t have time to actively watch my yard like that. Instead, I’ve rigged up a combination of defense mechanisms and traps. My father-in-law suggested the only trap that has worked for me, and it involves a two-prong hinge-and-spring system. Additionally, the former owner of our previous home taught us to use a guardrail- like system for our garden. He hammered a continuous border of corrugated tin roofing a foot or two into the ground. This created a

border the moles are too lazy to dig under in their hunt for the roots of vegetables they enjoy so much. This can be a bit dangerous when the tiller hits it, because it mangles pieces and poses a threat to bare feet — which my gardeners usually have.

In the house, I’ve found that trapping

works best to keep out the mice that certain residents in my home do not peacefully coexist with. I’ve learned that it’s important to have all entrance holes on the outside of our home blocked off, and to use steel wool to fill small openings. Leaving an opening unguarded is a surefire way to make your traps ineffective. To attract mice to these traps, I’ve used bacon grease, peanut butter, cheese, and various other rodent-approved treats. As it turns out, mice can be picky. You will need to experiment to find what passes for local mouse fine dining. So we've tried various options. To say I don’t have a perfect golf-course yard would be the understatement of the year, but I do like to have a smooth surface. Between gardening and fishing, my family is frequently outside, and walking around.

A pest-riddled yard is hazardous for weak ankles. Like every other homeowner, I get a sense of irritation when I feel that first molehill each spring. I equate this sinking feeling to the one other people have, when they find that the cheaper pieces of furniture they purchased don’t stand up to use. They discover their own “moles” in their furniture when it breaks within a few years, days, or months after purchasing it. Just like I’ve discovered solutions that protect my yard from pests, you need experienced solutions and careful craftsmanship when it comes to your furniture. Don’t settle for frustrating “moles.” Let our expert craftsmen provide you with the durable product you desire. –Ethan Zimmerman

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