The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Can cats help with garden pests?

Vole damage to sweet potato.

We noticed a fair amount of vole damage to the sweet potatoes.

The goats don't seem to mind and we save the good ones for ourselves.

Maybe the damage would've been a lot worse without Huckleberry killing the voles he's hunted?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I have problems with voles eating my sweet potatoes - some years terrible, some not so bad. My cats can't get in now that I've had to put up a fence and electric wire to stop the groundhogs. Last year they seriously damaged about 1/2 my crop. I haven't had luck with trapping them, although I tried using Elliot Coleman's trap.
Comment by Katherine Fri Sep 16 20:28:53 2016
If you feed a cat, he will be useless for pest control. He may look like he's hunting, but it's just playing.
Comment by Tom Sat Sep 17 10:39:55 2016

I have had several cats, my last cat was such a prolific hunter (even though there was a full cat food bowl at all times) that he ran out of varmits and was catching birds. This was not acceptable in my book, so he had to wear a collar with a bell on it. Maybe you need another cat to help out with the varmits. However, NEVER leave food outside at night. The raccoons and skunks love that and raccoons will kill cats.

My best friend had a cat that used to catch moles - most cats will not catch them. He was also very territorial so he kept other cats out of his area.

I just love my kitty. She will keep the house free of mice - that works for me.

Love your blog and hope your wife is feeling better soon.

Comment by kara Sat Sep 17 12:01:12 2016
From what I've read predation is ineffective because of their high reproductive rate
Comment by Jeffry Tue Sep 20 13:44:41 2016

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