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So I discovered that shrews were taking up residence in my bog that has been under cover and under snow all winter. I had set traps last night and caught a fat shrew this morning. I was also able to check out the damage more. The things have dug under several crowns and ate all the roots from some plants and others both roots and then partially into the tubers themselves. (yeah)

The good news is that all the plants still look healthy even after being outside during the days and days of ultra cold weather we have had here in zone 6 ohio. My question is... since the bog is still in full dormancy with the media partially frozen.... for the plants that have had the loss of roots (but otherwise look good) and for the ones that have damaged tubers... what should i do with them at this point in the game?

A- bring them inside to baby them along under grow lights with household temps? I have a decent grow setup that i am using to start perennials already going and have the room.

B- bring them into the garage under my grow lights with colder temps? This is where i have overwintered my more "special" plants this winter in pots.

C- or just make sure they are secured in the outside bog media and let nature take it's course over the spring? Thinking maybe letting them slowly come out of dormancy might give them a better chance

Any help would be great!
Ummm...you haven't stated what genus/genera you are seeking advice for......
I would vote A for keepers/more damaged plants, and B for less damaged/less important plants. I've done fine with abbreviated dormancy on (stressed) Sarrs...
Just keep them where they are. I had a very similar situation here a few years ago. If the plants are too damaged, no amount of babying is going to help them. Maybe apply some fungicide to the damaged rhizomes and keep your fingers crossed. You also may want to install some pro-active pest control in the vicinity of your bogs. I installed some rodent bait stations right beside the bog and it seems to have helped quite a bit. While shrews are insectivores and not rodents, they will still consume a good quality rodenticide like Contrac or First Strike.
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^^^^^ +1 for Cthulu. I think disturbing them further would do no good for the damaged plants.

They are all dormant, anyway. In a sense, the rodent damage is roughly equivalent to a mangled division and repotting. As such, i would guess that your plants will be fine, if not just set back a bit.

Also, I followed your bog build thread linked above. It is a nice example that I hope to emulate someday. Great work!
Thanks for the advice! It's quite disheartening to pick up a big crown and it just lifts right up with all the roots gone! I might take a few small divisions off now and bring them in so that I have options. I at least I hadn't kept my "fancier" varieties out in the bog this winter since it was the first year in the raised bog... I wanted to see how the collection would do out there. It also doesn't appear they messed with the VFT's.. so that's a good thing.

I forgot that shrews are not plant eaters! I did end up catching two mice over the weekend though in the mean time. For the remainder of the year and next year I will set reminders to set and check traps every week or so. We have too many hawks and foxes to go the poison route.
The "poison" is actually an anticoagulant. The dose is based on body weight so the amount needed to kill a mouse will not harm a larger predator or scavenger that would eat the target pest. Your average cat would have to eat about a pound of these baits to harm it which just isn't going to happen.
shame you can't use a trap that catches them alive and relocate them somewhere else,could be an option maybe,they can be effective,sure would be a shame to indiscriminately poison the shrews or any other critter (just a thought)think shrews eat slugs too
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  • #10
There's no rehabilitation for a rodent. Catching pest species and releasing them elsewhere is not only irresponsible but often illegal in most areas. Commensal rodents are not endangered species and are vectors for many mammalian diseases. Crashing a local population is never a bad idea.
  • #11
each to their own,i think laying down poison is pretty irresponsible when you can not be sure you even poison the critter you are after
  • #12
each to their own,i think laying down poison is pretty irresponsible when you can not be sure you even poison the critter you are after

If applied properly and legally i.e. in tamper resistant bait stations that only animals of a desired size can access, you pretty much have just limited it to only the desired target species. I'm a pest control technician Corky, I do this every single day. All legal, ethical and environmental factors are taken into consideration when laws, baits and bait applicators (bait stations) are designed and formulated.
  • #13
sounds a very responsible way to go about it,and in my opinion and obviously yours the only way.I just quit like shrews:-D
  • #14
To bad about the shrew since it was probably hunting the mice. Not much else for them to eat this time of year except mice and bait.
  • #15
Shrews won't take adult mice but may occasionally eat pinkies. They often feed on worms and other critters under the frost line or tucked away in rotten logs between their stints of winter torpor. Shrews aren't strict insectivores and will take some plant matter but, I think the real culprit here are voles. They're the ones you see leaving little trails under the snow all over your yard. They dig up and eat dormant bulbs and plants all the time. Voles are often misidentified as shrews (even though they really don't resemble one another very closely) by not only my clients but other technicians in the field.
  • #16
I the anticoagulants apparently do build in the larger predators bodies though... just read a nat geo article about mt lions in California are being found dead from anticoagulants... and the NPR story about fishers dying from consuming poisoned rats too. So I would assume any small predators in my neck of the woods would be at risk too since they are going after these guys all the time.

A guy I work with likes to spout how he has to take rat poison (to keep his blood thinned). I like the traps anyway since I see the results.
  • #17
Those articles and your work mate are likely talking about the drug warfarin which is the much misused and abused over the counter anticoagulant found in products like D-con. That's why I recommended the products I did which use difethialone and bromadialone. Those products used properly in secure bait stations do not have the impact that warfarin based products will have when every Joe out there is just tossing the stuff around willy nilly.
  • #18
Not to mention (ironically) that most pest species of rodents have built up resistance to warfarin and are actually capable of carrying large amounts of it in their systems without causing any harm to themselves.
  • #19
Ahh D-con--- that's the brand I believe the EPA is fighting to get off the shelves... or have them change the active ingredients. Good to know that others have changed already.
  • #20
I honestly don't think ANY of that stuff should be available to the public. The vast majority of over applications, misapplications and general product abuse comes from the private sector. There was a recent case where the big box hardware chains were pushing a particularly toxic fly bait called Golden Malrin to customers to kill raccoons, skunks and coyotes. They dubbed the product "Coon Die Soon" and sold it to anybody complaining of everything from mice to wolves. It's flagrant misuse and disregard for the label and it's recommended applications like this that gets some of our best products taken out of our hands and banned permanently. Unfortunately this product is still sold by the ton over the counter and online to anyone who cares to buy it.