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Where has the time gone?

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 11/13/20

Where has this fall gone already? We are half way through November, and I can't believe black Friday is only two weeks away.

Deer season is already in full swing and after spending a lot of time …

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Where has the time gone?


Where has this fall gone already? We are half way through November, and I can't believe black Friday is only two weeks away.

Deer season is already in full swing and after spending a lot of time indoors this year, many hunters just want to get out in the woods to enjoy nature for awhile. I know many hunters that won't take a deer until the last few days of the season, just so they have a reason to go out as often as they can. Don't worry, I won't name, names, but you know who you are.

With the late Indian summer weather we have been having, many hunters have still been putting in food plots for this fall and next year. Many of the clover plots are all perennial so once they are established they will last for years and years. Of course the easiest way to attract deer to a food plot is to plant a holly bush or arborvitae in the middle of it.

We are selling a lot of burlap and deer netting to keep the deer off hollies and arborvitae that people have planted around their homes. We even had to use some at our house this year, as we have had a huge influx of deer this fall and they were eyeing Vicki's mountain laurels that were planted this spring.

They won't bother laurels in the woods, but plant one by your house and they have to have it. It's just like those orange day lilies that bloom all along the roads around Sullivan County in the summer. They leave them along the roadside but, if you try to plant some in your landscape, be prepared to use repellents or fence them in or they will be gone in a night or two.

Another problem this time of year is the rodents of all sizes that want to come into your house for the winter, and I bet you are not too happy about it. Most people do not like roommates that don't pay rent. Now mice are easy, the basic snappy trap or poison will work fast on them. But chipmunks, red and grey squirrels are a lot harder.

Unlike mice and rats, poisons will not work on these rodents as they have the ability to regurgitate the poison. So it is either snappy traps or live traps to get rid of them. Now most people don't like to use snappy traps on a chipmunk because we think of them as cute little critters like Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

So that leaves the live traps (Hav-a-hart) to catch those little critters. So let's skip ahead and say that you have now trapped and removed all the critters from your house, how do you keep them from coming back.

First you have to find where they are coming in. Is it some loose siding or did they chew a hole into the wall? Loose siding is easy, nail it back fast to the building and you should be all good. If it is a hole that they have chewed it needs to be filled.

Expanding foam insulation that comes in a can is the best way to get inside the hole and make sure all the gaps are filled. But you must add the secret ingredient for it to work properly so that they will not just chew through the foam insulation.

Since I am such a nice guy I will tell you what it is so that you don't have to make a special trip into the store to see me. The secret ingredient is steel wool. Not the Brillo you use to clean dishes as detergents in it can affect the foam insulation, but just plain old steel wool like the type used for woodworking and refinishing.

This steel wool has no detergents and will not react badly to the foam insulation. Pack some steel wool into the hole before applying the foam insulation, the foam will go through and around the steel wool totally encapsulating it. By doing this you can ensure that the rodents will not chew through the foam, for if they do they will hit the steel wool and it will cut up their mouths and they will stop.

Now this is not to say that they won't try to chew a couple feet down the wall, but they will at least have to wait a couple weeks for their mouths to heal up first. Maybe in that time, the neighbors' cat will get rid of them for you. Your house is your castle and you have to defend it like one.


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