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Monday, August 24, 2009

This Our House: Episode 6 "Say Hello to Our Little Friends"

About three weeks ago, we came home to discover that our four-foot square summer vegetable garden had been completely dug up by something the size of a small dog. All the plants were torn out and DEEP holes had been dug in several corners.

We filled the holes in (the plants were not salvageable—no veggies for us!) only to have a repeat performance the next day. And every couple of days since.

About a month ago, my in-laws were visiting and saw a red fox in our yard in the early morning. That was kind of exciting! Foxes are awfully pretty and not as threatening or worrisome as seeing a coyote in your yard—OR SO WE THOUGHT.

Last week, Brandon and I saw it for the first time—in fact we saw two at once one morning—and that's about the same time we started finding little presents left for us in the yard; so far the remnants of two birds, one rabbit, and a bag of beggin' strips dog treats, plus some droppings.

And they're still digging up the now-empty garden square.

We're pretty sure it's the foxes doing the digging. Someone at a local garden store suggested they might be attracted by the smell of the manure we had mixed in for fertilizer. At the advice of the internets, yesterday we sprayed all around the wood enclosing the square with ammonia, as well as in the places where they'd left droppings and refuse from their meals in hopes that it would deter them.

No such luck. This morning, the garden plot was completely dug up again.

Our second attempt is going to be mothballs. Brandon put a bunch of them in old socks and put one at each corner of the garden. If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what we'll try next. I've wondered if maybe a friend would let us borrow a big dog that could pee all over the yard. We've also read it might help if Brandon went out and, er, marked his territory a bit as well.

And if those don't work? I guess we'll have to call vector control. It's not that we mind them passing through the yard, but we don't want them to make a home here, and we DEFINITELY don't want them to get habituated to digging up our garden; someday, I'd like to have veggies out there that WON'T get torn up.

In other news, there are now two snakes. Brandon is not pleased.

Stay tuned.