Donate to Remove ads

Got a credit card? use our Credit Card & Finance Calculators

Thanks to Howard,bruncher,SalvorHardin,tea42,yyuryyub, for Donating to support the site

Attack on watering system!

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Attack on watering system!

#518359

Postby mc2fool » July 30th, 2022, 5:47 pm

For daily watering of our flower beds we have a network of 4mm irrigation pipes with a variety of drippers (connected to 13mm supply hoses attached to timers on our water butts), and in the past week or so some varmint has taken a liking to it, either to get water or maybe just for fun, and has detached pipes, bitten into and/or through pipes (the 4mm ones) and even detached and run off with a couple of the drippers.

It's become a regular occurrence to look at the water butt level (it's got an external tube that let's me see that at a glance) and cuss 'cos it's dropped more than it should have since the day before, and then (still cussing!) flip the override on the timer and go round to see where a pipe has been bitten into or cut through or a dripper detached and is spurting out water....

From the size of the holes in the bitten into 4mm pipes I'm suspecting squirrels, of which we have quite a few (greys of course), although we also have urban foxes and quite a local few cats come though daily, and I'll bet there's also the usual unseen rodents around.

I suppose I could bury the pipes a little, although I did that originally (for aesthetics), some years back and found the disadvantage is that you have to remember (not always successfully) where they are when weeding or trowelling/forking over the ground to avoid going through them, so brought them back to the surface. Also my experience with burying the drippers is that they become messy and difficult to adjust, and invariably clog up, and in any case, all of the local varmints are adept at digging.

I've put out a large garden saucer of water, thinking if it's water they're after I'll make it easy for them, but that doesn't seem to have made any difference. :(

bungeejumper
Lemon Half
Posts: 6624
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 2279 times
Been thanked: 2932 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518372

Postby bungeejumper » July 30th, 2022, 6:46 pm

Squirrels or rats certainly won't mind if you bury your pipes. It's all part of the game to them, and they do like a bit of a tease. And if a larger animal such as a badger had taken a fancy to your water, he'd have bitten it through and then drunk what he wanted and then pushed off without destroying stuff.

I reckon it's likely that the varmints are somehow enjoying the kinky smell of the plastic or the neoprene. It's well known that some rodents, such as polecats, will bite through cars' brake pipes for no other reason than that the artificial rubber turns them on. (Or rather, it did before the car manufacturers changed their brake hose materials.) And many of us have had mice chewing through cables for the same kind of kick. Maybe try and think of a way of attaching a smell to the pipes? Engine oil, WD40, castor oil? Or chilli, of course, which they all hate. :lol:

BJ

GrahamPlatt
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1467
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:40 am
Has thanked: 705 times
Been thanked: 556 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518398

Postby GrahamPlatt » July 30th, 2022, 7:48 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Squirrels or rats certainly won't mind if you bury your pipes. It's all part of the game to them, and they do like a bit of a tease. And if a larger animal such as a badger had taken a fancy to your water, he'd have bitten it through and then drunk what he wanted and then pushed off without destroying stuff.

I reckon it's likely that the varmints are somehow enjoying the kinky smell of the plastic or the neoprene. It's well known that some rodents, such as polecats, will bite through cars' brake pipes for no other reason than that the artificial rubber turns them on. (Or rather, it did before the car manufacturers changed their brake hose materials.) And many of us have had mice chewing through cables for the same kind of kick. Maybe try and think of a way of attaching a smell to the pipes? Engine oil, WD40, castor oil? Or chilli, of course, which they all hate. :lol:

BJ


Easier than attaching a smell to the pipes, add it to the water. So long as it’s not going to upset the plants that’d be your best bet I’d think. A few bottles of hot chilli powder in the tank and you could get your revenge.

88V8
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 3564
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:22 am
Has thanked: 1524 times
Been thanked: 1383 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518400

Postby 88V8 » July 30th, 2022, 7:50 pm

I had an elaborate microbore system in the front garden of our previous house. Drippers, mini sprinklers..... it worked well the first year, but the second year scarcely at all.
Dismantling it I found that earwigs had taken up residence in the pipes and blocked them....

V8

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518440

Postby mc2fool » July 30th, 2022, 9:49 pm

No badgers or polecats in zone 3 London. ;)

Not sure about the offenders enjoying the "kinky" (?) smell of the pipes; the system has been in place for a few years and it's only in the past week or so I've had the problem, so I suspect that it's rather to do with the extended dry period and some varmint(s) discovering it as a source of water. Although not sure then why they bite into the pipes and don't just drink from the drippers....

Also not sure about chilli in the water; the culprits won't discover that until after they've already bitten into the pipes, however chilli powder spread around the pipes sounds like a good idea; I'll have to investigate if it has any its effects (or not) on the plants we have. Might add an unwanted kick to those in the herb patch if they take it up. :D

bungeejumper
Lemon Half
Posts: 6624
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 2279 times
Been thanked: 2932 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518462

Postby bungeejumper » July 31st, 2022, 7:08 am

mc2fool wrote:Also not sure about chilli in the water; the culprits won't discover that until after they've already bitten into the pipes, however chilli powder spread around the pipes sounds like a good idea; I'll have to investigate if it has any its effects (or not) on the plants we have. Might add an unwanted kick to those in the herb patch if they take it up. :D

Chilli powder tends to become neutralised fairly quickly by rain, but I think you can get it as a pretty punchy oil which might stick around for a bit longer.

It also turns out that WD40 is indeed widely recommended as a squirrel, rat and mouse repellent. But not so good if your pet dog or cat is in the habit of chewing those pipes. :|

No polecats have been harmed during the writing of this message. Good luck!

BJ

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518552

Postby mc2fool » July 31st, 2022, 2:19 pm

Latest attack, sometime in the last 24 hours or so, the varmint chopped off around 2 feet of 4mm pipe to a terminal end dripper. Found around a foot of the pipe in the immediate vicinity but also found there possible evidence of the identity of the culprit -- fox poop.

May be a coincidence, as fox poop is a regular feature in our plot anyway, but I also found the other foot of the pipe some 20 feet away in the middle of our gravel parking area, and the squirrels never go across that (too exposed I guess), so it's either foxes or cats with a heavy lean to the former. No sign of the dripper itself.

Fixed up and started spraying the pipes with WD40 but ran out after 10 or 12 feet, so off to the internet to buy some more now ....

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518933

Postby mc2fool » August 1st, 2022, 9:05 pm

WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Lootman
The full Lemon
Posts: 13999
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:58 pm
Has thanked: 261 times
Been thanked: 3728 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518936

Postby Lootman » August 1st, 2022, 9:07 pm

mc2fool wrote:WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Have you seen Caddyshack and the Bill Murray character?

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#518940

Postby mc2fool » August 1st, 2022, 9:15 pm

Lootman wrote:
mc2fool wrote:WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Have you seen Caddyshack and the Bill Murray character?

No actually, never caught it. I'm guessing that he had some method of getting rid of foxes or similar? I'm further guessing that his method probably wouldn't go down very well in suburban London ...

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#519609

Postby mc2fool » August 3rd, 2022, 7:50 pm

mc2fool wrote:WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Using "barbed wire" of the natural sort, success! Well, for one night at least...

Yesterday I was chatting to my also-suffering neighbour about the problem and noticed that he had a bit of an overgrown patch of blackberries, and the "barbed wire" thought came to mind, so I offered to chop some of it down and left with a wheelie bin full of brambles, which I variously laid next to and/or intertwined with and/or tied to my 4mm watering pipes and .............................. last night was the first in over a week when the pipes hadn't been chomped through and/or pulled out, hurrah! :)

Hoping it's not a fluke, fingers crossed ..............

Lootman
The full Lemon
Posts: 13999
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:58 pm
Has thanked: 261 times
Been thanked: 3728 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#519612

Postby Lootman » August 3rd, 2022, 7:53 pm

mc2fool wrote:
mc2fool wrote:WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Using "barbed wire" of the natural sort, success! Well, for one night at least...

Yesterday I was chatting to my also-suffering neighbour about the problem and noticed that he had a bit of an overgrown patch of blackberries, and the "barbed wire" thought came to mind, so I offered to chop some of it down and left with a wheelie bin full of brambles, which I variously laid next to and/or intertwined with and/or tied to my 4mm watering pipes and .............................. last night was the first in over a week when the pipes hadn't been chomped through and/or pulled out, hurrah! :)

Hoping it's not a fluke, fingers crossed ..............

Yes but those brambles will rot down so you will need an endless supply.

Which as it happens there appears to be. It took me the best part of two years to get rid of the infestation of them when I bought the house we are currently in. (Still working on the ivy which, it turns out, my wife is allergic to, but not other mammals).

mc2fool
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4482
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:24 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1630 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#519619

Postby mc2fool » August 3rd, 2022, 8:08 pm

Lootman wrote:
mc2fool wrote:
mc2fool wrote:WD40 ineffective! :( The f*****g b*****s ripped up a couple of sections last night, one that had been liberally sprayed with WD40 yesterday, the other not. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......... :x

Think I'm going to give one of the ultrasonic repellers a go ... although am also tempted to wrap the 4mm pipes around stretches of barbed wire. :twisted:

Using "barbed wire" of the natural sort, success! Well, for one night at least...

Yesterday I was chatting to my also-suffering neighbour about the problem and noticed that he had a bit of an overgrown patch of blackberries, and the "barbed wire" thought came to mind, so I offered to chop some of it down and left with a wheelie bin full of brambles, which I variously laid next to and/or intertwined with and/or tied to my 4mm watering pipes and .............................. last night was the first in over a week when the pipes hadn't been chomped through and/or pulled out, hurrah! :)

Hoping it's not a fluke, fingers crossed ..............

Yes but those brambles will rot down so you will need an endless supply.

Which as it happens there appears to be. It took me the best part of two years to get rid of the infestation of them when I bought the house we are currently in. (Still working on the ivy which, it turns out, my wife is allergic to, but not other mammals).

That (rotting down) will take a long time as they tend to dry out first rather than rot, and the thorns on them stay just as nasty. But in any case, I'm hoping that the foxes will now "learn" that it's not worth trying and give up, rather than continually testing it. After all, we've had the watering systems for some years and this problem has only appeared in the last week or so. We'll see.....

ReformedCharacter
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2329
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:12 am
Has thanked: 1916 times
Been thanked: 896 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#519624

Postby ReformedCharacter » August 3rd, 2022, 8:34 pm

Lootman wrote: (Still working on the ivy which, it turns out, my wife is allergic to, but not other mammals).

My garden is surrounded by hedges full of Ivy. Try Glyphosate. Glyphosate 360 in a 5l container is the most economical quantity to buy and will last you for years. The trick with Ivy and similar plants with a 'waxy' leaf is to add some washing-up liquid to it, it helps the Glyphosate penetrate the leaf surface. It's pretty effective and even kills Spanish Bluebells (which I hate) eventually.

RC

dubre
Lemon Pip
Posts: 97
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 2:41 pm
Has thanked: 133 times
Been thanked: 35 times

Re: Attack on watering system!

#521178

Postby dubre » August 9th, 2022, 9:13 pm

Fox--or most probably cubs at this time of year. Some years ago, during a dry summer, I left a hose spread across the lawn overnight.The next morning I found that the hose had been neatly cut into short lengths, each edge saw like in appearance.


Return to “The Natural World”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests