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How to outsmart rodents (the IPM way)

Sign up for free online workshop on rodent management

Grey ground squirrel
The California ground squirrel ( Otospermophilus beecheyi )
can be a real nuisance for the home gardener.
(Photo by Monica Dimson, UCCE Orange County,
courtesy UC IPM)

They’re clever, determined and usually hungry. That makes controlling rodents in our homes and gardens particularly difficult.

In a free online workshop, learn how to outsmart Norway rats, roof rats, mice, rabbits, voles and other common rodents – maybe even squirrels! Experts in integrated pest management will show you how.

Set for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 17, “IPM for Rodents” starts with identification and how to tell which critter is actually affecting your space. Then the workshop tackles how to dissuade rodents from eating your garden and invading your home.

The workshop is free, but advance registration is required at:

Dr. Niamh Quinn, Human-Wildlife Interactions Advisor for Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties, will present this workshop, designed for both urban and suburban dwellers.

Designed to be as wildlife friendly as possible, IPM methods control pests with mostly natural methods and strategies. This one-hour workshop is part of a new public series presented by the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Urban & Community Program.

Each month, IPM and other experts will share helpful pest management information for California residents, say the organizers. Since the workshops are online, they’re available throughout the state.

Topics also will include landscape pest management, household pests, understanding pesticides, management for weeds and invasive pests. Each webinar will be held at 1 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month.

Upcoming workshops: “Plant Diseases” (July 15), “Weed Identification” (Aug. 19) and “Identifying Insect Pests in the Home and Garden” (Sept. 16).

For more details and to register: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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