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Q:

Why do mice and rabbits cause damage to landscape plants in winter and how can this be prevented?

A:

Especially during a period of extended snow cover, when their usual food sources are blanketed and therefore unavailable, these creatures seek out alternatives such as bark of trees and shrubs. When partial girdling occurs, insects and pathogens can gain easy access and weaken plants. If trunks and stems become completely girdled, the plants will die. In order to prevent this kind of injury, wrap the trunks and stems of susceptible plants with plastic covers or hardware cloths. Alternatively, rodent repellents can be sprayed onto the trunks and stems. Be sure to reapply in midwinter, during a time of warm temperatures.

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