Lovely Lizards

04/26/2011 - 14:22

I don't dislike the lizards that bask in the sun and race around (and seem to bite each others tails?) the garden and rockery that we have.................but, this year we seem to have LOADS more than previous years. There are probably some 30/50 holes in our lawn (ha...............lawn !!). More than I like, but, (yes I know they were here before we arrived), is there a way to reduce the population or getting them to like the field next to our garden ? S


Or at least not much they don't. The holes in your garden are those of voles - like a mouse but short tailed. A lizard will quite happily use a vole hole or indeed any cavity. Like you I have noticed a healthy lizard population this year which may be explained by the lack of feral cats this year, yes I have seen a moggy with a lizard in her mouth!

elliven & Angie and Robert............ Thanks for your responses, me thinks you are correct...........we have a decent sized rockery, that explains the volume (probably the increased volume is due to that we now have a (as in one) cat, instead of in previous years a number of ferals. A few mole hills have appeared recently, one of which LIFTED (only by an inch or so), a two metre long railway sleeper ! I suppose I now need to find a way of reducing the vole population............ Thanks again, S

We've got a (neutered) female cat who's in her second year and so in prime condition. Although our moggies are all well-fed and have dried cat food available all the time, the carnage she inflicts on the local vole and lizard population is terrible to see. Easily three quarters of the lizards around here are without tails and she regularly presents us with mice and voles in various states. I'm sure we never see a lot of her victims. Today, I caught her with a mole. I never knew they could squeak, nor had I ever seen one actually starting to dig.  Fortunately for the mole, I suprised the little madam near a patch of ground which the bloody boar had been churning up, so mole disappeared below ground pretty quick. Given her past performance, I would not be at all surprised to see him again. This seems to be a particularly good year for voles. In the nearly five years I've been here, I've never before seen so much evidence of them. Perhaps they, like many species, have population explosions and crashes? If you can't bear the thought of acquiring another cat (for which I would not blame you - there are moments when I'd quite happily shoot all of ours!), then the other predators of voles are foxes and owls. Not an immediate solution, but if your layout might suit owls, then you could, I suppose, put up a roosting box. That's something else on my long list of things to do. Foxes, I'm sure, don't really need any encouragement if there's food about, so long as they can get easy access and they don't feel in danger (like from a dog roaming the area). Al

Thanks for the feedback, We are in our 3rd spring here and certainly there seem to be more vole (holes). Re the moles, imagine a 2 metre long railway sleeper................. I have one here that was lifted at one end by 3-5cms and then the typical volcanic mound of earth appeared. They obviously are pretty fit ones here. Our (single, but has friends! ) male kittykat enjoys the odd WHOLE lizard, but seems a bit 'laissez-faire' (what is the Italian equivalent ?) about the vole and mole digging army. I'm hacking the 'lawn' (ha) in the next day or two so this may help. S

The gardener's enemy is more brown than red and leaves little webs and devastation amongst your succulent seedlings. The little red things that scuttle about on top of walls are harmless and live on bits of lichen, or so I am told. The evil one is commonest in greenhouses and hurrah we don't have them in Italy!