Track tie gnaw and bite marks from animals

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  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,801 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Thursday, June 4, 2020 3:09 PM

Andrew, I've been thinking of your question. We have critter problems in our yard and they also tend to dig up young plants. Many years ago, we ran a critter control recipe in the magazine. It's a powder you mix up and apply to the areas you want to protect. I've been using it for years and it works!

1 bag/box blood meal

1 bag/box bone meal

1 small container ground cloves

1 large container garlic powder (not garlic salt)

1 container black pepper

Mix up in a bucket or large container. Sprinkle around (I use a garden trowel). Re-apply after heavy rains.

Another idea is to mix a solution of hot sauce and water and spray it on whatever is being chewed. (I've seen this idea for cats/dogs chewing things and perhaps it would work for critters.) The annoying part is spraying everything down, but it's sure cheaper than buying new track.


Rene Schweitzer

Classic Toy Trains/Garden Railways/Model Railroader

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 800 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, May 8, 2020 11:53 PM
Anthony, all my critters walk upright, and none have chewed on anything yet! While I cannot offer help, let me offer you a warm "Aloha!" Eric
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 5 posts
Posted by AnthonyRail102090 on Friday, May 8, 2020 10:10 PM
Great! Thank you so much!
  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
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Posted by York1 on Friday, May 8, 2020 10:07 PM

Welcome to the forums, Anthony.  Your first posts are moderated and may not appear immediately.  That only lasts a short time.

As you build your layout, we're always interested in pictures.  There are also some experts here, so if you have any questions, someone here can probably answer them.

Let us here how your railroad progresses!

York1 John       

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 5 posts
Posted by AnthonyRail102090 on Friday, May 8, 2020 10:02 PM

Hi Paul, Thanks for your reply. I was actually going to make a video of my yard meaning me pacing or walking on my imaginery future right of way and that way people can get a better idea of what my yard is like and how I want to build this layout.

  • Member since
    November 2011
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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, May 8, 2020 9:55 PM

Hi Anthony, 

  every yard is different, and different challenges. In our old house we had many restaurants nearby, and neighbors with fruit trees. I learned to not plant things that would shelter, or allow rodents to nest, like heavy brush and ice plant. On Christmas Day one year, a little brown mouse was standing on my track. Did not have them gnawing on track, however.

 Our new house, the issue here is spiders. Many times I move a box in the garage, and out walks a Black Widow. So, I need to be careful of what I build , and what shelter it might provide. Every case is different. When things get back to normal, probably ask someone at Home Depot, or your local home improvement store for some sort of deterrent. I haven't tried it, but they have a sort of ultrasonic rodent deterrent. Maybe this would keep them away.


  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 5 posts
Track tie gnaw and bite marks from animals
Posted by AnthonyRail102090 on Friday, May 8, 2020 1:25 PM

Hello, I had a simple oval of LGB G scale track in my backyard back in 2007/2008. It was on the ground with no roadbed or ballast etc. It has been 12 years since I had any kind of G scale outdoor layout and I want to build a new layout that is completely elevated 32 inches off the ground. One of the several reasons why I want to build an elevated style layout is because the track would not be in the mud, grass, weeds, giant rocks, leaves, etc. But, the real reason why is because I was having constant problems with gnaw and bite marks from animals and I could not figure out a way to stop it or prevent from happening further. I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions or remedies or a solution to prevent that kind of problem from happening if and when I build my new elevated outdoor G scale layout. Hopefully, elevating the line will prevent rodents from gnawing unless they are squirrels who will climb onto it. I'm in northern New Jersey and I was also wondering if anyone has any suggetions for region or climate related tips for my layout. It was very frustrating that every other day I would find new gnaw marks in different sections along my track. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. 

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