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Insects and model railroad scenery

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Insects and model railroad scenery
Posted by CHARLES A TREVEY on Friday, November 15, 2019 4:57 PM

Hi,

Recently I built and planted some super trees on my layout and a few days afterwards I noticed that several of them were cut to pieces and a some clues left behind. Living in north Florida we are no stranger to insects but I never encountered this before. The armatures were straightened and painted. Spray adhesive applied and then coarse turf added with a touch of paint randomly sprayed. Has anyone ever had any experiences insects damaging your scenery and what did you do about it? 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, November 18, 2019 3:50 PM

HO Scale beavers? 

Sorry couldn't help myself.  That's a new one on me.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, November 18, 2019 3:54 PM

Is there a cat in the vicinity?

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, November 18, 2019 4:05 PM

Are the suspected insects giant palmetto bugs or grasshoppers or trantulas (yes, yes, not insects but close enough) or something? Super trees are not very small, and I don't think aphids or mites would knock one down.
Or are mice considered insects nowadays...

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, November 18, 2019 5:00 PM

I think I'd set up a trail cam. Whistling

Mike.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, November 18, 2019 5:19 PM

Mike is as bad as I am.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, November 18, 2019 5:43 PM

BigDaddy
HO Scale beavers?

Well, maybe. My HO scale beavers always seem to be cutting down the same tree.

Maybe it was installing NEW trees that attracted them?

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 18, 2019 6:01 PM

Fellow Floridian here.

.

Raid Max Roach Baits are your friend. The big ones. Hide them in all your tunnels. They will last for years.

.

I have heard several stories about people mixing Borax with the plaster to thwart the nasty Palmetto.

.

I have never tried the Borax because of the tremendous success with the baits.

.

Always keep one mouse trap and one rat trap baited and armed along the wall.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Railroadfan1 on Monday, November 18, 2019 6:13 PM

I suggest traps also.

Mike,

Your Beaver pond scenery is fantastic! I want to do a similar scene in the future. Thanks for the idea. Kudos!

Scott.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 18, 2019 11:44 PM

Railroadfan1
Mike, Your Beaver pond scenery is fantastic! I want to do a similar scene in the future. Thanks for the idea. Kudos!

Ditto!!

Dave

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Posted by mlehman on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:27 AM

Scott,

I appreciate Dave and yours kind comments. That's my $3 beaver pond, as that's what the resin moldings cost me buying it from the Illini Railroad Club's odds and ends table at last year's Lincoln Square Train Show. It's a Musket Miniatures Rustic Rails HOC3886 kit. Never seen one before, but maybe one can be turned up at the usual sources.

Here's a few more pics of the beaver pond.

I cut a hole in the existing river to fit the pond casting.

The pond and lodge casting, which is separate from the pond so you can position it as needed. You also get 3 beaver castings.

Fitted in place, I used Sculptamold to blend the pond into the riverbed.

Then some painting and highlighting for tthe scenery base as seen in this overhead shot.

Then I mixed up some "water" and poured it on carefully to blend the "wet" together.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by NVSRR on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 5:44 AM

Could it be a mouse looking for nesting material?   

I have a spider problem i cannt solve

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 5:54 AM

Put the lights in your train room on a timer, set to come on and off at random times. Run those roaches/palmetto bugs to death!

 

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:31 AM

A friend of mine lost an entirely "forested" mountain over the course of a couple of days to an invasion of mice in his basement.  He knew it was mice because of the unmistakable evidence of the mouse digestive process that was visible everywhere.  Evidently his two big dogs just yawned while watching the feast.  He never actually saw mice until he put down traps.  Problem: we kept stepping into the traps during operating sessions.

Sticky traps of the sorts used not just to catch mice but also insects and scorpions might at least tell you what enemy you are hosting on the layout.  My only experience with insects on the layout (other than pillbugs and spiders both of which I regard as honorary insects) were rather tiny things which seemed to enjoy an unusually slow-to-dry batch of Sculptamold I had slapped down.  I am told some guys add some Lysol to their Sculptamold to not only deter mold but to make it unpalatable.  Supposedly open boxes of fresh Borax deter spiders and some insects.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by CGW121 on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:42 AM

I had a Chipmunk in my basement caught him that evening, they love peanut butter. I also cant get rid of spiders mine are cellar dweller spiders harmless just dont like them. I have no use for any creature with more than 4 legs.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:53 AM

CGW121
mine are cellar dweller spiders

Known as daddy long legs, in this part of the country.  They actually eat other pest, like centipedes, and other spiders.

Mike.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 11:27 AM

Your significant other will probably grant permission, even be enthusiastic, for a professional insect-prevention service.  The ex wife and now the GF freak over bugs.

For mice, don't get those poison traps. They run off and die between the walls and stink for a couple of weeks because you can't get them out.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:32 PM

MisterBeasley
For mice, don't get those poison traps. They run off and die between the walls and stink for a couple of weeks because you can't get them out.

.

I agree. The good old spring traps by Victor work the best for me.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1:04 PM

 Alsways been my thoughts on mouse traps too. GF wanted to put poisen bait out when it became obvious we had mice, coming in via the chimney and then runnign around the wall and hoarding stuff under the oven (it became obvious when things burst into flames while trying to bake something). For one, we have 3 dogs who can be very determined if they smell soemthign that might taste good, and second, if they take the bait, they will then be dead and decaying somewhere in the walls. Dumb idea. I found a new take on the classic spring track, these are little plastic boxes that contain the spring mechanism, so when the trap is srpung and there's a now dead mouse inside, you can jus tpick up the whole thing and dump it in the trash, never getting near the dead critter.

 I hate sticky traps too, simply because of how horrific they are. It's oen thing is all they are doing is catchin insects, but a mouse or rat trapped in one dies a horrible death. Rather just have the spring trap snap its neck and end it instantly.

 Same dogs compeltely ignored the mice making their runs from the fireplace in the living room around to the kitchen and back. Cat wasn't much better, it was weeks in when in the moddle of the night we were woken up to the squeals of a mouse in distress. Cat was playing with it, chasing it up and down the hall, catch and release. Never killed it, just got bored and let it run away.

 I get field mice and voles in the pool all the time, they fall in and then keep swimming until they tire out and drown. Generally overnight. I did find oen still trying to stay up one mornign but the thing did everythign it could to avoid the net I was trying to fish it out with. They can swim pretty fast. I finally got it out and put it in the grass, it was still breathing but too exhaused to move. Dunno if it ever got away or if one of the hawks spotted it and got an easy meal.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:09 AM

Actually, I have a rodent problem but not involving trains.  Rodents are the wiring in my car.  Fortunately, insurance is covering it,

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:03 AM

joe323
Rodents are the wiring in my car.

That wins the typo of the year award in my book.

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:17 AM

Is the layout room finished? Do you get it sprayed by a reputable company often?  If "no" to either question, that might be the problem.

 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:53 AM

For mice, I use Snap Traps, too.  I bait them with peanut butter.  I try not to have baited traps in the fall, because at that time it attracts them from outside.  I wait until it's quite cold to start baiting them.

The Terminix guy used to leave those poison traps around, although I told him not to.  He would also put down sticky traps, and it was up to me to find them when a dead mouse started to smell.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 11:06 AM

BigDaddy

HO Scale beavers? 

Sorry couldn't help myself.  That's a new one on me.

Or the HO scale residents of your railroad stocking up their wood piles for winter!

 

Jokes aside, I honestly have no experience with this. My main enemy is dust! It gets over everything and sadly (or perhaps thankfully...) it does not conduct electricity!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by CHARLES A TREVEY on Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:05 PM

Hi. Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. There were some very good suggestions presented. Today the culprit revealed himself to be a mouse then disappeared quickly. I believe that the small stems of the super trees were good nesting material. I am used to seeing the odd roach periodically and we use a pest service but no one has attacked my scenery as much as this mouse. I think that the path forward to deal with this pest is pretty clear. Thanks to all of your comments and photos. The two cats we have are absolutely usless. Regards. 

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