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Maude & District Landcare Group

The 2017 Rabbit Poisoning campaign was held on 3rd, 6th, and 9th February. This year was our 21st campaign. Alas, no cake, but something to be very proud of.

Our numbers taking part has varied from 8 to a high of 138 people using Pindone, and from 34 down to 3 customers using 1080. The cost of 20Kg of Pindone has gone from $36 to $67, while 1080 has gone from $12 to $65. Part of the reason for the price rise for 1080 was the discontinuance of the government subsidy in about 2008. The price leapt from $13.50 to $55 a bag. Ouch!

 This summer has proved to be a very strange one for rabbits. They have built up, then disappeared, then there has been evidence of baby rabbits, then they too have gone. Many people did not poison because they had so few – let’s hope you don’t regret it!

It seems that there has been some Calicivirus in the area, which is hardly surprising considering the mosquito population. The new virus is due for release this month, so hopefully it will aid in the battle against the local rabbits.

Poisoning once a year is only one part of your rabbit control program – warren fumigation and destruction and removal of rabbit harbour are essential if you are going to control these dreadful pests.

Right now we are in the peak flowering time for agapanthus. The beautiful blue or white flower heads can be quite a sight, especially when planted in long, neat rows in bigger gardens. But are you aware that they are a real problem in the bush? They seed heavily and many of the seeds will grow enthusiastically. 

When they finish flowering, please either cut the heads off, or snap them off at the base. This is easy to do. The stems at the base are oval in profile. Grasp them low down and give a sharp tug towards the “sharp” side of the stem and they will snap. Do this while the stems are still fresh and green, then put the spent heads in bags in the garbage, and the green stems can be mulched and/or composted.  

Flowering agapanthus are a favourite of the native blue banded bee. This little guy looks like a very energetic Cats footballer with his blue and white striped body and quick movements. He is not a commercial honey producer, but is an important pollinator of tomatoes. The Bannockburn Surgery has some lovely shots of the Blue Banded Bee on their video in the waiting room.

The next meeting of the Landcare Group will be held at the Maude Tennis Pavilion on Thursday, 20th April at 7.30pm.