Lemmings in our Graveyard

The following question was sent to the P&PDL diagnosticians here at Purdue University:

Question: We have lemmings in our graveyard and they are digging holes all over the graves. What can we do to get rid of them without using a poison?

Answer: The Southern bog lemming is the most common species of lemming in Indiana. As their name implies, they prefer damp areas where they can feed on an assortment of grasses, sedges, mosses, fruits, fungi, bark, roots and an occasional slug or snail.

If toxicants are not an alternative for control of these rodents, then habitat modification or trapping are the remaining control methods. Habitat modification would include improved drainage of damp areas, filling in low spots, frequent mowing, removal of leaf litter and debris, and use of an inorganic (rock) mulch rather than bark mulch. Disrupting lemming tunnel or burrow systems by tilling or rolling is also helpful. There are a variety of mouse traps on the market. Some of these are small box (live) traps, most of them are snap (kill) traps. Peanut butter or apple have been effective baits for most rodents.

--Judy Loven (7/7/99)