Fear of valve boxes...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bobw, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Well... blow outs are under way and I've had the strangest day ever for it.... opened up a vb today and found a mouse nest in it..... at a different site... opened up the box and found it filled with a wasp nest... yikes... had to scoop out the nest to get to the valves...later on .., opening up some valves and saw something move in the box... SNAKE... dammit....
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I found on two different sites today, in the valve boxes, toads (or frogs). I've seen more of them this year than ever before. I've seen all three that you mentioned before too. Only garder(sp?) snakes. I love seeing the black widows in there - not!!
     
  3. On old concrete boxes for DCVAs the only part we can get to sometime is the metal flap that opens with just enough room to reach your hand in their. I've stuck my hand in those things for 20+ years feeling blindly for shut offs. In the back of my mind I'm always thinking a snake or spider is curled up and ready to strike. The worst that has happened is getting my hand on a pile of slugs. The slime stays on your hand all day. IMHO I'd rather find a snake than a mouse. Snakes are our friend.
     
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Those are "water meter" lids and their sole purpose is to have a small lid on a larger lid so it can be opened to read the meter. When we use concrete boxes we put full, solid cast iron lids on them so the whole thing has to come off to access the valve. (We use lid pullers for this purpose so hands are nowhere near the box opening until we've checked things out first.) Also aids in finding the valve box with a metal detector in the event grass grows over the box.
     
  5. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690




    I beg to differ. Brush a rattler and see how friendly he is. Most snakes are nice, but I think they're all dreadful.
     
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    I don't miss valve boxes full of fire ants. Always a treat to try and change a solenoid or diaphragm. Used clean cleaner in a spray bottle to diable the mound long enough to clean it out.

    And the occasional scorpian hiding under the valve was a big surprise. Only managed to get stung once.

    Too cold up here for those critters. Now it's nesting mice and frogs.
     
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,073

    Pacific NW very calm w/vb critters..tho I learned my lesson about moles:
    saw a baby in the vb..thought it best to move him..latched onto my thumb
    like a set of vice grips!
     
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    I never considered that a valve box could be full of fire ants. That does seem as if that could create a problem.

    Around here the black widows pretty well have reserved all of the valve boxes. You know that feel of sticking your hand down into a valve box and feeling the tight strands of a black widow web.

    I imagine that Mr. Leary found it amusing to play with the little mole. He says he just "moved him"... yeah, sure.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,073

     
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    He prolly has a "mole transfer" business too. He moves them from system to system to cause problems and generate maintenance calls. :laugh:
     

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