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Mice chewing through water feature liner

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by dirtybiz, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. dirtybiz

    dirtybiz LawnSite Senior Member
    from MT
    Messages: 255

    Has anyone ever had problems with mice chewing through the liner on the "creek" to your water features. The reason i ask is we have one to do here real soon (if it ever stops snowing) and the homeowner stated that the subdivision water features have had problems with mice chewing through the liners

    I personally think it is just a "line of BS" that the contractor made up to cover his shotty work, but what do you think? If it is a problem i guess i will concrete "creek way" of my water feature in to prevent this from happening.
  2. roknh20

    roknh20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Actually I have heard of that. It happened to us. I have at least 25 water features running at my retail location. One of our smaller ponds started loosing water pretty quickly. We shut of the waterfall portion and let the water drop until it stopped. It really didn't drop much, so we decided to pull to rocks off around the waterfall and just behind the waterfall at ground level there was a visible hole. When we repair it we found a rats nest behind that area. The same thing happened to my husband, he added a waterfall to a swimming pool after the pool was done. He had to use a liner and after a year it leaked. The customer was sure it was something we had done but we made it clear if we tore the waterfall apart and it was not something we did, they would pay. They were standing there when we discovered a huge hole and a rats nest in the boulders. I don't think they would have believed us if they hadn't been standing there.
    So I can say it is a huge possibility!
  3. dirtybiz

    dirtybiz LawnSite Senior Member
    from MT
    Messages: 255

    Ok, thanks for posting, I think i will concrete it to be on the safe side, won't cost much extra since it is only gonna be a 10' waterfall (and i already informed the homeowner their would be a slight price increase). Thanks again!
  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Might be one reason to consider a pre-form.

    Doubt mice, rats or moles could cut through the sides of one of those. Could also line rubber over a pre-form.

    Main challenge with pre-forms, is steep sides, and they are not too big.
  5. William Burnison

    William Burnison LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Dirtybiz, concrete is surely an option but not completely necessary. We had a large scale water feature in an area that supposedly had a rodent problem as you discribed and we lined the ground with a quarter inch screen mesh. The roll of screen was about thirty dollars for a four foot wide roll fifty feet long. The screen had factory edges that were not shape and would not puncture the liner.

    We placed the screen on the ground first, covered it with a good quality underlayment geotextile fabic and then placed the liner down and completed the problem.

    About a year lateras one of our maintenance accounts, we discovered a couple of holes under the stream and did some investigative excavation and found a rats nest in one area and a field mouse in the other. Both were stopped by the screen with no damage to the fabric or liner...and best of all, no leaks!

    Functional, practical, inexpensive...and it worked.

  6. Fishwhiz

    Fishwhiz LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 112

    Maybe there is a common theme here cobble-happy pond edges provide a nice entry for the mice/rats to dig a nest?

    If you use hardware cloth or any metal, find something coated that won't rust out in a decade or two, unless the pond is really only meant to last a few years.
  7. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    That's a great solution, I bet it would solve the majority of these problems.

    I had a brand new liner in my garage that was folded up and a rat ate through it- I think they use it for their nest. So, I bought a new 10'x50' roll that we used for the homeshow display and when they were tearing it down someone decided to put the liner roll in the garage and within a couple of days they ate that roll too. The way those rolls fold up, one hole chewed in the middle will leave you with no pieces that are good for anything. I was ready to fire someone for being stupid enough to put another liner there, and then I found out my wife made the decision:hammerhead:
    From now on it's no more rat traps for me - it's poison. If my daughter's cats eat it, I guess that's just collateral damage!
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    We have also had trouble with holes chewed in liners around waterfalls. We found the apparent culprit to be a species of ant that had established large nests at the site of the hole.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    the back of my garage had a homeowner bumpout with a dirt floor( just big enough for me to store my plow. well needless to say it became an entry point for rats to come in and eat my burlap, birdseed, beast edge restraint. But the last straw was when they eat a $100 bag of wildflower seed I had HANGING from the ceiling to keep it safe. so I dug it out and poured new concrete floor. I have dogs and kids and did not want to poison.

    Since I have done that I have not noticed the rats.

    FYI, I'm not a slob, its just that my neighborhood is from the 40's and all the detached garages are in bad shape at the back of each property, thus providing lots of rotting wood and hiding holes and since they are detached people don't notice as much.

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