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Make a home for a pine marten

That way they won’t want to live in yours say animal association.

THE letter about fouines in last issue has aroused my sympathy for “D.F.” as we have had the same problem.

Ours didn't party all night - they are supposed to go out hunting - but they do bring their prey back, hence the smell, which adds significantly to their natural odour.

The solution that worked for us is ultrasound. They are called Pest Repeller Ultimate AT and have three different and simultaneous methods of deterrent. We have four of these and you have to site them so that there are no thick stone walls between the device and the intended target. They can be ordered with a European two-pin plug. It is best, in fact I would say essential, to use the mains version, with a long extension if necessary which can be of lighting grade.

The battery one is called Guardian but I don't think it does the same job. Our fouines departed very rapidly, and we were left with some mice and a slight odour in one small roof space.

Previously the odour had been strong when the fouines and their decaying prey had been there. When I moved device number four up to ceiling level the mice departed rapidly.

The smell has now gone entirely, though we can still sometimes detect a faint whiff when there is a strong westerly wind, so it seems there must still be some residue in the roof. The device is harmless to cats and apparently dogs as well, as it operates at a very high frequency. Our cats have been known to go to sleep within a few feet of one of them.

There is more info at

WE HAVE persuaded our fouines to leave, at least for the summer, by throwing mothballs around and playing France Musique non-stop, but naturally they will be eyeing our roofspace up again as the winter approaches.

We don't want to lose yet more insulation and be subjected to the horrible smell but we’re happy to provide a shelter for them in our garden as Mme Reynaud suggests. What kind should it be?
By email

The Association pour la Protection des Animaux Sauvages (Aspas) says providing a purpose-built “gîte” for fouines (beech martens) in your garden is the best way of stopping them from colonising your loft. Connexion has a detailed illustrated plan (in French) from Aspas which shows how to build one of these from planks of wood.

The completed box should be filled with straw and placed under a pile of wood or earth or between bales of straw - you should leave a few fouine droppings outside the entrance, with food like eggs or fruit. Email us if you would like the plans, or contact
Tel: 04 75 25 10 00

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