Similar looking to mice, Voles are extremely tiny at three to six inches long with small ears and eyes and are typically brown or gray in color. Despite their cute appearance they can be rather destructive by digging holes throughout your lawn and damaging the growth of all the plantation in the landscaping. Here are some of the methods to get rid of voles and if you don’t have them you want to take preventive measures to keep them away.
Often referred to as field mice, Voles typically create small tunnels of two inches wide called runways and they can create pathways or a definitive route in your grassy area damaging much of the strands flattened to the ground and eventually it will turn brown and die off. They tend to grow rather quickly in numbers and can become an infestation in the areas they find plenty of food.
Identifying Signs of Voles
Identify the holes that are not very visible. They are extremely small. Moles create mounds where voles do not. They burrow in your shrubbery and roots of trees and other plats. Voles can prevent your grass and plants from growing as they burrow within the soil and roots and they gnaw at three trunks and the base of large shrubbery.
If you have a lot of property and beautiful landscaping you will definitely want to take precautions to avoid voles from infesting in your area. With abundant vegetation, these little creatures will hibernate and built their nests. Keep your lawn mowed at all times and avoid having ground covering plantation with such plants as creeping junipers. Keep plants that don’t allow these pests to indulge on what is around with above ground plants rather than those that grow like vines. Avoid putting mulch around your grass and at the base of trees and bushes. This will help prevent voles from coming around as they are so small they can be overlooked in the beginning.
Humanely remove these animals with live traps by strategically placing them around the areas you notice the most damage. You can use vole repellents such as zine phosphide based products such as ZP Gopher Bait. This can be harmful to them and kill them so you may want to use something that will deter them from coming around or make them leave such as predator odors. You can actually purchase coyote or fox urine at your local trapper supply store. Spread this in areas of your damaged areas or at the base of shrubbery and trees to help get rid of the voles. You may notice vole urine and feces in various areas or you may think they are rat feces as they can look the same. With the store-bought urine, this will make the voles want to disappear and find another area to infest.
What Attracts Voles?
If you have any fruit trees then remove the fruit from the branches when they are ripe or remove them quickly from the ground before the voles begin to eat them. Keep trees trimmed from broken or falling needles or leaves. This will help remove keeping the area a comfortable home for the voles.
You can use a wire mesh garden fence that can wrap around the base of any young trees or bushes that you are trying to grow in your front or back yard. These fences will help prevent the voles from gnawing on the barks of the plants. You can place additional fences around your yard, garden, and lawn to help prevent them from feeding on the roots, bark, and branches.
In many cases, people turn to exterminators or rat traps that will inevitably kill these creatures. It’s not necessary if you take the steps to keep them away to begin with and you can still do it humanely with the spreading of predator urine in areas that they typically go to. They will fear for their life and leave.
Other alternatives to keep voles from finding your soil the best place for them to infest is to cultivate your soil and use soil perfector mixed within your soil with 10 percent of course gravel that will make it difficult for the animals to dig through. It may frustrate them enough to make them decide to go somewhere else.
As mentioned, voles can infest your area rather quickly. They breed and produce four to six litters a year. There are three to six voles in each litter. This means that there can be an additional 36 voles growing in your yard in a years time. They typically colonize and stay within the same area and continue to reproduce. Baby voles are able to reproduce within weeks as they are then considered adults. Therefore, modify their habitat by removing any dead plants and limiting hiding areas for the voles. Keep fences around young plants. Remove the existing voles or use methods that will make them leave.
Further Reading on Voles and other Rodents: