Voles are often confused with moles because they both tunnel underground, but they are very different. Voles are stocky rodents, built like field mice. There are over twenty species of voles native to North America but there are two common species; the meadow voles and the prairie voles which are more seen in, you guessed it, prairie areas.
Voles are vegetarians and they particularly love to eat stems and blades of lawn grass. This is why you will normally notice vole tunnels a bit closer to the surface. Their tunnels are shallow and snakelike and can run all across your lawn. This is in contrast to moles who dig their tunnels a bit deeper.
Voles will literally, beat a path through your garden or lawn. Their tunnels are created near the surface and made from several little vole feet treading the same path over and over again. Those little feet are the results of the high fecundity of voles; they give birth to numerous offsprings each year, and if you do not take care of a vole infestation on time, your yard and garden will be overrun by them.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A VOLE PROBLEM
Appearance – Voles come with a short brownish-black body fur that is usually darker underneath, and have short legs and tails. They generally have small facial features and small snouts. Their bodies are stocky, rounded, and shaped much like potatoes. They are sometimes called meadow mice, as they are both rodents and similar in appearance. They are bigger them mice though, ranging in size from 5 to 8 inches long. Voles have small but pretty sharp teeth that they use to gnaw on vegetation and bark. They might not be so easy to identify, but keep an eye out for their peculiarities and you will be able to identify if voles are the ones terrorizing your lawn.
Behavior – Voles become a nuisance because they infest landscaped lawns or gardens, feeding on plants. They are normally found in grassy or weed-filled areas where there is plenty of cover. They create burrows underground to hide from predators. The presence of these snake-like burrows all over your lawns is a strong indication of a vole problem.
Partially eaten tubers- If you wake up one day and find partially eaten carrots, potatoes or any other root vegetable all over your garden, then you most likely have a vole problem.
WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE VOLES
Voles will eat a variety of plants, so they can easily become a pest in agricultural areas or even residential areas that have lots of landscaping and gardens for them to eat.
REASONS TO TREAT YOUR VOLE PROBLEM IMMEDIATELY
Voles are tiny but their destructive power is not in any way tiny. Here are some reasons why you should not let them stay long on your property:
– Voles can ruin your hard-worked vegetable or flower gardens, causing enough damage to kill plants if left unchecked. Their tunneling has the consequence of upending the roots of plants in your garden or grasses in your lawn.
– They can be a nuisance with their tunnels and burrows under your turf grass, leaving your yard looking like the site of weapons testing. It might also be pretty costly to fix the damage.
– Voles are also known to be avid eaters of nuts, seeds, and vegetation and they could run through a garden in a short period, leaving it bare.
– Voles gnaw on the base of tree trunks leaving unsightly scratch marks
– Besides, voles tend to damage the root system of root crops in gardens like potatoes and root perennials like hosta plant and spring bulbs.
HOW TO HANDLE VOLE PROBLEM
Voles can make short work of the grasses in your lawn and the plants and crops in your garden mostly because they are so hardworking and also because they congregate in large numbers. The best way to be rid of these tunnel-digging rodents is to get professional help from pest control companies.
You will find local pest control experts that have years of experience dealing with vole problems right here on this site. They will be able to get your property to a vole free state and they will do this without disrupting your daily lives.
TIPS TO PREVENT FURTHER VOLE INFESTATION
Once you get the voles out of your property, it is important that you put some simple measures in place to keep them out and prevent another vole problem in the future. Here are some measures that can help:
– Remove any form of cover that the voles could use from your property. Cut back brush and mow tall grass, and weed, just create a clean and open-spaced yard.
– If you have to mulch your tender plants to save them when winter rolls around, delay doing that until the ground has completely frozen over. This makes it difficult for voles to overwinter under the mulch because they wouldn’t be able to dig into the frozen ground.
– Moles are fond of gnawing on young trees during winter leading to excessive damage on the trees. To prevent this, install plastic or wire guards around them. Voles will leave them alone if you do that.
– Castor oil is an effective vole repellent since they avoid it like the plague. You could buy some and mix it with dish soap and water, pour in a spray bottle, and then go to town on the areas voles are likely to infest.