Voles and mole: they can make gardeners or homeowners crazy and angry! They are known for digging deep and crisscrossing tunnels in the garden. Voles can bring great damage to your lawn, garden and yard. If you wondered how to keep voles away. In this post, we’ll share some top tips and tricks to help you get rid of voles, Let’s dive in.
Firstly, voles are not moles! People might confuse the two animals because they both dig tunnels in your lawn and garden. You might not have seen either of them because usually, they’re underground. But they looks very different. Voles(Myodes) are small and stocky, look very similar to mice. What's more, moles are NOT rodents. Moles are nearly no eyes, with sensitive nose and mouth. And they have big feet for digging in the garden!
Vole diet: all kinds of plants
Voles mainly eat plants, just like some other rodents. Stems and blades of lawn grass are their favorite. That's the reason that vole tunnels are usually found near the surface of the lawn. But moles mainly eat carnivorous grubs and insects! It’s helpful to know this difference. Would be helpful to identify the damage. And a vole would like peanut butter while moles would be more interested in an insect or earthworm.
How do I know if there are voles in my garden?
There are some signs of voles in your garden:
- 1 inch-2 inch wide paths in the surface of turf.
- Vole burrows, which look like holes in the garden or around the bases of trees. Unlike molehills, these dens do not feature soil mounding.
- Spaces where the grass of the garden is suddenly too short.
- Noticeable gnaw marks on the stems of woody plants and young trees.
- Exposed stems that have been gnawed to a pointed tip.
- Dead plants that, when lifted, have no root structure remaining.
Since voles reproduce rapidly, it's critical to control the populations at the first sign of infestation.
Make your garden inhospitable to voles.
Voles like dense, heavy vegetative cover, weeds, and meadows, because it provides them with protection from predators and provides nesting material. Cut back brush, mow, weed, and create a clean space. Prevention is very important to keep vole numbers down.
- Remove woodpiles and hiding places for voles from near your garden, shrubs, and trees.
- Keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed up from the ground.
- Avoid putting dense mulch too close to trees and shrubs.
- Keep snow cleared from the base of trees and shrubs. Protect young trees by wrapping the lower trunk with a guard.
- Bird feeders are another attraction for voles and should either be removed or the ground kept very clean to keep vole numbers down.
Fortunately, voles are a prime food source for many predators such as snakes, hawks, owls, foxes, and badgers!
How to get rid of voles?
If it’s too late for preventative measures, consider these control measures:
1. Live vole trap
In small areas, trapping may be an effective way to reduce vole populations. Try live vole traps situated perpendicular to the widest vole runways or near the nesting sites at the base of trees and shrubs. Bait traps with peanut butter. Set baits midday to early evening when voles get more active. Reset the traps as often as necessary until the population is obviously reduced. The key to trapping is persistence. And please cover the traps to avoid your pets and children finding them. Relocate voles according to your local legislation and laws.
2. Chemical repellents
The results are mixed, and they need to be reapplied after the rains. Garden stores sell fox or coyote (predator) urine, which usually drives away voles. (You can also pee in your own yard!)
3. Protect the bulbs
When you plant bulbs, drench or powder them with a fungicide to keep voles at bay. Add gravel to the planting hole (surrounding the bulbs) to avoid voles biting the bulbs.
4. Protect the trees
Encircling the tree with a light-colored tree guard (mesh) is a great way to avoid voles biting the trees. The guard should be tall enough to reach above the snow line in the winter and the base should be buried in the soil or have a soil ridge around the base. Make sure that the guard is loose enough so that it does not constrict the tree.
5. Build a "wall"
If you have a veggie garden. You need to know that these little critters aren’t very good at climbe. Protect plants by fencing the area with a half-inch of mesh (hardware cloth), at least 12 inches above the ground and buried 6 to 10 inches deep.
They would only cry in front of this "great wall".
6. A variety of irritants
The ingredients in your kitchen would help also. Mix cayenne powder, garlic, onion, castor oil, a little nitrogen fertilizer, and ammonia.
Adding some water or soapy water and put in a spray bottle. Same as the chemical repellents, need to be reapply ever time after rains.
7. Keep an cat or a dog outdoor
Many people have already forgotten that cats and dogs were nature enemies of voles. Keep such a creature in your garden or lawn, and they would be a good defender against their irrupting.
If you are desperate and about to sell your home, you might try pesticides. However, most pesticides recommended for voles are highly toxic and restricted. They can only be used by Certified Pesticide Applicators.
If you really make up your mind, please follow the suggestions of your local governments and organizations, and use them according to your local legislation and laws.
9. Sonic vole repeller
Voles have an excellent sense of smelling and hearing to detect food, mates or danger. So if you’re wondering how to keep them away, one easy way is by taking advantage of their sensitive ears. The best way to get rid of voles is to make your yard drayan unlivable habitat.
If a vole hears this annoying sound whenever it enters your property, he’s less likely to return. This is where a sonic vole repellent comes in. Simply install it on the ground and turn it on. It would help you get rid of vole troubles 7 X 24 hours.
10. Live with them
Even the damage may look visible in the early spring, it is rarely permanent. The activity of voles is heaviest in the springtime in most regions, and their activity would subside by time. When they become less active, just rake up the dead grass and reseed the area. With the surrounding grass grows, they will cover up the tunnels of the voles.