Vole Removal and Facts

Voles are small rodents often confused with mice due to their similar appearance. However, they have distinct characteristics and behaviors that set them apart. Voles have a stouter body compared to mice, with a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller eyes and ears, and differently formed molars. They typically grow to 3–9 inches in length. Voles have a short lifespan, typically living about 3-6 months. They are prolific breeders, with females capable of having five to ten litters per year. Gestation lasts for three weeks, and the young voles reach sexual maturity in a month. A single mating pair can produce 100 offspring in a year under optimal conditions. Voles are mostly herbivorous, feeding on a variety of grasses, herbaceous plants, bulbs, and tubers. They also eat bark and roots of trees, usually in fall or winter. In some cases, they may consume insects and fungi. Voles are known to store seeds and other plant matter in underground chambers. They are active year-round and can be either nocturnal or diurnal. Voles can cause significant damage to gardens, crops, and young trees by gnawing at roots and stems. They are particularly destructive to gardens, where they may eat away at the root systems of plants until they die. Voles can also girdle young trees, disrupting the flow of nutrients and water, which can lead to the tree’s death.

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Vole Removal

At Vanishing Varmints, we specialize in effective vole removal, ensuring your property remains free from these pesky critters. We recommend utilizing snap traps, a tried and true method, to efficiently catch voles, minimizing damage to your garden and landscaping. To enhance the effectiveness of these snap traps, our experts suggest placing a five-gallon bucket over the traps. This technique not only protects the traps from external elements but also creates a dark, inviting environment that voles are more likely to enter. Trust Vanishing Varmints for your vole removal needs, and experience a varmint-free property with our professional and environmentally friendly solutions.

Regular mouse snap traps can be effective. Bait them with peanut butter, which ensures the vole cannot take the bait and run away without being caught. Place a five-gallon bucket over the snap trap by the burrow or in the runway.

Multiple Traps: To effectively reduce their population because of the voles’ prolific nature, experts recommend setting multiple traps. You should place the traps in areas where you observe vole activity, since voles rarely venture far from their homes. This strategy maximizes your chances of capturing voles and significantly reducing their numbers in your area.

What are some common mistakes to avoid during vole removal.

Not Using Enough Traps: Underestimating the size of the vole population can lead to insufficient trapping. A small area may require about ten traps, but a larger area may need fifty or more. It’s important to use enough traps to cover the area effectively.

Improper Trap Placement: Placing traps randomly rather than in areas of high vole activity can result in low catch rates. Traps should be placed in runways, near possible hiding places, around bushes and flowerbeds, and near openings of burrows. Make sure traps are perpendicular to the runways for best results.

Failing to Check Traps Regularly

Neglecting to Wear Gloves: Handling traps and bait without gloves can transfer human scent to them, making voles wary and less likely to approach the trap.

Failing to Remove Competing Food Sources: Before setting traps, it’s important to remove or reduce other food sources that might distract voles from the bait. This includes cleaning up birdseed, mowing grass, and removing weeds.

vole removal

Damage From Voles

Garden and Crop Damage: Voles, which are herbivorous creatures, actively feed on a wide array of plants, inflicting severe damage on vegetables, fruits, and flowers. They target roots, bulbs, and tubers with their feeding habits, potentially killing the affected plants. In the realm of agriculture, voles pose a significant threat to crops such as soybeans, potatoes, and corn by attacking the seedlings as they surface. Moreover, they have a tendency to girdle young trees, which can result in substantial agricultural losses.

Lawn and Turf Damage: Regarding lawns and turf, voles are responsible for constructing extensive networks of shallow, surface tunnels across grassy landscapes. These activities compromise the integrity of the turf, imparting a spongy texture and disfiguring it with visible runways and dead patches. The aftermath of vole damage becomes particularly conspicuous in the spring, when the melting snow exposes the “runways” that signal a vole infestation, marring the aesthetic appeal of lawns and grassy areas.

Prevention and Management

Exclusion: For gardens, raised beds with a wire mesh bottom can prevent voles from accessing the plants from below. Similarly, planting in containers or using vole-proof planters can offer protection.

Habitat Modification: Voles prefer dense vegetation for cover. By keeping your lawn mowed, removing weeds, and clearing away heavy mulch, you can make the area less attractive to voles. Reducing ground cover near young trees and gardens can also help.

Regular tilling of fields and garden areas can disrupt vole burrows and reduce their population.

If vole removal becomes a nuisance it is recommended to contact a licensed wildlife professional. 

Vanishing Varmints prides itself on assisting our customers to the fullest extent of our capabilities. Our team holds valid licenses and has undergone thorough training to address every situation effectively.

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