Does your yard have mysterious holes? It might be voles! Despite its name sounding like a relative of the mole, voles are actually more closely related to hamsters or lemmings, and are less common in our area than some other pests, but are still active at properties that may contain just what they’re looking for.
Why do I have them? You’ve got their favorite treats on the menu! Voles love eating a wide variety of things, including dead animals & fruits/nuts. You may have noticed that as you’ve done your recent gardening or yard work, you’ve seen bark missing from the bottoms of your tree trunks (most commonly found on fruit trees) or a mysterious number of your plants dying with little to no evidence of what caused it. These are both typical indicators of vole activity in addition to finding their burrow holes throughout the yard.
What can I do to help the situation? Voles, like many other rodent species, are INCREDIBLY efficient reproducers. As they reach maturity in about a month, multiple generations can spring up in a very short time, so being proactive in either baiting or exclusion is an absolute necessity when dealing with voles. There are several ways you can help curb vole population and damage, including (but not limited to); constructing ¼ in. mesh fences or barriers at least 12 inches high around tree trunks, removing vegetation cover to reduce travel areas or even using alternatives to large mulch chips in decorative bedding to eliminate safe cover for the creatures.
I’d really rather not have them, so how do I get rid of these things? Call Budget Pest Control! Much like treating for yard rats or moles, our vole control uses a comprehensive system of specialized materials used throughout portions of your yard is a safe and effective way of curbing a population of voles.
So give us a call 24/7! Our friendly informative office staff would be glad to have a chat, give you an estimate and if you wish have one of our certified field technicians out to vole control your yard 7 days a week!
Voles very closely resemble mice, but they have a smaller, stumpy build, with small ears and eyes. Their fur is typically a chestnut brown color; on occasion they will have a lighter underbelly. Tail included, they range anywhere between 3-9 inches in length.
- Despite their names sounding similar, voles are not related to the mole at all. Voles are actually more closely related to hamsters than moles.
- Voles are actually employed in archaeological studies using a method called the “vole clock”, where archaeologists will study the age of an area based on vole dental evolution and the stage on the timeline that correlates to the teeth found nearby.
- Voles are quick creatures averaging a speed of about 6 mph when running.
MYTH: Voles live for about the same length as mice and rats due to their nature and living habits.
FACT: Voles have incredibly short lifespans. It is estimated that 88% of voles do not survive more than a month after birth.
MYTH: Due to their short lifespan, vole populations are limited and easily manageable.
FACT: Voles, though short-lived, can reproduce faster than many other small rodents of their type. The reach sexual maturity after a month and produce on average 5-10 babies per litter.
MYTH: Voles live like moles do, surviving underground on a diet of grubs and worms.
FACT: Voles have a unique diet, eating barks, plants, nuts, seeds, fruits and if desperate, dead animals. They exhibit a behavior known as girdling, or creating rings of missing bark on a tree, an activity commonly seen in species of porcupines and the like.
- Girdling, or the stripping of bark, at low elevation points of trees or shrubs.
- The sudden death of plant life in a yard or garden, with indication of bite marks or root damage to the associated flora.
- Burrowing activity in a yard with small entry and exit holes in several places through the yard.