Since many residents are not even entirely sure what a vole is or how much damage they actually do to a homeowner’s property, this species often manages to stay well under the radar as it gradually goes about its business.
These creatures are about six inches long with gray fur and closely resemble a small mouse as far as features go, but that is where the similarities end.
Voles spend a great amount of time underground and they are one of the purest herbivores found within the rodent family.
They love nothing more than to feed on root systems of area trees, but also consume a fair share of bark, vegetables, and plant matter.
This species can occasionally be found living a solidarity lifestyle but often live with several other adults and their young in one location.
This species is also occasionally mistaken for moles because both of them dig small holes into the ground in order to search for food while avoiding contact with predators.
It is also common to spot voles taking advantage of the underground passages that their similarly named distant cousins have dug, and since they are seeking different food sources this is usually acceptable to the moles.
These creatures will not dig just anywhere though, preferring their underground homes within deep grass or another cover.
The greatest threat from voles is their appetite for roots and bark, because both of these components play a large part in how trees receive nutrients. By damaging part of a plant’s supply chain it can often cause irreversible damage, especially in younger trees and plants.
When these pint-sized creatures gnaw on bark, it is usually close to the ground since they are poor climbers, but when the option of climbing is available they will also feed on lower branches.
The chew marks are usually about 1/8th of an inch wide and 3/8th of an inch long, so they are fairly easy to overlook.
Where To Find Voles
To locate this species lair, one of the best places to start is usually in tall grass or around dense shrubbery. Once in that area, the key thing to look for is trampled pathways that indicate their presence, and these can usually be followed in order to locate their actual burrowed out home.
Of course, it is entirely possible that there will be multiple locations to check before actually finding them, and if it is a large population they may reside in different areas stemming from the same pathway.
In order to effectively rid your property of voles, landscaping is one of the premier options.
Eliminate any tall grass and weeds, and then treat the area with an environmentally friendly chemical that will prevent the weeds from returning.
By eliminating their hiding spaces you are essentially doing two jobs at once; making them more likely to seek another home and giving predators such as snakes and birds a better chance of catching them.
Others have found success by placing various traps along their runways, and even without bait, they seem to often get caught if the placement is proper. For large colonies, this may require upwards of fifty traps though, and in that instance, pest control assistance may be necessary.