MOLES AND VOLES
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|Moles and Voles-
These rodents are not welcomed by any gardener. They can destroy lawns flower
gardens, and vegetable gardens in no time. Once these creatures have made a home in
your yards and gardens it can be difficult to rid your landscape of these pests. Dealing
with moles and voles can be difficult. I hope you find some of this information helpful in
the prevention and controlling of moles and voles that have invaded your gardening
What is a mole?
A mole is a small burrowing, mound building, and insect eating pest. Moles prefer to
live underground. Their powerful claws are used for making endless amounts of
tunnels. Tunnel digging is often done when the moles are in search of food. Easily
exposing and damaging plant's roots and lawns easily. Mounded soil in the form of little
hills is a result from moles digging deeper and clearing out soil for their living areas.
They prefer loose, soft soil, thus targeting yards, flower gardens, and vegetable
gardens, and anywhere else with ideal soil conditions.
|Do you have moles?
If you are noticing 'molehills' (little mounds of dirt) in your
garden soil, which you never dug out, or uprooted patches
of lawn and uneven areas in your landscape due to nothing
else; than it is time to investigate.
Habits of a mole.
Moles mainly eat insects that live in the soil. Earthworms is
their food of choice. Moles stay below the ground in winter
but will not hibernate. Therefore they are busy digging
tunnels all winter long looking for food. First evidence of
mole activity is most noticeable in Spring and Fall.
Unlike mice, moles don't have many large litters.
They have one small litter in the spring.
What to do about Moles?
There are a variety of methods to control Moles.
Some more humane than others.
- You can try natural deterrents. Some gardeners believe
that certain plants have been known to deter moles from
entering the garden. Caper Spurge - Euphorbia lathyrus or
Rue - Artemesia, but this has not been proven.
- Cats or dogs present in a yard might help to deter moles
from an area.
- Vibration and noise. Some gardeners create an annoying
'noise or vibration" to try and deter the moles. This type of
deterrent has not been proven but might be effective with
some patience and creativity.
|More immediate and aggressive control.
Some of these pest control methods are more effective
|- Trapping - Contact your local Pest Control for mole trapping services and information
- Chemical or Poison - Again, contact your local pest control for possible services of
the fumigation of moles.
What is a Vole?
A Vole looks quite a lot like a mouse. Voles also have shorter tails, and a rounder face than a mouse does. Voles
are active day and night. Mostly, they will look for food during the day using the tunnels moles may have made.
Travelling in these tunnels they will find roots of plants to eat, destroying lawns, garden perennials and bulbs.
They will also search for seed to eat. In winter they are active and do not hibernate. Like Moles they tend to stay
underground under the snow where it is warm, but will search for seed above ground from time to time. When
above ground Voles may gnaw on the bottom bark of any fruit trees in your yard damaging trees and possibly
|Do you have Voles?
If you are noticing missing bark from the bottom of your fruit trees, tracks in the grass leading to holes or dead
grass patches with chewed off grass left around the area for evidence, than it is time to investigate.
Habits of a Vole.
They use existing tunnels made by moles to travel in. Voles mainly eat bulbs and seeds. Like Moles they do not
hibernate, which means they are actively destroying your plants and landscape all year round. Similar to mice they
|What to do about Voles?
There are a variety of methods to control Voles.
Some more humane than others.
- Cats can help control the vole population in your yard.
A cat might also deter them from making a home there in the first place.
-If you store bird seed or plant seed make sure it is in a rodent proof storage container.
|-Any type of extra ground cover such as mulches for gardens can attract a safe haven for voles. When freezing
temperatures set in for winter it is a more ideal time to put mulches down, because than the voles have nowhere to
go into due to the frozen ground.
- Protect trees around the base.
- Keeping your yard clear of any garbage is helpful. This includes unwanted plant and vegetable matter from
- No kill mouse traps have been used by gardeners. Just make sure when you release the voles they are released
far enough away they won't find their way back.
Make sure to check the traps regularly so the voles don't die of starvation.
More immediate and aggressive control.
Some of these pest control methods are more effective than others.
- Voles are small enough that you can use a regular size mouse trap to catch them in. Exercise caution if you have
pets and kids.
- Trapping - Contact your local Pest Control for mole trapping services and information on trapping.
- Chemical or Poison - Again, contact your local pest control for possible services of eliminating a population of
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