Voles are small rodents that live underground and tunnel at or near the surface in search of food. They may be nicknamed “field mice,” but they are not mice at all. Compared to mice, voles have thicker bodies, shorter hairy tails, a rounder head, and smaller eyes and ears. Voles feed on small plants and root systems, and will sometimes eat dead animals, nuts, or fruit. Because of their love for grasses and plants, voles can cause a great deal of damage to gardens and lawns if not taken care of. Voles do not hibernate and remain active during the winter. Fall is an important time to trap voles so that you can prevent the damage that they do to your lawn during the winter.
Attribution: Evan James Shymko; Wikimedia CC 3.0
Evidence of Voles
Since people venture outdoors less often during the winter, most vole damage isn’t discovered until Spring. Signs of vole damage can include narrow, winding tunnels on the surface of your lawn, areas of dead grass and plants, and gnawed areas on tree bark. In areas that receive a lot of snow, vole damage can actually greater because voles use the insulated space between the grass and the snow to tunnel unseen, making a mess of your lawn.
- Keep mowing your lawn until the first frost to prevent having a long, insulated grass layer.
- Do not mulch your shrubs or plants too heavily.
- Clean up your yard and remove weeds, wild grasses, litter and debris.
- Clear away snow from the base of trees and shrubs so that they are less accessible via tunnels.
- Install wire mesh barriers around trees and shrubs and layer hardware cloth on the bottom and sides of your flower beds.
- Consider getting a pet. Cats are natural predators of voles and are great hunters.
- Don’t overwater your lawn. This will leave it oversaturated and loose. This makes the soil easier to tunnel in and provides richer food sources for the voles.
- Use a rodenticide or apply a vole repellent.
If you are having trouble with voles in your lawn, now is the time to get it under control. One mating pair of voles can have up to 100 babies each year, causing the problem to grow exponentially. The winter also provides the perfect opportunity for voles to tunnel without being noticed, thus making the problem much more severe come spring. Midwest Pest Control is your go-to source for Tulsa vole control. We use quality products and take pride in our professional technicians. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose. Give us a call today!