Voles are small creatures, but they are ruthless. If you have already experienced being invaded by these fast-breeding varmints, then you know exactly what we are talking about. These rodents invade lawns and gardens. Although they are not life threatening and no one has died from having one in the yard, they can easily tear up and destroy beautifully manicured lawns.
It is indisputable that voles have incredible tunneling and burrowing abilities. But, they can give you the misfortune of having your gardens destroyed and even killing a tree in the process.
Quick Facts About Voles
Voles are furry rodents, which live in underground burrows across North America. They measure 4-7 inches in length. As for their weight, they weigh an ounce each. Grayish or brown in color, the distinguishing features of voles include rounded, stocky bodies, relatively small eyes, blunt noses, and flattened ears.
A vole is often confused with a house mouse due to both of their appearances. But, voles have shorter tails and their fur is longer compared to their distant relatives. A vole is also often mistaken to be a gopher or mole because they all damage and wreak gardens and lawns.
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Voles: What They Eat
Voles are vegetarians. They thrive primarily on roots, plants, tree bark, grass, nuts, and fruits. They have large appetites. They like dining on root systems and will gnaw away at vegetation until they die. A bulb, one of its favorite foods, is easily accessible to a vole due to its tunneling prowess.
You can find voles in meadows, gardens, dense grassy fields, woodlands, and along rivers and lakes. Voles make nests underground, often around tree roots and beneath fruit trees. Starting from its nest, a vole tunnels underground in its endless search for sources of food.
Signs of a Vole Invasion
A good indicator that there are voles in your property is the above ground runway that connects their burrow openings. A well-defined surface runway is two inches wide and it is typically constructed in a grassy area.
A vole runway is formed either by its consumption of grass blades or the steady traffic as voles seek food. The opening to the burrow of a vole is a neat, round hole, measuring 1-2 inches in diameter. A vole hole can be hidden under plantings, mulch, ground cover or in open turf.
Another telltale sign of an infestation is when you have plants that appear yellowish or have wilted. Slightly tug a plant. If it lifts easily from the ground, it is likely that the roots have already been devoured by voles.