Skip to Content

What are Voles?

vole in the back of a Massachusetts home

Voles are little rodents that resemble mice. If you don’t know them by their ‘vole’ name, you certainly know them as field mice or meadow mice. You rarely hear about voles because they are often lumped into the mice category, or they are not considered a nuisance in and around your home. Assuming voles are harmless can be costly. Here is what you need to know about voles.

Voles vs. House Mice

First, voles are not the same or similar in any way to moles. The similar name can be confusing. Both, however, can get away with a lot of destruction to your yard and garden because they are rarely seen.

To understand voles, let’s look to their similarities to their house mice cousins. Voles have short tail and stubby heads. Mice have long tails and pointy noses. Voles are brown or gray in color, and they measure 6 inches at most from tail to tip of nose. They have small, beady eyes. The eyes are small and black.

Problems Caused by Voles

Voles aren’t pests that invade your house, but they can cause a lot of damage outside your front door. You don’t want to look out at your garden and see it torn up ravaged. Voles will damage your lawn, your garden, and even the trees on your property.

Voles dig tunnels underground to get around. This is one of the first signs you have a vole problem. Voles create low, shallow runways underground. They bite and gnaw at grass blades when they get around, this causes the grass to die and turn brown. Combine that with the excavated ground voles dig up when they tunnel, and you have a distinct trail across your lawn. When voles invade your garden, they gnaw at flower stems, hosta, seeds, and roots. This puts all your landscaping and gardening efforts at risk for complete decimation.

Preventing Voles in Your Yard

Good luck preventing voles on your property. Unlike mice, you won’t see field mice scurry before your eyes. Remember, they prefer to burrow underground. So, when you see the mounds and tunnels, surprise, you have voles. To avoid surprises from voles, focus on their habitat and hiding areas.

  • Clear brush away from your yard.
  • Remove weeds and maintain your lawn.
  • Cut back on the mulch, especially around shrubs and trees.
  • Remove bird food debris around your feeders and trees.
  • If you have trees with fruit, nuts or berries, keep it picked up and raked.
  • Create barriers around your garden and around trees.

Call the professionals to identify voles on your property. Big Blue Pest Solutions can offer a thorough inspection of your property. With over 80 years of experience with home and lawn pests, we can offer an effective solution for getting rid of voles and keeping them off your lawn for good.