Date Posted: February 23, 2018
Voles, also referred to as meadow mice, are rodents that look very similar to mice but are larger and darker in color. Their bodies are stouter, and their tails are shorter and hairier than mice, and their eyes and ears are smaller. Depending on the species, voles can grow to be as large as 9 inches long.
Damages Caused By Voles
Voles Tunnel - One reason voles are sometimes mistaken from moles is that they are known to use tunnels that were dug by moles. But they also dig their own tunnels. Vole tunnels are around 3 inches in width and are not raised up like mole tunnels. But, they still produce ugly, light brown patches across a lawn.
Voles Chew - Above ground voles, known as pine mice, are known to chew up heavy lawns and make trenches through dead grass. They love to eat plant materials such as fruits, seeds, underground fungi, and bark. Being rodents, with ever-growing incisors, they love to chew on things like the bases of trees, to wear their teeth down. If a vole does enough damage to the base of a tree, the tree will die.
Voles Destroy Gardens - If you have worked hard to produce a garden, voles will love you for it. These rodents are a significant threat to any vegetables you may grow. And it may be difficult to know what is causing the death of your precious vegetables. When a rabbit or deer invade your garden, it is easy to spot the nibbled leaves, chewed up shoots, and missing plants, but with voles, since they do their destroying from the roots, damage can be much harder to identify.
How To Identify If You Have Voles
There are several clues to look out for if you suspect you have voles. These creatures will leave 1 to 2 inch runways, or ruts, across a lawn. They also leave 1.5 to 2 inch holes where they enter and exit their tunnels. Soil may become spongy in spots, and plants may begin to collapse as the roots underneath are eaten away. And, if you have feline friends, they might begin to spend a lot of time preoccupied with the area around your garden.
How Big Blue Can Help
When dealing with a vole infestation, there are DIY solutions that may help but, if you really want to get rid of these lawn and garden destroyers, it is time to call in the big guns. The fact is, voles reproduce rapidly. Voles live for 6-12 months, they don't hibernate, they mate year round, and they have a 21-day gestation period. Per year, a female vole has 5-10 litters, with 3-6 babies each time. At that rate, voles can start to completely overrun your property in short order!