Voles are known by different names, so you may know them as meadow or field mice or you may recognize them as the vole. If you have a garden or fruit trees chances are that a vole will find its way there looking for a free meal. A vole’s diet varies, but they can be happy on a fruit diet. Trees provide for good shelter which is bad news for you because a vole can deteriorate the health of trees and small plants and they can do this fairly quickly. In the wild they are pretty close to the bottom of the food chain and have many predators like raccoons, hawks, coyotes, falcons, owls, etc. This doesn’t really make a difference when they have set up a home in your yard and are busy destroying trees, shrubs and anything else you have planted to improve your home.
In order to find out how to get rid of voles, it is good to understand how they reproduce. Voles have been described as baby making machines and they live up to that name. They can reproduce up to 10 times per year. Their life cycle is only about a year as well so that makes for a short, busy lifespan, but they are busy creating more voles during that time. To put it in easier terms a vole is responsible for up to 6 other voles per year. These animals are also often being studied because some subspecies are monogamous while others roam in typical fashion. With that kind of reproduction cycle you see why it is important to get the population under control and fast. So what can you do to get rid of them and keep them out once they are gone?
Voles are animals that may make fencing protection almost useless. They can climb or dig to avoid almost any fence that you put in front of them. Because of that you may want to try repellent. Voles are a few of the animals where repellent can actually be effective. That is not to say that repellent will get all voles out of the area, but in many cases a homeowner will see a drastic decrease. The problem of course is that as long as two of the voles decide to stay that can mean more in the future, and if voles are born in an environment where repellent is already placed two things can happen; they either die or are born used to the repellent which will make it ineffective against them.
While an infestation of voles is less common than some other pests, it does happen. These animals can make tunnels in the yard a flower beds as well as in a shed garages and even inside the home. They can cause destruction to your vegetation, perhaps pass disease along to you and your family. If you have any doubts about trying to eliminate the voles yourself then a professional may be a good option.
If your problem went from small to a big problem from one week to the next then it may be time to call a pest control company. While it is advised that you decide to go this route you should call them before the problem gets worst, they will be able to manage larger jobs. They should be able to accommodate to your situation, for example if you have pets you may need them to stay away from using poisons. A pest control company has other methods like traps or they can help you make modifications to your property so that there isn’t a habitat that will suit the voles. The best thing you can do is to not let the problem get out of control; because once it does it will be a lot more difficult to get a higher number of voles out of your yard than the smaller, initial population.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.