Voles are small rodents that resemble mice, moles, shrews, or gophers. They’re cute, but are definitely pests to lawns, gardens & orchards.
Voles will eat nuts & fruits, but they thrive on small plants. They burrow under the plants and eat away at the roots until the plant dies. They’ll also eat the roots & bark of trees during fall and winter (leaving bare rings around the base).
Voles are active through out the entire year therefore their breeding season is also year round. Each litter has approximately 5-10 young and they can have up to 10 litters a year, equaling up to 100 offspring in a single year.
Voles usually live 3-6 months, but in some rare cases they have been known to live longer (between 12-24 months). A single burrow system can contain several adults & their young.
Voles are found in grassy habitats with heavy ground cover. They dig visibly short, shallow tunnel systems under ground (where they make their nests out of grass & leaves). They typically do not go into building structures, but can be found under concrete slabs in walkways.
Voles will create runways thru the grass to get from one burrow to the next and because of this Voles and moles are often confused with one another. One way to tell the difference is Voles will not leave mounds of dirt piled up next to their burrow holes like a mole would.
Voles usually leave the wilderness & come to a property because of their moist lawns and gardens. Some of the worst damage is sustained during the winter, while they have the cover of the snow. Once Spring time approaches & the snow melts away the severity of the damage can fully be seen.
Any sightings of Voles should indicate the need for control measures rather then allowing their populations to increase.
Voles are classified as non-game mammals, meaning the tenant of the property has permission to control them in whatever legal manner they deem necessary. If you need assistance in managing these pests, then please give us a call.