The vole is serious vermin in your garden. This small creature can bring many problems to owners of both flower-beds and crops. These vermin are often confused with moles when people find their dead plants. The main difference between moles and voles is that voles eat roots and fruits, but not worms. Their passion to eat can kill expensive trees and flower-beds. How can one fight these small creatures? There are hundreds of methods all over the web. Some of them are efficient (traps, repellents, repellers and poison), while some of them are simply useless. Today, we are going to discuss both the useful and useless methods in order to compare them.
Table of Contents:
- 7 Steps On How To Get Rid Of Voles
- Why are voles dangerous?
- Vole facts: behavior and habits
- How to get rid of voles: Let’s listen to the opinion of scientists
- How to get rid of voles according to the experts from the University of California
- How to trap voles: Top three vole traps
- Best vole poison
- The two best vole repellents
- Popular methods of vole control: A list of techniques to avoid
Since using only one method is rarely effective, we suggest that you should prepare a plan of action. The following steps can be included in this plan:
- The first and the most effective step is habitat modification. Since voles do not go far away from their nests in search of food, reduce food availability in the area to stimulate them to move to a more favorable one. To this end, pull the plants, cut grass, remove the piles of debris, wood, and leaves in the places where voles have been noticed. Dispose of fallen fruits and nuts which are an attractive source of food for voles. Turn over the turf and mix it with gravel to prevent voles from making tunnels. Apply commercially available herbicides to eliminate unnecessary plants around your garden.
- Install barriers around valuable crops and trees. Purchase special covers protecting trees so that voles cannot gnaw the bark. If it has already happened, close the tree’s wounds with a protective film. A wire mesh wrapped around the trunk is good at keeping voles away. The fence should be about 20 inches in height and one foot deep. Take into consideration snowbanks as they make your barrier shorter.
- Apply odor repellents based on natural ingredients such as castor oil to keep voles away from the garden. They are good at creating protective barriers.
- Trap voles, although this will not help significantly reduce their population. These devices can be lethal like snap traps, or humane traps like cages capturing animals alive.
- Use poisons in the form of granules and blocks. Poisons are particularly effective in the autumn and winter when voles are short of food supplies. For safety reasons, place the poison in a bait station or directly into the vole’s tunnel. Slow-acting poisons are the most recommended ones.
- Place ultrasonic repellers both indoors and outdoors. However, this is a short-term solution because rodents become accustomed to all kinds of noises. To enhance the effectiveness of ultrasonic repellers, change their location regularly. When used indoors, remove all soft objects around them since they absorb ultrasound.
- Call upon the assistance of rodent’s natural enemies, primarily cats. Perhaps they will do the whole job for you. If they condescend to do it, of course.
In order to get it right, learn more about methods suggested by scientists and products recommended by Amazon users from our detailed guide below. You will also learn about habits of voles and how they can be dangerous for your property. The guide will help you choose the best trap, poison, and repellents to cope with these pests.
The vole can look cute at first glance. This animal can create significant damage. If you have such “neighbors”, your garden will be destroyed step by step. The teeth of this vermin are excellent for destroying tree roots, flower bulbs and any other plants in your garden. One can identify the existence of the vole in their garden by specific teeth signs on damaged roots and trunks of trees. Unlike moles, who don’t touch any of your plants, voles use plants and roots for their daily menu. Giant populations of voles can be identified by the death of such plants as alfalfa, cattle grass, clover, potatoes, carrots, beets and turnips.
Voles often serve as vector-borne disease carriers, such as tularemia, leptospirosis, mycoplasmosis and various vermin, ticks and fleas.
- Fast reproducing rate of voles. Voles breed throughout all warm seasons and can produce from 5 to 20 cubs per year.
- Voles prefer large communities. If you are have voles in your garden, prepare yourself to find around 20-30 holes. Their holes and tunnels look like the moles’, but they are significantly smaller and not so deep.
- Fast growing rate. A young vole reaches maturity in a month. The gestation period takes from 15 to 30 days.
- Voles are not dormant. They are active throughout the year, so don’t be surprised if you find even all season plants damaged.
- Voles are greedy. A vole can eat a volume of food equal to its own weight in just one day. That makes around 10 kilograms per months. One can identify the existence of the vole by specific teeth signs on roots or trunks.
There are three main methods to fight a vole: traps, repellents and poison. Let’s listen to the opinion of experts. Scientists from the University of California totally neglect all “three pillars” of the home pest control: “Trapping is not practical for voles because so many individuals have to be controlled when they are causing problems in commercial orchards. Fumigation is not effective because of the shallow, open nature of vole burrow systems and the large number of voles. Repellents are not considered effective in preventing damage.” According to these experts, one of the most efficient methods is habitat management. Scientists are sure that voles only go a couple of feet from their holes in order to get food, thus if one can remove plants from the area, voles will leave soon too: “Use a hoe, herbicides, or other methods to keep an area reaching about 3 feet out from trunks free of vegetation.”
What is the best method to get rid of voles according to scientists? They recommend making your garden less attractive for them and protecting other trees from the sharp teeth of voles. It’s also recommended to protect and cure your trees in order to remove possible damages and prevent future vole attacks.
How to stop an invasion with herbicides – Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
A well-known fact is that voles build their nests close to the places rich in food. When the food has gone, the entire community will move to different place. Scientists recommend using various herbicides to control the vegetation around your garden, while we recommend that you use only the best herbicides, such as Compare-N-Save which has 4.4 out of 5 stars and is a #1 Best Seller in the Weed Killers category on Amazon.com.
You can use it to create a “dead” border, thus protecting your garden from future invasions of vermin. Voles will simply avoid your “deadly lands” because they can’t find any provisions. It’s worth noting that this method is useful in order to prevent “a catastrophe”, but not to fight with voles. So, you have to get rid of them first, and then create a border. Read over 1400 customer reviews and learn about more helpful tips about using this herbicide.
Price: ~$21.62 Check the current price
Saving your trees using tree guards – EasyFlex 1131-6C Tree Trunk Protectors
Not only roots, but also the trunks of young trees can be damaged by the sharp teeth of voles. One can use special tree guards to prevent the death of expensive plants. The tree guard is a special cover that prevents direct contact of vole’s teeth and trees.
Price: from ~$12.88 Check the current price
Curing damaged trees – Tanglefoot Tree Wound Pruning Sealer & Grafting Compound
In order to prevent additional wounds and damages of trees, one has to close their wounds. That’s why we need the liquid band from Tanglefoot, which creates a protective film that covers wounds on the trunk and branches of your trees. The price of a can is just ~$7.99, but it’s incredibly useful: it can cure your trees from weather, animal or cutting damages and can be used even in rainy areas. This product has a high level of quality, but it requires some skills, thus don’t forget to wear gloves and use a brush that can be thrown away, because the film is extremely sticky.
Price: ~$7.99 Check the current price
We are done with the light and “peaceful” methods. It’s time to move to more radical techniques: trapping, poisoning and repelling.
Even though the University of Californian called trapping an inefficient method, it has already become the real “classic” of the garden. Keeping in mind that voles are relatives of mice, one can use simple mouse traps to catch them. Scientists consider mousetraps useless, because it’s impossible to clear a field using them, while the majority of research was performed on such fields. Mousetraps are pretty useful for smaller areas. Now you have to decide if you want to use killing traps or humane ones, which won’t kill rodents.
Killing vole trap – Snap-E Mouse-6-Pack
Now you can see a very familiar construction with the snap trap system. One can’t find any significant difference at first glance, but this set of 6 traps for ~$11.38 is very popular among users and has received the #1 Best seller name in the Pest Control Traps category on Amazon.com. The price of one mousetrap is less than $2!
These mousetraps are made from durable weather resistant materials with no corrosion effect. These traps can’t be used under the ground, they must be placed on the surface. Use a piece of cheese as bait and locate the mousetrap near a tree or a mouse hole and you will significantly increase their efficiency. Use more devices to eliminate voles. Read over 2200 customers reviews in order to understand how this trap works with voles.
Price: ~$11.38 (6-pack) Check the current price
Live-catch vole traps
We offer you two different models with almost equal prices around $18-19, which will be appreciated by all humane people and animal lovers. The first device is made from transparent green plastic, while the second one – from steel. Choose the one that fits your needs! Please remember, that as the case with any rodent trap, one device can be used to catch only one vole. The more traps you use, the more creatures you catch.
Smart Mouse Trap - Humane Mousetrap
A humane mousetrap – means the vermin will stay alive. You can use any traditional method to attract the vole, e.g. by putting a salted cracker. Set the trap and wait until the vole comes inside and activates it. One significant disadvantage is that you can’t catch more than one vole during one activation session, but the green transparent plastic allows you to see your prey immediately. Several voles can get inside at the same time, but chances of such situations are really low. .
Price: ~$12.94 Check the current price
Havahart 1020 Live Animal Two-Door Mouse Cage Trap
Another mouse box, but this time it has two doors. It uses the very same principle of operation. The device is made from sturdy rust-resistant wire mesh with steel reinforcement. Two entrance doors significantly increase the level of efficiency, because the vole will run inside after seeing a door-to-door passage, because it looks “very easy”.
Price: ~$15.86 Check the current price
Poison is one of the most popular methods in the war with voles. Many people decide to use it, because it’s incredibly simple. They are tired of setting various mousetraps and getting no result. They decided to buy poison which they hope will solve all their problems. We have chosen the most popular and well-proven poison.
Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx
Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx is a powerful poison for just ~$18.98. It can be used to combat various rodents. For example, you can use it like a mice poison as well. This poison consists of special waterproof granules with Bromadiolone. This rodenticide was approved by scientists from the Colorado State University Extension as an efficient measure against voles. This poison causes internal bleeding, but voles have to eat it several times in order to die.
There are no special secrets. One just needs to locate capsules near areas with voles and wait for results. It’s pretty easy to use in your garden, but this poison is not useful in large areas occupied by voles. Anyway, don’t forget that this poison is dangerous for your pets; thus, don’t forget to keep them away from poisoned areas.
Price: ~$18.98 Check the current price
Repellents are efficient if you are using them as a preventive measure or together with poison or traps.
Aroma castor oil vole repellent –Bonide 692150 Mole Max and Vole Repellent Granules
This product includes aroma granules to scare voles, moles and gophers based on castor oil. One package of such granules can cover up to 5000 square-feet, but all scientists are repeating their mantra: “This method is a humane one, but it can’t be used on an industrial scale.” The key word is “scaring”. These granules can be great in order to create some kind of a “protective wall” against voles. Just put it along the borders of your garden and they won’t disturb you while the active ingredient is working. Some scientists are sure that only pure castor oil (with 100% concentration) can be used to scare voles away. If you are facing just a couple of voles and you don’t want to pour castor oil all around your garden, then you can use these granules. If you are also using herbicides, voles won’t disturb you for a long period of time.
Price: ~$21.30 Check the current price
Electronic vole repellent – VENSMILE Solar Snake Repellent Pest Repeller Control Mole Rodent Gopher Vole for Outdoors Garden Yard and Pet Safe
An ultrasonic repeller is a controversial device. Scientists don’t consider this an effective method. Practice shows that this device can be efficient, but for a limited period of time. No doubt, all rodents will run away from the ultrasonic wave for a couple of days. But they’ll get used to it and will come back, paying no attention to your innovative device.
Do you want to use repellents efficiently? Combine them! Use this ultrasonic Repeller with solar panels and special granules or poison as a radical alternative. When the repellent effect appears and rodents start to run away, protect your garden with granules and voles will never come back.
Essential reading: How to get rid of a gopher?
Price: ~$39.90 (2-pack) Check the current price
We have already discovered the most popular methods of fighting and professional tips. Now we have to learn about the popular methods that people use which can help against voles. But we have to warn you that such methods are useless if there’s no connection with scientific knowledge! Below you can find the three most useless methods.
- The most dangerous method
We can’t ignore one of the most light-minded methods – killing voles with exhaust fumes. One has to use a hose and connect a pipe of a car and a hole. After that, you need to start the engine. Why is this method useless? Because voles are not moles with deep holes. Scientists from Colorado confirm: “Fumigants usually do not work for control of voles because their burrows are too shallow and complex”. In addition, such an operation can kill all the fertility of your soil and you won’t be able to grow anything on it.
- “Vibrating can” alternative
An empty metal can is fixed on a stick located on an open area. The wind creates vibration and noise, scaring voles out of their holes. We have to mention that this sound can be pretty annoying and the level of efficiency is pretty low, especially in comparison with other methods, such as traps. Furthermore, we already know that sounds of any kind can’t scare voles.
Really efficient methods for voles
- Efficient method from an experienced person
First you have to scare the population with a loud noise and create a 3-feet “dead line” using herbicides. Then you can relax, because voles won’t be able to reach your garden, while earthworms and other useful creatures won’t face any problems.
Fighting voles requires some time. If your neighbors are also facing the problem of voles, you have to think about using repellents in your own garden. If you are suffering from the problem yourself, try to combine traps and poison, while using tree guards to protect your trees. The vole is not so dangerous. You have to be patient and only choose working vole control products and methods. We have combined all of them in the following table for your convenience.
Vole Poisons, Traps, Repellents and Prevention Products Comparison Chart
|Photo||Product||Type of product||Prevention/control method||Price|
|Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Kille||Herbicide||Prevention|
|EasyFlex 1131-6C Tree Trunk Protectors||Tree guard||Prevention|
|Tanglefoot Tree Wound Pruning Sealer & Grafting Compound||“liquid band” to cure trees||Both|
|Snap-E Mouse-6-Pack||Killing trap||Control|| |
|Smart Mouse Trap - Humane Mousetrap||Humane trap||Control|
|Havahart 1020 Live Animal Two-Door Mouse Cage Trap||Humane trap||Control|
|Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx||Poison bait||Control|
|Bonide 692150 Mole Max and Vole Repellent Granules||Natural repellent||Both|
|VENSMILE Solar Snake Repellent Pest Repeller Control Mole Rodent Gopher Vole||Electronic repeller||Both|| |