How Do I Rid My Lawn Of Voles?


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Russ James answered
Voles are small rodents 4 to 6 inches long and are classified as herbivores. Herbivores means they eat plant tissue, including roots, flower bulbs, flower stems, etc. They will often girdle small trees by chewing through the bark, killing the tree. They often use the same tunnels left behind by moles, which are strictly insectivores.

Voles are not easy to get rid of and many home remedies have been developed to scare them off. Most don't work. Professionals in the industry use traps or poison baits.

To kill voles you can use traps that are listed for moles. It takes skill to set the trap correctly and to put it in the right place along the tunnel. The website Lawn Care Academy has a great page on moles and voles listed under "turf pests" on the navigation bar. You can see a picture of the best traps. It will tell you where to set the trap and how to do it correctly. When using traps, use the long tunnels because they are the ones used by the voles to travel back and forth from their nesting den. When setting the traps, care must be taken not the destroy the tunnel in the process.

The two best traps are the spear trap and scissor trap. The spear traps do the least damage to the tunnel when placing it, but the scissor traps are also a favorite among professionals. The trap is set according to directions and the dirt placed carefully over the trap. Read below for how to set them.

When setting a spear trap, make a small dent in the top of the tunnel so it pushes the roof of the tunnel down some. Don't crush the tunnel, just push it down a little. Place the trap stakes on either side of the tunnel so the center of the trap rests exactly on the dent you made. When the voles sees the damage it will push up on the tunnel roof to fix it and release the trap. It is important to remember to push the tunnel roof in slightly when using spear traps. The box directions don't give you this information, but it must be done or the trap won't work properly.
When setting the scissor trap, open the trap and set the trigger carefully. Open the tunnel and set the trap according to directions. Cover the trap again. The trigger hangs down in the tunnel and when the voles pushes against it, it releases the trap.

To find the tunnel they are using, smash in a six inch section of a longer tunnel. If the tunnel is repaired in a day or two the vole or mole is using that one. A repaired tunnel will be pushed back up the way it was before you crushed it. Bait or set a trap along that tunnel.

Since voles are herbivores you can also use baits. Check your local farm or feed store. Some home and garden stores may carry poison baits. Open the tunnel just large enough to place the bait and cover the hole again. Don't crush the tunnel.  Keep in mind that wildlife or neighborhood cats that occasionally feed on voles can also be poisoned if they eat the poisoned vole.

Voles reproduce many times a year since they are low on the food chain. Patience and diligence will win in the end. Skill is also key to success which comes easier with the right information. Check out the page on the website above so you can see photos for a better understanding of how to do it.

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