How to keep away voles
Voles, also called meadow mice, are tiny little burrowing creatures that can wreak havoc on your lawns and gardens. They resemble a tiny gopher, with their thick fur, stubby legs and short furry tails. These voracious creatures are active 24/7 day and night. They prefer to live in dense brush and lush vegetation. Their nests are found in short, shallow burrows and hold nests comprised of grass and stems. Several adults and all their young usually occupy a burrow system. The average size of their tunnel system is usually around 200 hundred square feet, and is located under the primary foraging area. Although their numbers fluctuate, voles live in family groups and breed year round. Females can breed as soon as 35 days old, but their lifespan lasts only about one year. Voles are mostly herbivorous, meaning they prefer to eat grasses, plants, bulbs, and roots. In winter they will eat bark and roots of trees, if they are hungry.
If you have an infestation, there are a number o f ways to be rid of these furry nightmares. You can place specially designed traps at the entrance/exits of the tunnels. Of course this leaves you with voles to dispose of. You r local ag or feed store will have toxic baits the you can use but these present a hazard to the eco system as well as any other animals or pets you may not want to harm. Gas cartridges or flooding the burrows with a hose are both a method some folks use, but this seems to be a temporary fix at best.
You can also use commercial repellents that usually mimic the smell of their natural predators like foxes, owls, or big cats, but there a mixed reviews on the effectiveness of this plan. The best way to control voles is to make the area uninviting. Clear large areas of dense weeds and brush regularly. Spray herbicides to prohibit growth, or till frequently. If you have gardens, put in small holed mesh fencing buried about 10 inches down and reaching about 1 foot high.
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