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Discovering voles in your yard can be disheartening. These small, burrowing rodents, often mistaken for their mole cousins, can wreak havoc on lawns and gardens, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Whether you’re dealing with a current infestation or aiming to prevent future ones, these tips will help you maintain a healthy, vole-free outdoor space.
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Identifying Vole Activity
Voles create shallow, snakelike tunnels across lawns and are known for eating plant roots, bulbs, and bark near the base of trees, which can be identified by characteristic gnaw marks.
(PHOTO BY Timothy L Brock/UNSPLASH)
Natural Repellents and Deterrents
Utilizing natural repellents like castor oil and capsaicin, derived from hot peppers, can discourage voles due to their unpleasant taste and smell. Homemade repellent sprays can be made using items like garlic, peppermint oil, or ammonia. Additionally, planting bulbs in gravel can deter voles, making it uncomfortable for them to dig.
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Installing mesh fencing around gardens and burying it at least a foot deep can prevent voles from accessing plant roots. Similarly, surrounding bulb plantings with gravel makes the area less appealing to voles.
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Encouraging natural predators, such as owls, by installing nest boxes can help reduce vole populations. Dogs and cats that roam the yard can also deter voles.
(PHOTO BY Lucie Douezi/UNSPLASH)
Keeping your yard tidy by removing debris and trimming vegetation can make it less inviting to voles. Limiting dense mulch near trees and maintaining a well-mowed lawn are effective strategies.
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Ultrasonic and Vibration Devices
Devices that emit noises or vibrations unpleasant to voles can be used to keep them away from garden areas.
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Lighting and Water Strategies
Motion-sensor lights and sprinklers can startle and deter voles, potentially reducing their activity in your yard.
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In cases of severe infestation, consulting with a pest control professional might be necessary to devise a comprehensive vole management plan.
(PHOTO BY CDC/UNSPLASH)
Live trapping and relocating voles can be a humane approach if it’s legal in your area. Use bait such as peanut butter or apples and check traps regularly.
(PHOTO BY Loïc DAYANT/UNSPLASH)
Prevent Indoor Entry
Sealing cracks and holes in your home’s exterior can prevent voles from coming indoors. Cover chimney openings and crawl space vents with screens to block entry.