A vole infestation on your property can mean a host of major problems. Indoors, voles can chew through structures such as walls, wires, and cabinetry and spread diseases such as babesiosis, Hantavirus, and salmonella. Outdoors, voles will eat roots and bulbs from most types of garden plants, causing major devastation for home yards, commercial properties, and farms alike. When choosing a solution for your vole problem, you want to pick a product that works as advertised without causing auxiliary damage to your property or those on it. Eco-friendly and highly-effective VoleX™ is the perfect product for you. Learn more about the many benefits of vole control and prevention with VoleX™ below.
What Are Voles? Why Are They Bad for Your Property?
Voles are small, mouse-like rodents found in both North America and Eurasia. Like mice, voles are omnivorous. Their preferred sources of food are small plants and plant bulbs, making them a particular problem in outdoor environments such as gardens and farms. Voles will consume the succulent root systems of plants and burrow under plants or ground cover to eat away at roots until the plant itself is dead. Voles are adept burrowers and tunnelers, which means they can access plants without easily being noticed.
Voles can also bring a number of hazards to indoor spaces. Though these rodents do not typically make their homes indoors, they do often burrow and feed under porches and in sheds, garages, and greenhouses. Not only do voles pose structural risks to these buildings – they also pose health risks to those within them. Voles can carry and transmit a number of diseases, including babesiosis, Hantavirus, and salmonella, They can also harbor disease-carrying ticks.
Vole Identification: Physical Traits of Common Vole Species
Though quite common, voles are one of the lesser-known outdoor rodent pests. This is because many people have difficulty identifying them. They’re not moles, and they’re not mice — so what, exactly, are they? Below, we’ve put together a list of important vole facts and defining vole characteristics to paint a more vivid vole picture and help property owners like you identify voles wherever they may be found.
Though the two sound the same, voles and moles are quite different in both appearance and behavior. Each tunnel, but voles tunnel above ground while moles tunnel underground. Moles have large forepaws, sleek bodies, and tiny eyes. Voles much more distinctly resemble their close relative: the mouse.
Voles are close cousins of mice, though there are several differences between the two subfamilies. Voles have stouter bodies, shorter, hairier tails, slightly rounder heads, smaller ears, and eyes, and differently formed molars (high-crowned and with angular cusps, as opposed to instead low-crowned and with rounded cusps).
There are 155 species of voles, each varying slightly in size. The smallest vole species rarely exceed 3 inches in length (minus tail), while the largest species can reach nearly 9 inches in length.
Voles have short, rough fur that is gray or brown in color.
Voles are prolific burrowers and breeders. Though they frequently scurry between burrows and food sources, they are infrequently glimpsed by property owners. Voles can have up to 10 litters per year, each consisting of 5-10 young.
Vole Identification: Signs of a Vole Infestation
Identifying voles on your property as quickly as possible is crucial for keeping small problems from turning into large-scale infestations. As relatively small, fast-moving rodents, voles can difficult to spot in the flesh. They are also quite similar in appearance to mice, which can make identification difficult even when they are spotted. Often times, the best way to identify voles on your property is to look for signs of eating, nesting, and tunneling in your outdoor space. Inspecting your property regularly for the following signs of vole activity can help you control your vole problem before it balloons out of control.
- Perhaps the most common and easy-to-spot indicators of a vole infestation are vole runways and burrows. Voles create visible, above-ground runways in turf and soil to connect their burrows (nesting areas). These well-defined surface runways are about two inches wide and are typically constructed in grassy areas as the result of grass consumption by voles and steady foot traffic between burrows. To a human observer, vole runs look like chaotic scribbles in a lawn, where grass has been removed in small, undulating lines. Vole burrows themselves are neat, round holes that measure an inch or two in diameter. Vole burrows (or vole holes) can be found in open turf or hidden underground cover, plantings or mulch.
- Voles are voracious vegetarians. They’ll eat just about any type of plant that crosses their paths. As mentioned above, voles will also chew through plants and dig around them to build their homes. For these reasons, plant damage is one of the tell-tale signs of a vole infestation. Do the plants in your yard appear yellowish or wilted? Are they easy to uproot with a fairly light tug? This is a sign that voles may have been eating your plants’ roots. When smaller shrubs aren’t around, voles will gnaw at the bark of trees or bushes. Significant gnawing can cause these larger plants to die.
- Vole droppings are another sign of a vole infestation. Roughly a centimeter in length, cylindrical in shape, and greyish or greenish in color, vole droppings can be found wherever voles roam. (Unlike voles themselves, vole droppings cannot run away, so you’ll have a much better chance of spotting them during the daytime.)
Controlling and Preventing Voles
When a vole infestation strikes your property, you want to prepared with a solution that not only takes care of voles, but also keeps your property safe in the process. As vole infestations commonly occur outdoors near trees and plants, it’s important to pick a vole control solution that is not damaging to the soil or the flora that grow in it. Of course, you’ll also want to settle on a solution that actually works, preferably both in the areas of control and prevention. VoleX™ is that solution.
New from our eco-minded engineers here at EcoClear Products, VoleX™ is a proprietary attractant bait complex specially-designed to control and prevent voles. Active ingredients in VoleX™ both attract voles through scent and taste and humanely exterminate them upon consumption. Formulated with naturally-derived ingredients for year-round use, VoleX™ is biodegradable and safe to use in recommended doses around people, pets, and wildlife.
Using VoleX™ on Your Property
To use VoleX™ on your property, first, locate vole runs or other areas where you believe voles may be present. Make 1-inch holes every 8-10 inches and place the recommended amount of VoleX™ (½ – ⅓ oz. or 10 – 15 gm. Or ⅔ – 1 tbsp. Per hole) into each hole. Wrap in pellets in cling film if you believe they may be exposed to moisture, as exposure to moisture can reduce effectiveness. Replenish pellets as instructed by packaging until there are either no more takes or no vole activity is seen for 2 weeks.