Voles can be found all across the United States. Similar to gophers and moles, these pesky rodents can begin to cause damage to your yard and home. Identify the signs of voles before they completely infest your yard, causing thousands in damage.
The vole is also referred to as a meadow mouse. These small yet resilient rodents are usually between four and nine inches long. They can vary in coloring somewhere between a gray and brown shade. Their appearance is somewhat similar to a mouse except with a much thicker body frame and a short but hairy tail. These pests will breed all year long, with a female vole having as many as twelve litters in a year. Because of this, two cute little voles can quickly turn into a full blown infestation.
While the vole may look cute, the damage it will do to landscape is anything but. These critters remain active throughout the day and night for the whole year. Not only will they pave pathways across your lawn, they will burrow below the ground, creating tunnels throughout your yard.
As the weather turns colder, it is especially important to begin looking for vole damage in your yard. The worst damage from these rodents occurs when snowfall is the heaviest, as this gives the cover they need to keep their tunnel entrances undetected. There are two types of vole damages to look for in your yard:
- Voles will gnaw at the trees and shrubs in your yard, causing direct damage to them. The stems of these plants will have a pointed tip once the vole is finished. In addition to this, these rodents will do damage to the roots of your trees, so watch for that if possible.
- The second indicator of vole damage is the runways and tunnels they create to move around your yard. First there are the below ground network of tunnels. These will do damage from the roots of plants. Here you will need to look for burrow openings. These are often built in mulch or other soft materials first. The second type are the aboveground pathways. These are slight burrowings, but can still be seen in paths on the surface.
Voles are some of the most determined and damaging rodents you can have in your yard. Look for the identifying signs of these critters before they have the chance to multiply. Taking action from the beginning will stop the damage before it can take root.