The world of pest control doe not quite end at mice and roaches. There are thousands of pests waiting to get into your home, and knowing all of their names is a bit difficult at times. Among other creatures, voles can be particularly troublesome.
A Bit Like Mice
Voles actually look a little like mice. They’re both small rodents. Voles, though, have a slightly stouter body. They often have very short, hairy tails, and their heads tend to be rounder than those of mice. Their eyes and ears are quite a bit smaller, too, and while you may not notice it, their teeth are a bit different as well. Sometimes known as field mice, there are more than a hundred different species around the world.
Most voles are between three and nine inches in length, and they certainly reproduce like mice. They can have as many as ten litters per year, with each litter averaging five to ten babies. With a gestation time of just three weeks, voles reproduce quickly. The babies reach sexual maturity in a month, so once an infestation begins, it explodes fairly quickly.
Voles will get into your home, but they are often known as a yard pest more than anything else. They eat the succulent root systems and burrow underneath your plants or ground covers. They’ll often eat as much as they can until the plants die. They also love to munch on bulbs. They can burrow and tunnel almost anywhere, so they can head for your prize garden plants without any real warning.
Do I Have Voles?
Wondering if your problem is related to voles, mice, or something else entirely? First, it’s important to remember that if you see tunneling in your yard, it’s not voles. It’s more likely to be moles. Voles don’t leave a mound at all, and you typically can’t see their tunnels. What’s more, though, is that they’re active during the day. You may find tiny holes about the size of your thumb in the grass, and as snow melts off in the spring, you might find nests the size of baseballs made up of bundles of grass. If you notice damaged plants with small gnawing marks, you probably have voles.
The best method of pest extermination for these creatures is to call in the professionals. While there are lots of DIY ideas floating around, keeping them off your property is harder than you think.