Although voles are often called field mice (“vole” is short for “volemouse” or “field mouse”), they differ from mice in that they have round bodies, short hairy tails, and small ears and eyes.
The types of vole species are diverse, as are their geographical locations. They can be found in lowland coastal areas and in mountain elevations exceeding 12,000 feet, resulting in a variety of climate living conditions. Because voles are able to evade birds of prey under cover of snow, Scotland, due to its recent freezing winters, is suffering from a record-breaking vole plague.
This stealth rodent is active year-round, and some vole species are active day and night. Their clandestine efforts are usually not discovered until a number of plants have already been destroyed.
The Vole Lifestyle
Although voles have a relatively short life span (up to a year), they are aggressive breeders. A homeowner’s yard could potentially house over 100 active voles, as one pregnant vole can produce up to ten litters, with each litter consisting of up to seven offspring. They can produce any time of the year.
Voles prefer areas thick in grasses and underbrush, where they can create runways and grass tunnels that will keep their travels hidden. They will either create their own tunnels, or invade abandoned tunnels created by moles or gophers. In just one minute, they can dig a hole over a foot deep. Due to their burrowing techniques, they are frequently mistaken for moles, gophers or rats. There will usually be closely cropped grass near a vole burrow entrance, and no mounds of soil.
Garden Damaging and Disease Carrying Marauders
Grass, bulbs, fruits, barks, leaves and succulent root systems are favorite plant foods for voles (they will eat dead animals as well). Since they can gnaw underneath a plant undetected, a homeowner is usually unaware of a vole infestation until the plant has died.
Girdling (stripping of bark) is another indication that voles have been hard at work. They enjoy fruit and ornamental trees, and tree plantings. Unlike other animals, voles gnaw the bark in irregular patches and at a variety of angles. If the girdling is too deep and too low to the ground for regeneration, the tree can die.
Although they won’t enter a home, the vole can carry disease that can be transferred to humans through food cross-contamination.
Allowing populations to multiply increases the probability of damage to trees, and makes future control more difficult.
As a professional pest control company, we can ease your mind with our humane vole extermination methods.
For more information or assistance in eliminating voles,
Office – (916) 987-9559 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Cell – (916) 224-7430 Mon-Fri 5pm-9am & Weekends
E-mail: Trapper Rob