With short furry tails, beady eyes and small bodies, voles may look cute and adorable, but not when they wreak havoc in your yard! These small and stocky mouse-like rodents are known to drive gardeners and homeowners absolutely crazy with the amount of damage they can cause despite their tiny size.
Maine is no stranger to these pesky yard pests, and they are considered to be the one pest that doesn’t sleep throughout the winter season in Southern Maine.
However, the good news is that there are several ways to keep voles out of your yard, and it’s also quite easy to know they are there through the many signs of damage that they leave behind.
Common Signs of Voles in Your Yard
It is interesting to note that voles are typically found underground, and that’s where they spend most of their time. They live in huge colonies in burrow systems and complex tunnels that they themselves create.
From eating food to nesting to protecting themselves and other fellow voles, they do everything in these tunnels. These tunnels are extensive and are usually connected by runways.
Since they are mostly underground, it can often be tough to locate them, but there are a few telltale signs to look out for.
Some common signs that you have voles in your yard include:
- Irregular paths of trampled grass or soil that are about 1-2 inches wide
- Damaged root trees
- Wilted and yellow plants
- Teeth marks at the bottom of trees
- Crisscrossing tunnels near the surface of the ground
- Obvious spaces in the grass
- Vole burrows around the base of trees that look like holes
- Noticeable gnaw marks on tree stems
Keep Voles Out Of Your Yard
Despite their small size, voles are capable of causing significant damage in your yard. What’s more concerning is that they reproduce rapidly, so it’s extremely important to keep them out of your yard at the first sign of a vole infestation.
If you are dealing with serious damage caused by these troublesome pests in your yard, it’s best to call a professional pest control company like Ants Plus to help get rid of them.
In the meantime, consider the following measures to keep voles out of your yard.
Remove All Vegetation
It’s a known fact about voles that they don’t like feeding out in the open. So, you can use this to your advantage and remove them from your yard through habitat modification.
Simply remove all sources of vegetation from your yard, keep the space properly mowed and ensure regular snow removal during the winter months. These clever rodents use the snow as a cover for feeding and causing damage in the ground which most people discover in the spring when the snow begins to melt.
So, if you wish to keep voles out of your yard, make sure that it’s free of any heavy and dense vegetative cover.
Live Vole Traps
One of the simplest ways to remove voles humanely from your yard is with the help of live vole traps. These traps serve one single purpose, which is to trap these rodents without causing them any harm or killing them.
Live vole traps are ideal for getting rid of a handful of voles, so they might not work as effectively for a serious vole infestation in your yard.
The key to ensuring that these traps work is to get the one that has two openings. The idea here is to place the trap directly in the path of the voles. While baiting isn’t necessary, it’s a good idea to place some peanut butter inside the trap to attract the voles. If the trap is successful, make sure to relocate it at least 5 miles from your house but to an approved, legal location.
If you have an active vole problem in your yard, you might want to try using natural repellants to deter these rodents. While there are numerous repellants you can use, there’s one that has proven to work really well to keep voles away, which is castor oil.
Voles hate both the smell and taste of castor oil, which makes it a great natural repellant to keep them out of your yard. Apply some of the oil to planting beds, and sprinkle some all over your yard. Voles also dislike pepper because of its spicy taste and smell. Chop some hot peppers, mix them with water and soap, and spray the mixture in vole hotspots. This will prevent them from nibbling on your plants and also keep them away from your yard.
Use Entrance Covers
Pesky pests like voles usually enter your yard and lawn through open entrances like vents along the sides of the house, openings in the crawl space as well as the chimney. In this case, the solution is to invest in good entrance covers that are specially designed for all such entrances and openings.
Entrance covers usually come in the form of sheets or covers that don’t only keep rodents away but also allow the opening to serve its original purpose, which includes temperature control, ventilation, etc.
Pest Control Services in Maine
The above-mentioned solutions to keep voles out of your yard are likely to take a few weeks to whittle down the vole population, but the exact duration depends on which method you use. However, in case they don’t work out for you, it is best to seek help from a professional pest control service. The latter is surely going to bring faster and more successful results.
Ants Plus Pest Control offers efficient and effective pest control services in Maine with an all-inclusive pest prevention plan to protect your yard from these irritating rodents. Get in touch with us now to learn more about us and get additional information so that we can come up with a sure-shot way to keep voles out of your yard.