When a rabbit or deer pays a visit to your garden, it’s easy enough to spot, what with the missing plants, chewed shoots, and nibbled leaves. But voles in the yard can be harder to identify. Also known as meadow mice, voles are small, pudgy creatures which look like mice but with darker color and shorter tails. Voles can be yellow-brown or red-brown in color but they are mostly brown-black. They have partially hidden ears and small beady eyes.
Now that you know what a vole looks like, let’s see how you can spot vole tunnels or activity in your yard.
Do You Have Vole Tunnels In Your Yard?
Voles will usually make shallow tunnels on the surface, and slowly begin eating through the grass in order to reach their burrows. Here are some signs you may have voles in yard:
Tiny Trails in Your Yard
Voles travel on the same paths, by creating 1- to 2-inch-wide ruts or runways in the ground. These trails are highly visible right after a snowy winter.
Voles are herbivores and like to feast on bulbs, tubers, or roots. This means if you have a kitchen garden where you’re growing potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, and sweet potatoes, they will be at risk. Voles in the yard will chew through the roots, which will cause the plants to collapse.
Some voles like to dig deep tunnels (12-inches deep) while some create shallow tunnels. When you walk on the soil over these tunnels, it will feel somewhat spongy.
Holes in the Soil
Vole tunnels in yards have openings 1- to 2-inches across, and they are usually hidden under spreading plants, shrubs, or mulch. Check for seeds or grass clippings near tunnel openings.
Voles also love to eat berries, corn, beans, fruits, and seeds. Moreover, if you find that the plants are turning yellow or are wilting, it is possible that the voles may have eaten away the roots.
If you have a cat, observe them closely. Do they sit in one spot in your yard and keep catching something small? If yes, it might be voles in the yard that your cat is making a meal of.
Voles move pretty quickly from one tunnel to another. During the summer months, if your lawn grass is long, you will sometimes see a ripple moving through the turf grass. Be very careful as it can be a snake or a vole.
Get Rid of Voles and Vole Tunnels In Your Yard
There are different types of voles: some live underground (pine voles) while some live aboveground (meadow voles). If you have a vole problem, it can be challenging to identify it on your own.
Getting rid of voles for good will require expertise that our Tee Time Lawn Care professionals can provide. We have been treating moles and voles in Plainfield for several years and have the experience necessary to tackle even the most difficult infestations.
TTLC lawn care experts use organic, family- and pet-friendly vole control products to treat the problem effectively without damaging your home or your health. If voles are digging up your lawn, call TTLC professionals today at 815-609-6969 or contact us online. We offer FREE home and lawn inspections!