You may have a few questions when it comes to voles including, what are voles and what are they doing to my property? Find out these answers and more below!
Voles are small, chunky, ground-dwelling rodents. Adults are chestnut brown mixed with black, and their underparts are dark gray. The young ones are uniformly gray. Voles have various common names, including meadow mice, ground moles, field mice, and meadow moles. They are frequently mistaken for moles, shrews, and mice. It is important that small mammals be identified correctly before starting control activities since materials and methods effective against one species may not be useful on another.
Meadow voles invade lawns and gardens. They eat a wide variety of plants, most frequently grasses and other herbaceous plants. They eat bark at times, primarily in fall and winter often killing young trees and soft bark shrubs. They do not hibernate!
Voles are semi-fossorial, and as such, construct many tunnels and surface runways with numerous burrow entrances. They can cause extensive damage to lawns by building these extensive tunnel systems. Underground, pine voles may consume small roots, girdle large roots, and eat bark from the base of trees. Injured trees grow more slowly, look off-color, and generally appear sickly. Often by the time homeowners notice weak, unhealthy trees, the damage to tree roots is already extensive. This type of damage generally occurs in winter when other food sources are limited.