Voles are rodents that are the size of a mouse and are known for their destructive behavior. They typically live in shallow burrows near the ground, but will occasionally build burrows in gardens, compost piles, under buildings, and decks.
Therefore it’s important to take precautions to discourage voles from gnawing on your cherished vegetable plants. This article provides you with several ways to keep voles out of your garden. In this article, we’ll explain how exactly you can get rid of voles to protect your vegetable garden, and how you can prevent them from returning.
Dangers of Voles
When it comes to voles in a vegetable garden, they are not just after your plants. This small-sized rodent can also gnaw at fence bases, decking, and other structures in their hunt for food. Therefore it’s important to take precautions to discourage voles from gnawing on your cherished vegetable plants.
Voles tend to chew on wires, which can cause them to get shocked and even electrocuted. There are also some species of voles that are carriers of the disease Valley Fever which can be spread through direct contact with their urine and saliva.
Another danger that voles pose in a vegetable garden is the potential for soil erosion. Activities like digging in or moving soil around will cause the soil to lose its structure and become susceptible to losing its organic matter. This will happen when there is no ongoing beneficial bacteria population in the soil.
It’s very important to remove any loose particles around your vegetable plants so that the roots don’t adhere themselves to them. This will cause increased chances of the soil becoming loose and moving around.
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Methods in Getting Rid of voles
Generally, the best method to use in getting rid of voles in a vegetable garden is to choose an option that excludes using any chemicals. When it comes to voles, you have a few options. It’s important to prevent damage from voles by completing certain steps.
Here is the best method for getting rid of voles in a vegetable garden:
- Replace any loose soil with new soil and add inorganic fertilizers to enrich the nutrients of your garden. This will help to discourage voles from returning, as they will find it harder to move around in the soil.
- Nesting boxes can be placed above ground or underground and are specifically an option for avoiding chemicals and pesticides. You can also make a nesting box with logs or other materials that are found naturally in your garden, which you would be able to pull out if anything was already living there prior.
- To try and discourage voles from inhabiting your garden, you can add fencing to the outside of your garden. This will help you keep their burrows out of your garden and avoid them from gaining access to any food.
- Sealing up any holes in the ground that are large enough for voles to enter through also is advantageous in removing them from the garden. If you do find a hole, seal it up with something such as stucco or cement. If this is not done, then they will have free access into your vegetable garden which could potentially cause a lot of damage.
- Another choice is to hire a pest control professional or exterminator. Relying on such methods is expensive and may not be the best solution in the long run. The advantage of asking a professional to solve this problem for you is that they will be able to use non-chemical methods of getting rid of voles.
- Another option is to use barriers around your vegetable garden such as fencing, which will help keep voles out. However, this fencing must go below ground level so that voles can’t dig under it if they decide to try and return at a later time.
- If you are not able to do this, then you have the option to use poison. If you choose to go with this option, it’s important to make sure that all of the chemicals are safe for children and pets, so that there is the least chance of them ingesting harmful materials. It’s important to be very careful when choosing between poison and other non-chemical methods such as fences or barriers. If you choose poison, it’s suggested that you consider purchasing only organic arsenic which is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can purchase arsenic in liquid form which can be sprayed on the surface of your garden as an effective method. You can also purchase granular poison, which is a powder that is easy to spread around the garden.
- This method involves trapping voles in their own tunnels with a glue board. You can find glue boards at your local hardware store or you can make your own at home with some wire and plaster of Paris. Just make sure to place the board at the entrance of the tunnel to create a barrier. It’s important to place the board high enough so that voles can’t reach the bait and consume it, as many times they will end up eating it anyway and die as well as cause damage around their tunnels.
- You can also use a water hose and place it at the top of their tunnels to create an underground pool. This will make it difficult for them to dig their way out of there. If you place this device too close to the tunnel, then the water may affect the vegetation and could possibly kill it.
- There is one final option that you can purchase from your local store, and it’s called a Vole Repellent. There are multiple options to choose from depending on what is the most effective for your situation.
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Vole Repellent #1
It’s called Vole De-Thumper, it’s made by Scentry Products (manufactured by Contraption Inc.) and is available at many local stores. The repellant is used in a similar fashion as the glue board method, however, it uses the power of a natural predator to get rid of voles in your garden. It is simply a little tub filled with water and some form of attractant which will help lure in voles to their death.
There is a small opening in the lid that can be used for releasing the voles when doing your gardening, but it’s important that you do not touch this particular area with your bare hands as you will spread the poison all over them.
Vole Repellent #2
Another option is to use Mouse Bait Poison by Effective Solutions. This product works by upsetting the smell of mouse urine and it’s also natural, so it doesn’t pose any risk to children or pets. It is also a bit more cost-effective because you don’t have to go out and purchase glue boards or other traps to use.
Vole Repellent #3
Glade Vole Repellent. It is a bit more cost-effective because you don’t have to go out and purchase glue boards or other traps to use.
All you have to do is put the repellent at the entrance of their tunnels and they will be forced to leave in search of another scent. There are also other Voles Repellents that can be purchased from the local store that you can read about here.
Ensure that you are paying attention to any holes or small entrances into your house. They are known to sneak into the insulation and can cause a ghost-like noise in your walls. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to keep your yard free of any debris that could be used as nesting material by the voles.
Also, keep an eye on your lawnmower while you are mowing, they are known to nest underneath them and even when you’re not using it. If this is the case, then you will have to ensure that you check it regularly for any signs of their existence and remove them if need be before putting it away in storage or when finished for the day.
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What Vegetables Do Voles Target?
Voles will eat almost any plant that they come across. They will eat the roots and stems of your plants and leave the leaves to rot on the plant. This can cause issues in the future because you may not know why your plants are not growing.
If you notice areas of your garden that are completely bare after heavy rainfall then that is a good sign that you have voles in your area. They are known to chew off the roots of plants to help them stay above ground.
Voles will also seek cover in your soil, which is why you will see tunnels that look like runners. They build these tunnels so they can travel under the ground without being seen or eaten by predators.
You want to keep all of your gardening tools at least three feet away from your garden so voles cannot find them and use them to hide during the day. This creates a safe area where they can rest and eat without being seen by other animals or humans.
If you notice areas of bare ground that have been dug up then this probably means you have voles in your area.
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What Regions Are Voles Most Commonly Found?
Voles are most commonly found in the northern part of the United States. They can be found east of the Mississippi River and into Canada as well. The chances of having voles in your area will increase if your property borders woodland or river banks, so you will want to inspect those areas if you have not already done so in the past.
What Do Voles Look Like?
Voles are small and chubby, with a tail like that of a mouse. They are usually 16 to 20 inches in length, with a short slender body and large eyes. Their fur is usually brown or grayish-brown in color, and they have soft short hairs on their tails which are almost hairless. They will also have small front paws which allow them to grasp what they are trying to chew on.
Are Voles Dangerous to Humans?
Generally no, they are not known to attack people but there are some cases where they will nip at your ankles while you’re gardening. Most of their attacks on humans only occur when they feel threatened or cornered in a particular area, which is why it’s important that you try and keep them out as much as possible.
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One of the most important things to do is inspect your vegetable garden often when you’re working in it. This will make it easier to notice any bare spots or openings in the soil because the voles will cause them.
You can also use a combination of different methods together at once, such as adding fencing and planting boxes. Also try and keep your pets and children away from the garden while you are tending to it, as they might be a distraction for the voles which could lead to different problems down the road.
Making sure that all of your tools are away from the garden and stored properly is an important part of preventing them from getting inside in any way possible.
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Voles are not your average garden pest, they are known to cause more damage than any other garden pest out there. If you’ve noticed a lot of damage in your vegetable garden and it almost looks like someone has been digging up the soil then it’s likely that you have voles in your area.
It’s important to keep an eye out for these creatures and do everything you can to keep them out of your garden. As long as you stay diligent and follow these tips, then you should be able to reduce the number of voles in your area significantly within a few weeks or months depending on how bad the problem is.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.