If you’ve heard of them, you’ve probably had them. If they sound like some super rodent from a pest control technician’s comic book, that’s because they kind of are. Don’t let their size fool you. Voles may be small, but they are a force to be reckoned with.
WHAT IS A VOLE?
Voles are small rodents found throughout North America. They measure four to seven inches in length with an average weight of one ounce. Grayish brown in color, voles’ distinguishing features include stocky, rounded bodies, blunt noses, relatively small eyes and flattened ears. Cute? Yes. Destructive? Absolutely.
Though voles don’t inherently pose a danger to people, these fast-breeding, underground dwelling terrors should be taken seriously.
Voles have exceptional burrowing and tunneling abilities. Just ask any homeowner whose garden was destroyed by voles, or tree killed by their persistent tunneling.
The tunnels they dig destroy lawns and leave surface holes big enough for running pets to trip in, potentially causing injury and warranting thousands of dollars in re-sodding dead grass.
Voles damage is often mistaken with mole and gopher damage, despite the tunnels and mounding all being distinctly different.
- Moles powerfully push dirt out of their way, while tunneling. While hunting for grubs and things, They tunnel upwards, displacing the excavated dirt, leaving mounds on the surface.
- Voles instead travel the same runs over and over, looking for food. They also tunnel underground to eat the roots of grass, bushes, plants, and other vegetation, killing it off from below and leaving a decaying, sunken trail.
Voles are the most prolific breeders in the rodent family.
They can reproduce up to 12 times a year with an average of three to seven pups per litter. Translation? A female vole can birth more than 100 offspring in a single year. Not to mention, they’re able to start giving birth at just 3 weeks old!
3 – 7 pups
10 – 12
20 – 23 days
Voles can be found throughout North America in dense grassy fields, gardens, meadows, woodlands, along lakes and rivers and in agricultural areas. Voles make their nests in underground burrows around tree roots, ground cover and beneath fruit trees. From their nests, voles tunnel beneath the ground in their endless search for food.
ver 150 species of voles on earth. In North America: meadow vole, prairie vole, long-tailed vole, pine vole, montane vole and woodland vole.
Underground, just beneath the surface of the earth.
Voles can be active on up to 1.5 acres of land.
Day and night, year round.
Voles are vegetarians, thriving primarily on plants, roots, grasses, tree bark, fruits and nuts. They are hearty eaters, consuming their weight in food every day. Voles like dining on succulent root systems and will burrow beneath ground cover and plants, gnawing away at the vegetation until they kill it. Bulbs, another favored food, are easily accessible to voles, thanks to their tunneling prowess.
Up to 100% of its bodyweight
Primarily from moisture in food sources
Roots, barks, grasses, stems, leaves, fruits and nuts
If you’re starting to see trails dug into your lawn, don’t just chalk it up to your dog’s potty habits.
These little guys may very well be killing off your grass, digging small holes, and eating the life out of your vegetation’s roots.
Get an EDGE Service Specialist out to your home today…we know how to send them packing.