Pest of the Month ~ Voles?

Such a beautiful morning…I gathered up onions, tomatoes, swiss chard, and lettuce in my big stainless steel bowl and headed over to the strawberry patch.

This is what I encountered…

vole hole

My first thought was moles. I looked it up online and found out a lot about moles and voles.  Moles eat earthworms and grubs, but voles eat vegetation…grasses, flowers, fruits, vegetables, bulbs, and roots.

Something has been chewing on the strawberries, so I have been picking them a little early when they are not quite ripe…just catching them when they start to redden and then letting them fully ripen on the window sill. I have been wondering what was gnawing on them…

Cute, isn’t he or she?

Young Field Vole or Short-Tailed Vole (Microtus agrestis)

This photo is from a great article by the Farmer’s Almanac… Pest of the Month: Moles and Voles

I guess we will be getting out our traps again.  This time a mouse trap might work, according to the  North Carolina Cooperative Extension

You can use a simple, wooden mouse trap baited with a peanut butter-oatmeal mixture or apple slices, although often you won’t need to use bait, because voles will trigger the trap as they pass over it. Trap placement is crucial. Voles seldom stray from their runways, so set traps along these routes. Look for burrows and runways in grass or mulch in or near the garden. Place the traps at right angles to the runways with the trigger end in the runway. Examine traps daily, removing dead voles or resetting sprung traps as needed. Continue to trap in one location until you stop catching voles then move the trap to a new location 15 to 20 feet away. Destroy old runways or burrows with a shovel or rototiller to deter new voles from immigrating to the site.

Trap4identification-MU-300x211

This trap picture is from the University of Missouri…more tips at their site…Controlling Voles

The Sage Butterfly also has some great tips… The Vole in the Garden : Control Tips

Anyone else encounter these garden pests?

Where are the hawks and the owls when I need them?

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Pest of the Month ~ Voles?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s