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Voles

What is a vole? A vole is a rodent and looks much like a mouse, only with shorter tails, they are dark brown in color and about five inches in length. To some this may sound like a cute and innocent critter and as long as it stays out of the house. Sure, out of the house is great, but these small rodents can wreak havoc on your yard and turn it into something resembling Swiss cheese in a short time.
Voles make networks of well defined, visible surface tunnels across the lawn with golf ball sized holes near the damage being made. Most of their time is spent inside the tunnels but they do venture out occasionally. Most voles are plant-eaters, feeding on grass and perennial-flower roots, seeds and bulbs. It won’t take long for voles to quickly colonize an area, as they are prolific reproducers. It takes about 21 days for impregnation to baby vole delivery of 3 to 6 young at a time; they can push numbers of up to 30 offspring per year.
Voles can really do some damage during the winter months when the ground is covered in snow. Most people don’t even realize they have voles until the snow melts away and all the tunnels and damage is visible.
Voles are smart and can be pretty tough to get rid of. If you are a “do it yourselfer” and want to give it try on your own before calling a professional, here are some tips:
 Nature vs. Nature: a great way to help control voles is to get a cat. Cats are great hunters and love hunting for rodents.
 Add a tall 15 foot bird perch to your yard for hawks and owls
 Adding more trees to attracted other types of birds is a good idea
 If you have snakes around your property (and don’t mind them of course!) don’t disturb them, snakes are a natural predator of voles
 For gardens, adding sharp material into the soil may discourage them from tunneling. Course gravel and commercial products such as Permatill are a great source.
Or if you prefer the professional handle it, give us a call!  We can discuss other available options to fit your situation and needs.

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