And while it is tied to food supplies, no one has been able to crack the code in predicting when the next high population year will be. They can be completely free of grass, or look like miniature grassy ditches. As the vole pathway can be thought of as a rut, the mole pathways can be thought of as tunnels. The one on the right is either an Eastern mole or a Hairy Tailed Mole. If no runways from burrowing are readily available, but you still suspect a vole infestation, go ahead and mow your lawn. Even if you have a simple yard with a grass lawn and a tree in the corner, a vole family will still be happy to settle in. Even though there are omnivores, like most rodents, voles have a strong preference for grasses and roots. The decision is whether to exclude the voles and how to do it. It works well if the vole is causing issues in your lawn and garden. Sometimes the activity of mowing or using the lawn can cause these squatters to move on to quieter residences. “Is there a lot of excavation(mounding) and raised areas or does it just seem like things have been pushed out of the way?”. As such, they can cause a great deal of damage to any outdoor property in a very short amount of time. Because they don’t move much dirt, there will be no mounding associated with voles (field mice). It comes down to how much time people can afford to invest in the effort. You should have caught a few by that time. LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. If they are not eradicated, they can burrow and tunnel quickly, causing dead patches that make your lawn look like it's been scorched by the sun. Mole Damage Versus Vole (Field Mouse) Damage, Recipe for Squirrels: Water & Shoddy Work. So, before we go any further, let’s clear it up. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. Even if your yard or lawn doesn’t have any specific vegetation on it other than the grass, it can still be an attractive target to a vole colony. Since moles thrive under the surface, that’s where the trapping needs to happen. The next step is exclusion: installing physical barriers to keep voles out. “Voles and mice are rather cousins than brothers or sisters”, the experts add. They can also poison other animals, including birds and small mammals such as squirrels and chipmunks. Finding a vole in your house is a rare thing, however. Gnawed stems may have a pointed tip, and the roots or tubers may also show the same wear. Moles are generally more destructive to lawns than voles, and more difficult to remove. The mole on the left with the funky nose is a Star-nosed mole. Your best bet at controlling voles is making sure they never take up residence in the first place. Whoever gave these small mammals their English names didn’t do a lot of pre-planning. So, what exactly are the types of vole damage you should look out for? Moles have shallow subsurface feeding tunnels and deeper interstate-type tunnels for safe travel to distant locations. But due to the sheer number of voles present in many areas, those approaches can be so labor-intensive they’re futile, says the University of Massachusetts Extension. Voles often create shallow tunnels on the surface of the lawn that become visible as snow melts (see above photo). Definitely not!”, commented professional exterminators Fantastic Pest Control UK. The soil is healthy, and that thick green turf covers your yard like a carpet. Sanchez doubted the effectiveness of repellents, saying the first concern with using them is where the voles would end up. “The larger the area, the less feasible snap-trapping becomes,” she says. Pre-bait with oats or seeds before using certain toxicants, which can have a bitter taste. The damage they do is from eating the plant material that is in their pathways and eating the roots of some ornamental shrubs they live in. . That, in turn, makes you disturbed because you know some creature has been crawling around making this damage but you’re not sure which animal. These parasites can bring scary diseases in with them, such as Lyme disease, which can have lifelong medical implications. As seen in Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy to schedule service with a local lawn care professional. You can think of vole travel paths as ruts. That, in turn, makes you disturbed because you know some creature has been crawling around making this damage but you’re not sure which animal. Vole damage in lawn. When talking about rodent pests, the first question that arises is usually about diseases, and the second – about property damage. But voles don’t need snow for cover, explains the University of Maryland Extension. Here is a good example of some holes that lead to burrows. That is, as long as it was actually a vole and not another rodent species. Voles are plump little critters and eat grass, bulbs, and tree/shrub bark as well as other plant material. But as with most pest control issues, an integrated pest management approach will be the most effective. They’ll move in, cut tunnels through your lawn and snack on your grass until they’ve cut roads through that perfect lawn. In today’s post we’ll differentiate between mole damage and vole damage; informing you how to distinguish between the two. And voles are not an exception. Aside from setting eyes on the animals, those runway systems are how you know you’ve got voles. The one letter difference in what they’re called often proves to be a stumbling block in communication about the animals. Voles may be non-aggressive and uninterested in getting into our homes, but they can still cause a great deal of damage to our outdoor property. Not pretty at all, and very frustrating if you have put work into having a beautiful yard. Photo credit: Troy Salzer: In the home lawn Voles - Voles are small brown rodents about the size and shape of a mouse. Bury the bottom of the fence two to three inches beneath the surface. They have small eyes and their ears are furred and don’t project much. Evidence of a lot of moved dirt makes sense considering those claws pictured above are so well adapted for it. By contrast, moles are looking primarily for earthworms below the lawn surface, creating an occasional volcano by pushing up large amounts of soil. Parasites: Any wildlife, rodents or otherwise, can bring secondary pests into your yard, and possibly into your home, and voles are no exception. Once the spring snowmelt comes you will start to see any evidence of winterkill — the blanket term for all sorts of damage caused by the cold. Cleaning Up Voles’ Mess in Lawns. Their damage may not be as easy to spot, but they still have their tells. The cylinder should be 18 inches higher than the maximum snow depth in winter. The 12 States Where Christmas Tree Harvesting Has Sagged the Most, How to Identify Northern Virginia Grass Types, 4 Lawn Diseases to Watch for in San Antonio, TX, How to Prepare Your Lawn for the New Year. Anyone who tells you different, and believe us when we say we’ve heard from many, is not going to be a consistent mole trapper. This makes concave little passageways open to the surface. You are looking at your lawn or mulch bed and it is disturbed. A mole is an insect eating, underground dwelling, dirt digging machine.