I live in Glen Arm, Md. in a wooded area. I am over run with moles/voles....

Asked March 31, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

I live in Glen Arm, Md. in a wooded area. I am over run with moles/voles. This has gotten progressively worse over the years. My property is being undermined and my hosta and root plants don't stand a chance. Please what to do???

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

It sounds like your worst problem is with the voles. The easiest way to deal with them is to place several standard, baited mouse traps around your ornamentals. Voles are colonizers and a colony could contain 80-100 voles. Bait your traps with peanut butter or a small piece of fruit and simply lay the traps on top of the soil near the area where their activity is heaviest. One enterprising homeowner tied cotton balls on the bait pedestal and doused it with marischino cherry juice. (She caught 57 using this method). If you have squirrels or other small animals that could trip the traps, you can cover the traps with a bucket, pot, or box. The voles will dig up from underneath to get the bait. If you catch some, keep trapping. Late summer and early fall is the best time to concentrate on voles as their food supply dwindles.
Moles, on the other hand, are not bad guys. They are loners, not colonizers. You may only have one or two moles in your entire landscape. They eat grubs, beetles and other insects and as they search for food, they aerate you lawn. True, they are a nuisance when their runways remain elevated. If you choose to eliminate moles, you can use the standard mousetraps, but first, select an active runway (one that reappears after being pushed down), remove the roof of the runway for about one foot and clean out the bottom of the runway. Set two unbaited traps and place them on the floor of the runway facing in each direction. Push the soil down just beyond each trap and cover the hole with a board, a piece of tile, or other appropriate cover so that no light can enter the hole. As the mole repairs his runway he will stumble into the trap. Check the traps each morning.