We have voles in our lawn, flower beds and raised beds. How can I get rid of them with out harming the birds and the neighbors cat that's frequently in our yard? Garden Center sells a Caster Oil product they claim rids yard of Voles. Do you think it works? I'll pay the Pros if they can rid yard of Voles, and for how long?
Voles can be serious problems in home yards and gardens and control is not often easy.
There are a number of repellents registered to reduce feeding damage to plants and castor oil based products have shown some results when used at the highest allowable concentrations but none of the repellents are very effective in making the rodents move out and none of them eliminate feeding entirely.
For home gardeners, trapping is probably the most effective, along with habitat management.
Common mouse traps baited with apple pieces and placed set in the runways and tunnels are very effective for eliminating voles. The traps should be covered with boxes, flower pots or sections of rain gutter material to keep out cats, birds and other animals. Make sure there is enough room for the traps to function.
More information and details about trapping and habitat modification for managing voles can be found at these web sites:
In some states, certain rodenticides are available for home use for vole management. These can be very effective and reasonably safe to use as long as the label directions are exactly followed.