How do I get rid of voles without killing them?

Asked September 29, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

I am being overrun with voles ALL around the foundation of my house. There are three times the "vole holes" there as last year. They are also eating some of my favorite flowers' roots! They deserve to live, but HOW do I get them to go live elsewhere? Are they harmful, or do they carry disease that might harm my two dogs? My dogs are vaccinated, but these voles are also making holes all around my dog run! What can I do?

Clay County Missouri wildlife damage management integrated pest management wildlife lrk

1 Response

Thanks for your note. Voles can be very difficult to control. However, if populations are high and damage is significant you may need to use a registered rodenticide or traps to eliminate the problem animals. I have attached a link to MU Guide G9445 which describes techniques that you might consider (both lethal and non-lethal). http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G9445

Non-lethal techniques include the use of repellents and preventative measures such as removing cover and food sources. There are repellents that contain various "thiram" and "hot sauce" active ingredients that registered for vole damage control on ornamental plants. They are not registered for use on gardens or plants intended for human consumption. However, repellents are relatively expensive to use and, at best, provide only short-term protection. Precipitation often washes off the repellent and re-application through the year is often necessary.
I hope this is helpful.