Voles and moles -- strategies for control.

Asked March 7, 2017, 3:41 PM EST

Hi, I wonder if you have any suggestions for controlling moles and voles. The voles tunneled around and ate a lot of the roots of plants and wreaked general havoc in gardens. I think there are moles around too, but I know they are carnivores and don't eat plants. Any thoughts? Everything we have tried (trapping, putting out poison in vole holes, a solar powered device that emits a high pitched sound, etc) has not worked. Thanks, Dale

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

You are right, voles can damage plants and become a nuisance, while moles are fewer and can be considered beneficial.

The best way to lessen the numbers of voles is by trapping repeatedly with mouse snap traps baited with peanut butter.
Habitat modification such as keeping mulch no deeper than one inch, avoiding the use of landscape fabrics, mow weedy areas, and increase spacing between plantings to reduce cover.
Don't feed pets outside and clean up or take in bird feeders that spill seed.
Vole predators (cats, hawks, owls, crows, and snakes) help with control.
For additional information refer this publication: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/woodland-steward/FS654_Reducin...

Here too is our Nuisance Wildlife publication which covers more, including moles:
http://www.extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG90%2...

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