Holes in lawn
I have a lot of 2-3" wide holes in my lawn that I suspect is from mice or vole activity since we live in an orchard area. What's a good way to get rid of them? Thanks, Paul.
Multnomah County Oregon
Holes in the lawn are caused by many different animals from insects to mammals, and have several uses from digging for insects or other prey in the soil to burrows, nests and homes. This article describes the causes of some of these holes, Diagnosing Holes in the Yard https://naturalresources.extension.iastate.edu/wildlife/diagnosing-holes-yard. From your description of several holes in an area of your lawn, you may have voles in your lawn. You should see raised runways on the soil, radiating out. Voles also dig tunnels further down in the soil. Measure the actual entry hole. Voles are small, mouse-sized rodents (also called meadowmice) so the hole is small, 1-1.5 inches across, though the "porch" can be larger.
Vole populations fluctuate, peaking every 3-6 years. They are preyed on by a wide variety of animals including hawks, owls, snakes, coyotes, and cats. An effective way to control vole populations is to make voles more visible to their enemies. Remove cover in the form of grasses, weeds, etc. Keep the lawn mowed short. If you need stronger control methods, use old fashioned mouse traps bated with peanut butter across the runways. This article gives additional information on controlling voles, Voles http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7439.html.