Methods For Repelling Or Controlling Moles And Voles

Filed Under: Animals and Rodents · Keywords: Methods, Controlling, Control, Repelling, Repel, Voles, Moles · 3034 Views
Over the years I have mulched three large flower beds with shredded hardwood. I see this has provided moles and voles with cozy winter cover. There are large and small holes with obvious tunnels. Would it be wiser to use large pieces
of tree bark instead? Is there anything else you can suggest? Many thanks. Diana

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Answer #2 · Maple Tree's Answer · Diana-You didn't describe any damage that the moles or voles are causing. Moles are mostly carnivorous and prefer a diet of insects such as grubs and earthworms. Their shallow tunneling under the garden soil surface and mounds of soil piled up from deeper tunneling can make for an unsightly garden or lawn. Some tunneling around grass and plant roots could cause some plant damage or death at times. Voles are vegetarians and definitely will eat plant roots, bulbs, and gnaw on just about any shrub or tree. Besides tunneling on their own the vole will also use tunnels already dug by moles. The burrowing of the vole into root systems and other areas of the ground for food sources can usually be identified by small holes such as you mentioned. The holes you see evidently lead to their nesting area and these are connected to a series of tunnels which they travel through to find their food.

Your question was interesting to me as I have had a few problems with moles, but never voles. The moles were not hard for me to deal with as trapping and other means of capture were fairly easy as their numbers were small. As Brent mentioned, I too don't like to kill even a mole if I don't have to. I found that preditors of the vole is most likely why my area has none or at least very few. Coyotes, hawks, owls, skunks, and raccoons are in large numbers in our area and may have over the years rid the voles in significant numbers. Possible our neigborhoods being cluddered with walled fencing, foundations, etc. hamper their movements unlike more open land areas. As Brent mentioned there are several way to get rid of the moles and voles or at least run them off into your neighbors yard.

Your question at this time was mainly regarding your mulching of your garden and a possible alternative that may be better than the one you have that is giving the little critters a secret runway that i'm assuming lead to your plants. I to believe the size of the pieces that make up the mulch would make no difference in their movements. The vole does not like to be in the open or easily seen. This is why they spend most of their time underground or move out of their burroughs at night. Keeping your much thinner like Brent said would probably deter some movement and possibly cause them to move were they feel more secure. I read where heavy mulch can give them confidence in movement. Even in the winter voles will use the cover of snow to move under and attack nearby plants. Brent is right that keeping a thinner layer of mulch may help. Keeping the mulch pulled back a couple of feet and not up against any of your plants will help to keep the voles from gnawing on plants. They supposedly would rather not eat a meal where they feel insecure. Not only your yard, but anywhere there is an abundance of vegetation or debri will be used to hide under and build nests. In areas where the vole survives comfortably you should keep your gardens weeded, avoid planting dense ground covers, and keep your lawns from becoming overgrown so that you are not creating a hidding place for them to live with all the amenities they need for their whole life (or is that vole life).

Thanks for the Great Question. We all learn from others questions and answers.


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Answer #1 ·'s Answer · Hi Diana - Not sure if using a mulch with larger pieces of wood mulch will help? I think keeping the mulch layer as thin as possible is the best way to go. These critters will tunnel just about anywhere there is soil and they eat foliage, roots, bark, seeds and other parts of plants and trees. Repelling them is another alternative. At our nursery and garden center we sell a repellent product called Holy Moley No More Moles made by St. Gabriel Organics. There are other products on the market as well.

I've heard there are ultrasonic and vibration devices that rid moles and voles from your yard. Some say that USED kitty litter sprinkled in the tunnels every three feet or so will repel the moles and voles. Makes sense as moles and voles are on the feline menu. But, since moles can dig an elaborate and extensive system of tunnels determining the right tunnels to treat could be frustrating. Also, you'd have to have a cat or a neighbor or friend who does for a fresh supply of litter. Chlorine bleach or ammonia poured down the holes is another method that might help to repel them but not sure what this might do to plants or a lawn? I've also heard that putting moth balls down the holes and in the tunnels can be an effective repellent.

Flooding an area with water might work by drowning them. I usually don't like to do anything to kill living creatures but when populations are out of control and you're about to pull your hair out from dealing with them sometimes it's the best alternative.

Hope these tips were helpful and also hope you get your critter problem taken care of!


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