Voles are small rodents, also known as meadow mice or meadow voles. Keep grass trimmed short and bushes trimmed up from the ground. And repair the damage. Like small fluffy mice with short tails, they might look cute but the vole has a voracious plant-based diet and couldn’t be happier feasting on your landscaping. They resemble field mice, except they have short tails, short ears, small eyes, and their fur is longer. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard! The damage to the lawn looks like irregular sunken tracks or paths that have been carved into the lawn. These vein-like patterns are actually surface tunnels or feeding runways and moles can construct them at a rate of 10 feet per hour. Remove their hiding places. They repeatedly use these paths and leave their excrement behind, causing even more damage. Weâre not making a mountain out of a vole hill! They leave rope-looking âvole runwaysâ in your lawn. Standard mouse snap traps set along runways or near tunnels will catch some animals. As such, they can destroy your lawn in very little time. The vole’s front teeth will leave ¼ inch side-by-side grooves in the wood. The snow provides the voles with a sense of protection from natural predators as they can move about freely under the snow cover without exposure to the outside. They’re about 4-8 inches long, and their fur is grey or brown. Consider humane traps (not snap traps) that catch but not kill the rodents. Remove woodpiles and other debris from the ground that may be hiding places for voles. The less affected areas will look good after light raking, while the more damage that has been done, the more our raking of the vole tracks will expose soil, holes, and roots. Later in the year when the irrigation is turned on, make sure to follow the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering technique as this watering technique will stimulate deep digging grass roots. The nutrient-rich top-soil will entice our freshly raked grass to expand and cover the vole damage. Voles can do some serious damage to your lawn. Like lawn damage, this can be tough to spot over the winter because voles do their dirty work under the snow. You can try setting mouse traps on their surface runways with peanut butter as bait. Once your yard is mole-free, you can begin to repair some of the damage that was done and reclaim your lawn again. Damage from voles can be a very unpleasant site in the spring when you see your lawn for the first time in months after the snow melts. In the first step, we use our rake to vigorously displace the vole holes, runways, and other damage. Vole baits should be placed inside bait stations to reduce the risk of non-target species ingesting the bait. Lawn damage is most visible in the spring. Vole damage can be extensive, reaching down to the roots and limiting their ability to recover. One female vole can have 5-10 litters in a year, averaging 3 to 5 young. We’re always happy to see a lawn recover from vole lawn damage, so if you’re still looking for help with your lawn, come down to Owenhouse Ace Hardware and we’ll get you set up with everything you need for voles and more. 2020 All rights reserved. Voles create tunnels or paths in the grass that have unusual patterns. Usually seen in early spring just after snowmelt, a series of criss-crossing trails can be viewed on the surface. Follow these tips to repair your lawn after vole damage: Now that youâve repaired your lawn, how do you keep voles from wrecking it again? Our state licensed lawn care technician will come up with a plan to correct the problems that are causing this situation. You can buy it at your local garden store near the pest control section. Without preventative measures, voles can cause a lot of damage to your lawn. They are about the size and shape of a mouse, and have small ears and a short tail. These critters gnaw on grass, vegetables, tubers, and garden plants â basically, everything you plant in your yard. Lawn damage is most visible in the spring. Most pesticides recommended for voles are restricted and can only be used by certified pesticide applicators. Itâs easy to spot and identify vole damage. My neighbor tells me they had a vole problem a few years before we moved in. Voles can also damage trees and shrubs. Voles, tend to follow the same paths, so just place the trap in a corridor left by the voles running across your yard. Fixing lawn damage caused by voles is easy with supplies you can find in your shed and pick up at Owenhouse Ace Hardware. In an average year, it may not even be worth the effort to control the population. When food sources are scarce, theyâll eat the bark around the bottoms of trees and shrubs. Once your yard is mole-free, you can begin to repair some of the damage that was done and reclaim your lawn again. Mole hills and tunnels can do significant damage to your lawn, creating tripping hazards and leaving grass roots exposed, which can … Voles do the most harm to small trees and shrubs when they chew on the bark, often hidden below winter snow. Shield the base of trees with tree guards or hardware cloth.Â. If you’ve ever seen a beautiful green lawn littered with two-inch holes or had root vegetables and flower bulbs disappear through the ground, or a seemingly healthy young shrub that leans when it used to be straight, then you may have witnessed the havoc that a small family of voles can wreak on an unsuspecting gardener. Many of these same techniques can be used to address damage to lawns caused by moles too. You need a trusted team of professionals that can remove the moles from your yard. Before we get into fixing the damage, we have to address the root cause of the problem, the voles have made your yard their home! The average mole must eat 80 to 100% of their body weight every day, and they must tunnel to get to the worms. The damage to the lawn usually occurred earlier in the winter months, but it isn’t noticed until a few months after the damage began. Treatment of Vole Damaged Lawns can be complicated. To make matters worse, vole damage seems to appear that much more dramatic when it’s combined with all the other conditions affecting the lawn … Follow along below for one of our preferred ways for addressing vole corridors and vole holes in … work by creating a high-pitched sound that is annoying and alarming for the animal but is inaudible to the human ear. A single burrow may contain several adults and large population can reach as many as 500 voles per acre. Voles, also known as field mice, are small brown rodents very common in yards and fields. Keep woodpiles and mulch piles off your lawn and away from trees. The base should be buried in the soil or have a soil ridge around the base. The simplest and best way we’ve found to get rid of voles is by using mouse-traps. This practice will reduce the habitat for voles and in theory, should reduce damage to the nearby turfgrass areas. Vole damage can also be severe if there is a nearby field grass or prairie grass area. Minnesota has several species of vole, the most common being the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogastor). Voles will make small holes with no mound and leave tracks on the surface of soft-ground and grass. It looks like dethatching is a must and then it looks like I would have to mow the lawn short so I can see to get to the valleys. But you can fix it with a bit of effort and time. Thorough core aeration, proper organic fertilization, and proper lawn watering will fix the majority of vole damage. As the surrounding grass grows, it will cover up the trails. Bird feeders are another attraction for voles. Voles sometimes use mole tunnels, which causes moles to be blamed for eating roots instead of the white-grubs they actually eat. Even one mole can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Reduce large vole populations with toxic baits. To prevent future damage to a lawn from voles the homeowner should set traps or contact an exterminator. Voles are prolific breeders with short gestation periods. Vole damage is normally not noticed until after the snow has melted. The best soil for this step is fresh compost, and if you don’t have a compost system, then we have you covered with planting soil. To repair the vole damage it is important to perform a very thorough core aeration. Mole activity increases when earthworms are present near the soil surface. How to manage vole damage on lawns, trees and shrubs, Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators. Come springtime, youâll discover the damage when the snow melts. does the trick just fine. Predator urine (i.e., fox or coyote) is a great repellent. Vole damage to lawns is usually first noticed in the early spring after the snow has melted. The guard should be tall enough to reach above the snow line in the winter. When we service your property, we will level any molehills we find. It is common to see the damage to a lawn many weeks after after it was created. These diagnostic tools will guide you step-by-step through diagnosing a plant problem or identifying a weed or insect.
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