A homeowner’s lawn can play a huge role in the appearance and value of a property, making upkeep very important. Part of this upkeep involves making sure there is no damage done to your lawn. Unfortunately, activity from voles can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Voles are capable of decimating a well-kept lawn and forming their own runway paths, which can resemble an intricate maze that appears to only go in circles. These paths twist and turn throughout the yard, often times leading back to a large landscaping wall or some type of protective structure. For those homeowners who pride themselves in their lawn’s appearance, this can be rather concerning.
During the winter months, voles can chew away at the ground and form mazes along lawns without homeowner’s noticing, as this activity can happen easily underneath the snow. Because voles are a prey species, they prefer to have something above them so they feel safe, which is why you may notice a difference in your yard when the snow melts. With the recession of the snow, the remnants from a winter of vole activity are revealed and can leave homeowner’s in a panic.
Voles can burrow for nesting, but most of their activity includes running along the surface of the ground, right where the grass meets the dirt. They often times feed off of the root system of bulbs or newly planted garden, plants or flowers. In suburban yards we find them nesting under low level bushes or plants as well as digging around landscaping structures. They are most commonly found near wooded areas.
How Voles Differ From Mice
Although voles can carry the appearance of shrews and mice and their activity can often have them confused with moles, these landscape rodents have distinctive differences from their cousins. Voles have longer fur and shorter tails than mice and their color varies from grey to chestnut brown depending on the species. Voles are typically slightly larger than mice and they prefer to stay on the exterior of homes. However, we do occasionally find them inside during the Winter here in Minnesota. Moles have similar activity in their destruction to your yard, but they are actually burrowing underneath the root systems of your yard or garden and will rarely surface to cross a solid surface like a driveway or sidewalk.
What Can You Do About It?
Due to the exterior activity of these rodents, the control tactics are most successful when performed in an ongoing manner. We provide both a trapping program as well as an exterior rodenticide program to decrease the activity of these rodents around your home and garden. To make sure you don’t fall victim to vole damage, call Abra Kadabra Environmental Services at (763) 537-0330.