Voles are mouse-like rodents that terrorize lawns and other landscaping features. Although their average lifespan is only three to six months, they find plenty of time to wreak havoc on grass, trees, bulbs and plant roots. Voles live in the northern hemisphere, occupying mainly North America, Europe and Asia. There are 23 different species of voles in America. Voles are often mistaken for mice and have thick fur that is typically light brown or grey. They are sometimes referred to as field mice or meadow mice.They have tiny round ears, small beady black eyes and very short tails. Voles often leave tunnels in their wake, with large mounds of dirt near the entrance to the tunnel. Voles spend the majority of their time underground in complex tunnel and burrow systems. They have been known to stockpile seeds and other plant matter in their burrows. They often reside in large colonies underground, which offers protection and the availability to feast on vegetation roots from underneath.
Voles are not a seasonal pest. Voles can live year round, and they are not creatures that hibernate. They can be active both during the day and night and during all times of the year. During the winter months, their tunnels will be closer to the surface and sometimes be visible in the snow. Voles reproduce at a rapid rate with a single female being capable of having five to 10 litters during their short lifespan. A typical litter consists of three to six young voles, but they can have up to 17 babies in one litter. Due to their rapid rate of reproduction, there really is no such thing as a small vole problem. They reproduce throughout the year, but the peak season for new litters is during the spring and summer months.
Damage to landscaping. Voles are relentless foragers and chew up crops and vegetation at a stunningly rapid pace. They can completely destroy even a large lawn in a matter of days. Even when the unsightly dirt piles are removed and the tunnel entrances filled in, the damage that has been done under the surface is often extensive. They feed on the roots of grass and can deprive an entire lawn of its root system in a matter of weeks. They can even kill trees by chewing on the leaves, bark and roots.
If you see any signs of vole damage in your yard, the smart move is to call Optimum Pest Control immediately. As we have learned, the damage that you notice in your yard is likely a very small representation of the damage that is actually being done under the surface.