Is there anything we can do to prevent the damage? Keep mowing your lawn in the fall until frost, but don’t mow it shorter than two inches to prevent winter injury to the grass. It’s true that we usually think of voles as spring or summertime pests in gardens, but fact is that most of the damage that voles do is done during the winter months. Lawn damage is most visible in the spring. Be proactive in eliminating grubs and other pests from your yard to help control mole populations, as well. Once you’ve rid your outdoor space of uninvited guests, replace the plants they’ve ravaged and otherwise spruce up the area. Cats are especially notorious for pest prevention and rodent control around properties. Prevent and manage vole damage through yard sanitation, reseeding grass, tree guards, trapping and pesticide application. If possible, avoid extermination. Although it’s illegal to kill voles in some parts of the country, relocating them is fair game—and entirely humane. Walk carefully around the entire length of your property, paying special attention to the ground. Bait traps with peanut butter or apple and set them at a 90-degree angle to the vole “runway.” Once you’ve captured the critters, release them far from residential areas—and at least half a mile from your home. While we are usually inclined to go ahead and mulch before the cold weather sets in, this creates an insulated environment for moles, as well as your plants. (978) 342-4240, April through October You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Voles despise the smell and taste of castor oil. Step 3: Monitor for Critters. Try this approach in a small garden; for greater expanses, pick up coyote or fox urine, available at home improvement stores and trapper supply houses (typically priced at $15 for an 8-ounce bottle). Because these pests are diggers, be sure to bury the fencing at least a foot down. The scent of predators can send voles scrambling. (508) 872-4420, 225 Cedar Hill Street, Ste 200 Nashua, NH 03063 The cliche of “making a mountain out of a mole hill” isn’t far from the truth. Unlike many mammals, voles do not hibernate, or even slow down, during the winter. Make a capsaicin spray with water, hot pepper flakes or chopped hot peppers and biodegradable dish soap. While these are easy to spot in the summertime, they can often go undetected in the winter months, giving you less opportunity to identify and eliminate them early. Instead of installing mulch in early fall, try to wait until after the first frost. (508) 485-6006, 344 Main Street | Nashville Charter #4109 |. To prevent vole damage to trees, clear snow from around the trees’ trunks, or install a wire mesh cylinder around the trunk that is buried 3-6 inches in the soil and extends 18 inches above the surface. The first and the most effective step is habitat modification. (603) 880-7900, 3 Executive Park Drive, Ste 9 Moles can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. The way to prevent vole winter damage is to implement vole control measures before winter. L. B., Candia, NH. As the soil freezes, moles move from tunneling near the surface to digging deeper in the ground. Worcester, MA 01604 By preventing them from digging you can limit the damage inflicted and hopefully encourage them to move on to another yard. Don’t rely on outdoor cats to be of much help, though—they can’t be bothered going after pests who spend most of their time underground. Vole damage isn’t usually discovered until snow melt in spring. Poison can be viable against voles, but toxins may pose a risk to children, pets, and other wildlife. They can girdle and kill small trees. So your first move is to eliminate environments that make voles feel at home: excess brush and mulch, leaf piles, wood stacks, and tall grasses. The good news is they don’t like to climb, so fencing need only be a foot tall. Since voles do not go far away from their nests in... 2. If you’ve never actually seen a vole, it’s not surprising. Then why not ask people over to enjoy your gorgeous garden! 1-800-525-8084, We’re not satisfied until you are. In general, the more snow, the more vole damage you’ll see. Because of this, it is important to take precautionary measures early before the winter season sets in. Jill Lawrence O'Hara, Bob Vila, 10 Cleaning Chores You Should Be Doing Every Week, The Dos and Don'ts of Air-Drying Everything You Own, 5 Ways to Prevent Cracks in Concrete—and 1 Easy Fix. Step 4: Create a Long-Term Strategy. Seresto Dog Flea Collar. Fitchburg, MA 01420 Remove materials that provide winter cover for voles such as heavy mulch, heavy leaf cover, weeds, wild grasses, and litter. Here are some steps you can take for mole prevention this winter. Keep It Dry. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Mulch is a very effective insulator for plants during cold weather. Mole problems can manifest quickly into mole infestations and they can be extremely difficult to control and eliminate. (603) 436-6000, Copyright © 2020 Colonial Pest Control, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Finally, try natural deterrents. Hopefully by that point, moles and other pests have established themselves in a more hospitable environment than in your yard. Yet evidence of the pests’ presence is unmistakable: Their maze of 2-inch-wide tunnels leads to dying plants and displaced grasses. Monday through Friday: 7:00AM to 6:00PM Plastic weed barriers on plant beds actually encourage vole tunneling. Fill out the form below or call (888) 466-7849 for a free, no-obligation estimate.