Answers To Boise's Most Commonly Asked Vole Questions

February 15, 2021

Everyone appreciates a pretty lawn. There is just something about green, even, and healthy-looking grass that catches a person’s attention. That said, the opposite is also true. If a lawn is unhealthy, filled with holes, and drying everyone notices. One pest that regularly destroys lawns and landscaping in our area are voles. If you don’t know much about these damaging pests, here are the answers to Boise’s most commonly asked questions about voles.

vole looking for food in the grass

What Do Voles Look Like?

Voles are small, mouse-like rodents. Growing to be anywhere from five to eight inches long, these short-tailed yard pests are best identified by their small ears, short tails, small eyes, and brown to grey fur. The holes voles dig are typically two inches wide and surrounded by loose dirt. The tunnels these pests dig are close to the surface and are sometimes made visible by the damage they cause above ground. 

Do Voles Infest Homes?

Unlike other rodents such as mice and rats, voles do not invade homes. They are much more likely to invade a greenhouse or garden as their diet consists of plants and roots. When the weather gets cold outside, instead of trying to find their way indoors, all voles need is their cozy tunnels to be happy.

What Types of Damage Do Voles Do?

Voles dig shallow tunnels beneath lawns and use them to scavenge for roots, bark, seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and other delicacies around properties. This scavenging, however, is not the main problem. How shallow the tunnels these pests create are is what causes visible damage to lawns. 

Not only do they create lines of dead grass, but the tunnels themselves are noticeable with the way they rise out of the ground and sometimes collapse creating trenches throughout yards. Furthermore, voles damage trees by chewing away at the bark around their base. This prevents trees from getting the proper nutrients they need to grow green and healthy, and eventually results in their death.

Are Voles Dangerous?

Despite their soft and lovable appearance, these yard pests can carry dangerous diseases. They spread these sickness vectors off their bodies and around yards with their fecal matter and urine. Some common diseases voles transmit include rabies, Trypanosoma microtia, and hantavirus.

What Attracts Voles to a Yard?

Voles like yards for what they offer. Typically, voles infest properties with healthy plant growth, trees, and available food sources.  Voles also love properties with plenty of natural and unnatural cover. Cleaning up clutter from your yard, installing a fence around your garden, and removing litter and debris will help deter these pests from settling in close by.

What Do Voles Hate?

Studies have found voles aren’t fond of plants like daffodils, Italian arum, and grape hyacinths, but in truth, these pests are happy as long as they have food to eat and somewhere to hide.

How Do I Get Rid of Voles?

It is easy to damage your lawn while trying to handle a vole infestation. To maintain what you can of your grass, landscaping, and trees and effectively remove these furry pests from your property, do not hesitate to get a professional involved. At Owyhee Environmental, we offer comprehensive solutions for all sorts of lawn and garden pests. From gophers, to moles, to voles, we offer solutions for whatever creatures are digging around and damaging plants around your property.
Contact our team today to learn more about our services and schedule a pest inspection around your Boise property.

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