What do you do with Voles or Moles?

homegroOctober 23, 2011

First of all, I don't exactly know the differences between the two pests. Also, I am not sure whether they really do much damages to the garden. It is a little bit annoyed to see the ground tunnels with some small holes here and there, but I never noticed my veggies had been damaged by them in an obvious way. Should I continue to torrelate them or what? How do you deal with them if you have voles or moles in your garden? Thank you in advance for the thoughts.

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ltilton

First thing is to identify what you've got. Voles are small, often identified as mice. They look rather like round mice with short tails.

Moles are much larger with large digging front paws.

Voles eat vegetation, being particularly fond of roots. They breed furiously and will overrun if not constantly controlled.

Moles eat grubs and earthworms. The damage they do is from their tunneling and digging, not because they're directly after your plants.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 1:45PM
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homegro

Thanks much, ltilton. That's one thing, I'd never seen them physically except their tunnels and holes. From what you said, it would sound like Moles are not that bad after all. I also did not notice any of my veggies loosing roots, although I don't keep very close track on them. They definitely seem not as bad as groundhogs or racoons for sure.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 2:33PM
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ltilton

Mole tunnels are very conspicuous - raised humps. If you step on them, they collapse.

Vole tunnels are like an inch or so wide and not raised any higher, if that.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 7:37PM
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homegro

Mine's must be Moles then. I have been stepping on their tunnels, and yes they collapsed, easily. Even their holes are deep and loose around, I can easily fill them with big handful of loose dirt. But if they eat grubs, isn't it a good thing?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:44PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Voles are voracious and especially like brassicas. They are a scourge in any vegetable garden.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:46PM
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ltilton

There's a lot of ambivalence about moles. Some people are more tolerant of them than others. I don't care for them because you can sprain your ankle stepping inadvertently in a hole.

Voles - no ambivalence. They breed more rapidly than mice and will do lots of damage if left uncontrolled. I have a good vole-hunting cat.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:48AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Do American moles make mole hills? They're a dead giveaway with European moles.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:49AM
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lonmower(zone8 Western Oregon)

flora uk

On which side of the pond was the expression..."Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill," coined?

Yes... our American Moles make hills, and most of us try not to make them "mountains"

My view is that moles/voles are pests...if you want pests in your garden, then let them frolic at will!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:30AM
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noinwi

Voles are a favorite snack of our cats. They're easy to catch since they do a lot of their tunneling on the surface under grass/vegetation mounds. Even in the winter here they will tunnel under the snow looking for food. We keep the cats inside once the temps get really frigid, but before that we will see them staring at and listening to the snow, waiting to pounce.
I do mostly container gardening, but when I lived in the PNW and had an in-ground garden I would occasionally see coyotes hunting mice and/or voles in it early in the morning. They(voles)are a food source for many animals and birds.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:56AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

In my opinion, moles in the GARDEN can escape my wrath entirely. Moles in the LAWN will require some sort of punishment. Moles in the golf course will be eliminated.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:00PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

rhizo - my sentiments exactly - rather used to me. Now that my priorities have reversed, I spend more time in the garden. Soooo - I'll whack em hard in the garden - you get em in the golf course.

But - when you feel like returning to gardening - just remember, it's OK to switch.

Bejay

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:35AM
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