help with voles

gardenguruzone5(z5 MA)August 30, 2008

This spring I planted 20 feet of hostas. The voles chewed through them like they were grazing. No roots left! I have had problems in the past but it's just getting worse. I can't find any literature that really tells how to get rid of them. Because they're underground, it's difficult. I don't have a cat and travel too much to get one. I have too many perenniels to put them all in pots or in cages. HELP!!!! I'm desperate!


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You can trap them and if you're persistant about it, you can reduce the population significantly. Bait a mouse trap with peanut butter or a small piece of apple. Put it next to one of their holes and put a bucket upside down over the trap (they like the dark) and check it frequently. Several traps set up around the beds will usually catch quite a few of them within a few days.

Good luck. These critters are really destructive. Thankfully they seem to have population explosions and then die back to a more manageable number in a year or two. But in the meantime they can eat hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of plants.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:38AM
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gardenguruzone5(z5 MA)

Thanks for your response, Sandy. [ sorry for the delay in answering, we've been away.] We have caught a few in rat traps but I never thought of trying apples for bait. I'm always careful where I put the traps, sure don't want to catch a neightbors cat or a bird. Your pail idea is a good one, too.
thanks, again.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 4:12PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I finally got mad enough and ruthless enough to clear our vole infestation this year.

As the first round of attack, I put a tablespoon full of instant grits into any open holes and tried not to think about what a painful death they must have after the grits expanded in their stomach.

I saw one more open hole after that and used some of the oats treated with blood thinner that our county extension agent sells for squirrels and pack rats. It was not recommended for voles, but it still seemed to work. My yard has been vole free this summer.

Of course, I always cover the baited holes with a pail or flower pot so that birds won't get the grain.

Good luck


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 9:14PM
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gardenguruzone5(z5 MA)

I just don't seem to have the time to log on very often, Jan, but thank you so much for your response. So if the grits don't get them then the blood thinner will.... that's fine by me! I was hoping to do some canning for the winter and all the wildlife has eaten most of my produce. It's so discouraging. I worked so hard in that garden and all for nothing. I even start my tomatoes from seed. I'll be heading to the market in the morning for those grits. At least I can rid the yard [ I hope] of those pesky voles. Now to get the woodchuck!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 7:56PM
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