killing voles

sassy7142(z5 OHIO)September 14, 2010

Make sure you check out BOTH videos.

Interesting videos. Instructions are about

as easy to understand as they get.

I've been overrun with voles this year and

have lost several plants because I haven't

been keeping up. Yesterday I dropped four

different kinds of rat/mice poison in their

holes. Just wanted to give 'em some variety.

Nothing like a buffet of poison.

I'll be trying the two methods shown on these

videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJDnZQFLdpQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9cFspBjb-U

Here is a link that might be useful: trapping voles

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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

My hubby bought me some of those white snap traps that you
see on one of the videos. He found them at a Landmark feed store. They cost more than the cheaper wood snap traps.
They come in a pack of two for $4.99. On the second video you see pieces of rain gutters used. Hubby didn't buy a section gutter for the project, he told me to just use some of the big plastic pots that we have. I still want to try the project exactly as instructed in the video. I think I'll buy dark brown gutter instead of white though, which will be less conspecious in the yard.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:58AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Are voles nocturnal or diurnal?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 12:26PM
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aahostas(z5 central Il.)

Sassy,
They are active both day and night but spend around 80% of their life underground. In Judy and coll's case they are totally nocturnal..( I have a day job!) and will remain that way until I retire or win the lottery..:)

Denny

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 12:51AM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

I put mouse pellets into their runs, and it is quiet now.
Bernd

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 8:46AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

OK, The vole trapping experiment didn't go well.

Last night I set out 10 of those whitish colored clothspin type traps, baited with peanut butter, and set them OVER the hole, (just as the guy in the video did). I set them in an area of the yard away from the hosta beds that also has alot of vole holes.

This morning I found:
2 traps are missing.
2 were sprung and moved away from the hole.
1 had the bait licked off.
Most had ants all over the bait
NO VOLES WERE CAUGHT.

I figure the coons took the 2 traps with them.

So, here's what I just finished doing.

I took the remaining 8 whitish snap traps, baited them again with fresh peanut butter, placed them NEXT to the hole, covered them with a large black plastic plant pot and then set a heavy cinder block/building block on top. (the kind they make basements with)

I also took 4 regular wooden mouse traps, (the hubby put 4" nails in them) I baited them with peanut butter, set them in the ground Next to the hole, covered them with a pot and placed a cinder block on top.

Coons are pretty strong and ingenious, they might be able
to move the cinder block to get to the peanut butter.

As far as the traps go....The clothspin type trap is so much easier to use and only a moron could get their fingers caught in them, but I purposely snapped it on my finger and it just doesn't have a lot of tension that the older wooden
snap traps have. BTW, those wooden ones scare me half to death....and they hurt too!

So, I lost $5.00 worth of traps and no voles.
Maybe tonight with go better.
The rat/mouse poison that I put out the other day in my hosta beds is so much easier to use. I hope it works.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Hi Sassy, I'm Judy, the one who had the terrible dream because of these dreaded voles. Hopefully Denny will win the lottery soon and stay away, lol!! Anyway, I used apple pieces that worked pretty well and even caught a couple in the middle of the day. I have used both to bait them and it worked pretty well but after catching about 10 I realized I needed some poison. I too poured some pellets down a couple active tunnels and haven't had anything in a week or so uprooted. I only used a little and then covered one hole back up with mulch and covered a couple more with very heavy pots. Haven't tried Dennys brick method yet but will if this doesn't work. I do feel your pain and am sorry you are going thru this too. Good luck, Judy

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 2:27PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

After a few days of no activity after putting poison pellets into holes and runs, I flatten all tunnels and fill up the holes with soil. When there is no activity after that, that is victory. But victory is only temporary because after a few weeks reinforcements will have infiltrated out of the woods through runs further down in the soil and over the surface. So I check for activity on my 1/2 acre property every few weeks and defend my plants then again.

What really is disgusting is seeing runs around hostas as if they gnaw off roots. My activity was in sandy loam which I had added compost to. There is no problem with voles in plantings in clay. Perhaps I should add sharp stones like turkey grit in all sandy soils I have planted in and will plant, like an anti-vole amendment. I will go and look for a bag of "turkey grit" and use it!
Bernd

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 7:08PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

I just checked my traps, no voles again. grrrrr

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:21PM
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coll_123(5)

We bought some wooden traps and will be trying those this week. Saw a great tip on youtube where you put a long nail thru the trap which then stakes the trap firmly in place on the ground. (not sure if that was in one of those links above)

I still don't feel good using any sort of poison with dogs around. First, I don't know which holes are the homes and which might just be access points, or inactive runs. So we'll try the traps for now, and I'm still moving just about anything I can into a pot.

Regarding planting in clay, I can see how that wouldn't be enticing to voles, but how can the hosta grow well if the soil isn't loose and loamy?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 1:45PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

I just bought one 50 lbs bag of chicken grit for $8 at a local store catering to farmers. Interestingly they also had a 5 lb bag for $7.50, but the bag was fancy. I plan to provide those hostas which were "ringed" by the voles with a ring of chicken grit of 2 ft diameter, might help. Today no vole activity again. Whichever vole found the poison pellets must have brought them home to his family, that's the plan.
Good luck!
Bernd

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 7:47PM
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coll_123(5)

Yeah, I saw some small plastic baggies filled with Turkey grit at Agway, which would be much more expensive than small gravel at a landscape supply store. They charge $6 to fill a 5 gallon bucket of whatever gravel I want. I need to go back to Agway and inquire about larger bags or turkey grit, which might be more economical than the baggies on the shelf. I never even knew what turkey/chicken grit was until all this vole stuff this year. Still not sure I know what it is!

We set about ten traps tonight...we shall see.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

So what is chicken or turkey grit? How are you going to use it? We have a farm supply store in the same shopping center as our pharmacy so I may go by there tomorrow and see if they sell it. I am willing to try ANYTHING or should I say add ANYTHING that will keep them at bay. These things have been my worst nightmare and I am soooo tired of thinking about them. It has been over a week since anything has been uprooted, that I see at least, so I hope they are eating the poison and dying. grrrr....... Judy

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 10:19PM
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coll_123(5)

I'm not exactly what it's used for in regards to chickens or turkeys, but it just looks like rather sharp, little pieces of gravel?. The Agway I went to had it in different sizes. So I guess you would use it to either line planting holes, as mulch on the top, or a moat around the plants. Or mixed in with your garden or potting soil.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 11:27PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

I also went to an Agway, did not know if it is also in other parts of the US. They did not know about "Turkey" grit, but had different grades of Chicken grit. I bought "Grower" which seemed to be the average, also had "Starter", etc.
I will make a moat and see what it brings. Someone here digs first a big hole, then lines the hole with grit, then fills the lined hole with soil and hosta, then covers all on the surface with grit. But I do not want to uproot the plants now, but would replant an uprooted hosta the described way.
Bernd

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 8:24AM
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coll_123(5)

Yeah, I don't want to uproot anything right now either. But I do plan on mulching each hosta with some small gravel this Fall. I have several holes right near the base of the hosta, and I don't know if those are entrance or exit holes. I'm thinking that the moat digging will be easier once the leaves go down as well.

Caught not a single vole last night. My husband checked this morning and said some traps were spung, and some weren't, but that there was a lot of fresh dirt and "filled" holes (we stationed the traps right in front of the holes). So I have no idea how that happened or what's going on out there.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:02AM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

There are other vole like critters (field mice, chipmunk, mole) out there also building tunnels or using other's tunnels.
I just removed a patch of raspberries and could there now see the ground, and there were holes too, but had not seen any activity around it, so I dug it up all around, will be watching that. The more hostas you plant tight, the more unobservable spaces are below those leaf canopies, and probably more hiding places and holes of those pests.
Good luck!
Bernd

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 6:06PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

3rd night
12 traps out
NO VOLES

What a waste of time the traps are.
I need more poison. Will be looking to buy it in bulk.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 8:17PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Love this thread! The voles are back in my beds, and everytime I see a hole, I put a rock in it or cover it. They dig more holes.But I think their tunnels for travel can go deep. Around my beds is clay....and guess what? They'll put a little entrance hole there, too.
One problem, the moles that came this spring, have left tunnels for them to use! I'm seeing a lot of activity, and getting nervous, as one hole was near a prized plant. The other holes are around foundation of house, as they are setting up camp for the winter like they did last year.
Traps haven't worked for me, and it looks like they aren't for you all.
I'll try one more thing before I resort to poison.......
It kept the mice outta my house, and since these guys are related, it might work. I'll let you know(if you're interested).
G

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 6:21AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

4th night
12 traps out
NO VOLES

The traps are just not working for me, so
I just ordered a bunch of poison.
I don't know if I ordered from the cheapest place
on the net, but I'm in a hurry today and I liked
what the company said.
Here's the info:
They said that this poison treats rats, mice and VOLES.
I bought a box of 250 packets (each packet contains 2 oz)
The instructions for voles is to pour 1/2 packet (1 oz) into
the hole. So the box will treat 500 holes. I was told to
store it in a dry place and it will keep.
The cost was $149.94 with free shipping.
They also have smaller amounts for sale, but I usually
buy in bulk when I'm on a mission, and the voles and nematodes are my mission right now.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:19PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Forgot to give you the other info.
I bought from Pestcontrolsolutions.com
and the product is called Kaput 'Combo Bait Pellets'

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:24PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

ooops, so sorry, I gave the wrong web address.
It's called pestcontrol-products.com
Sorry.
~Sassy~

Here is a link that might be useful: vole poison

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 12:38PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

They say, Haste makes waste....I was in such hurry getting
info to you this afternoon before I left for work and I
kept making typos. Sorry 'bout that.
Hopefully, below I'll type in the correct web address for you to view.

Here is a link that might be useful: vole poison

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 2:23AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Wow, sassy, that's a lot of money!!!!
You are on a mission.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 5:44AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Yeah, it is a lot of money, but it does treat 500 holes, keeps well if kept dry, and buying in bulk is the cheapest way to go in the long run. I almost always buy in bulk if I can.
I love Sam's Club stores.
I hope the box arrives soon. I'm very anxious to try it out. The fact that they advertise that it kills voles is what sold me. It must have the smell/taste of hosta roots in it as an attractant. I can't believe how many hosta I've lost this year from the voles. I have holes everywhere.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 11:57AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

If the $150.00 worth of vole poison that I just bought doesn't work, this is my next plan. See video below.

Here is a link that might be useful: this should get 'em

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:10PM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

Turkeys and chickens have gizzards, right? If the poultry is inside a barn all the time, it doesn't have access to gravel/grit outdoors that is needed in their gizzards to grind up their food.So the turkey/chicken grit is a supplement for their digestive system. They don't have teeth!
Peggy
Go to a concrete plant and get several pails of pea rock for $10.00

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:44PM
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coll_123(5)

See, I don't even know what a gizzard is!

Sassy, gassing them is certainly a novel idea. But my vole holes seem to have many off shoot tunnels and entrance/exits. I would think they could still get oxygen that way...or maybe not. Interesting.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 3:21PM
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aahostas(z5 central Il.)

Coll,
Been there done that...
Gassing didn't kill a single vole..Made the garden smell like sulphur for a couple of months..
Carbon Monoxide made them giddy...and gave them the munchies.
flooded their borrows... they bought surf boards and a beach ball..
Tried trapping ...caught 4 in 1 month while they had a hundred more babies.
I have 11 cats outdoors.. they prefer Friskies!

Grit is a deterrent but if mixed with clay it becomes cement..
Again, poisoning is the only solution...

Denny

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:47PM
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coll_123(5)

Denny, you brought back a horrible memory from childhood. Some friends and I dug out a big hole at the bottom of a hill and lined it with plastic. Then we put our Slip n Slide at the top of the hill and used the hole as a landing pool. When we wanted to dump the water, we pulled out the plastic and the water drained thru the rodent holes that we had unearthed. Well, out came several newborn baby gophers, I think. They soon died. Oh man, I felt horrible! I just don't like to see animals suffer when they die, even if they are a terrible pest. I don't even want to kill our chipmunks by mistake, though I suspect they are adding to the problem with their burrowing. I thought maybe the carbon monoxide would be fairly humane. Looks like I will be sticking with the protective cages and/or pots and just living with the voles.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 10:41PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Denny,
"Carbon Monoxide made them giddy...and gave them the munchies."
Oh my gosh! Now that's funny. LOL What I don't need is
stoned voles.
~Sassy~

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:34AM
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coll_123(5)

Denny, is there something else I need to do to protect the tops of the potted hosta thru winter? I had put some gravel on the tops of the ones I potted and saw today that they are already trying to tunnel thru it. They didn't get too far, and I'm hoping it was enough of a deterrant. But now I'm nervous I did all that work and they will still get in there. Do you find the gravel mulch works pretty well?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 6:04PM
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aahostas(z5 central Il.)

Sassy, It is like we say here in Illinois.."Leave no vole unstoned'...er,, uh,, well,,uh,, at least i say it..
Coll,
First I give you nightmares and then bad memories...Hmmm,,, were we married at one time? :)
No ,they shouldn't be able to get through the top..hard to dig and attracts way too much attention. Voles hate attention! BE THE VOLE!

Denny (The volester)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 7:00PM
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coll_123(5)

Speaking of tunneling through gravel, that reminded me of this incident last year. I looked out my kitchen window and saw a pile of rocks on the grass that hadn't been there the day before. Upon closer inspection, saw a hole. We're pretty sure chipmunks did this, because we saw them going into the hole later. We moved the rocks and filled the hole and they mined out a bunch more rocks the following days. I can't believe a small rodent could achieve this...some of the rocks were quite large. That's what the soil here is like, except for in my raised beds when I added loam.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:16AM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Leave no vole unstoned!! Thats funny. I hope you have some luck with all that poison. I haven't seen any activity in a while so I don't know where the dang things went unless they did eat the poison I put out and flopped over dead down in one of their tunnels. I wondered if they died down there or came out and died. I am trying to watch the yard and make sure none end up out here and my dogs grab em or the stray cat we see now and then.

coll you would think with all those rocks it would deter some of these rodents. strange........

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 11:34PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

I have luck with mouse-and-rat poison pellets, buy this yellow box at Home Depot for little money. I put those pellets deep into any hole I see, cover it up with bark to check on activity and have not seen any new holes this year. I also have not seen any sick wildlife and have no complaints from neighbors about their cats.
Last year a university study was referenced here which found that poison only can battle the voles' production of babies.
Bernd

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:47AM
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