Voles are eating my flowers!

woliverJuly 13, 2011

Do you have any good ideas on getting rid of voles? I think they're voles and not moles although I'm not sure if it matters. I have piles of dirt over my fresh mulch and flowers dying - uneaten from the top but dying from the roots. He has eaten petunias, lobelia, snapdragons, and sweet potato vines. I have tried Castor Oil but it hasn't seemed to help.



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david52 Zone 6

As far as I know, voles don't make dirt mounds, they sort of hide in places over the summer and do their damage in the winter.

How big are the piles of dirt? You might have a gopher. I usually drown mine with a garden hose - they come out when their tunnel is full and get whacked. Thats probably the easiest way to go.

But if that doesn't work, any hardware shop will have traps.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:10PM
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I think gopher is likely.

Moles eat earthworms, altho' I guess their activities below ground can kill plants. Gophers have the nerve to even eat your plants while you are standing there watching! They aren't very far below the soil surface and the roots seem to hold the most interest to gophers.

Voles are "meadow mice" and can be fairly serious garden pests. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me before but I was reading something from UCDavis the other day and they suggest getting a dozen or more mouse traps and baiting with either peanut butter and oatmeal or apple pieces. For mice, I've had very good luck with peanut butter and raisins.

Anyway, I have "driven off" gophers if not killed them with a metal bar and a hammer. Spending about 30 minutes in about 20 square feet of ground gives you a chance to put down dozens of holes, a couple of feet deep. 3/8th inch rebar should work but I used a smaller rod. For sure, I pierced the burrows in many places if not skewered the little pests, themselves.

I have popped a gopher out of a burrow with a 4-pronged cultivator and whacked him and I've flooded vole burrows with good effect.

Guard Your Garden!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:27PM
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I'm so glad I don't have this problem! I couldn't do it! I'd have to call Steve to "do the deed"!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Yeah, I got him with the cultivator just before he skedaddled back into his burrow and blew the kohlrabi with dynamite!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Thanks for your responses! We will be on a gopher hunt tonight. He has eaten 4 lobelias, the 2 snapdragons I got at the spring swap and 5 very healthy wave petunias! I'll be ready to bash him over the head, if my husband can't do it! :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 5:16PM
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