I found the answer to the vole problem

susanzone5(z5NY)April 6, 2005

I tried the hot sauce, ammonia and some other things, but what works the best is spring-type rat traps baited with apple cubes, placed under a bucket weighted down with a rock. This advice came from the Cornell Coop Extension.

I now have these set-ups all around my garden and have caught voles everyday for 3 days. I am thrilled.

I have now planted my garden worry-free. I put the dead voles next to the garden for a free dinner for any predators in the area. Maybe they will stick around and catch the varmints before they enter my garden.

I feed seed to the birds so why not animals to the predators!

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hammerl(z5-6 Amherst NY)

If I were you, I would seriously re-think your strategy of leaving dead vermin laying about your property. They are a source of disease, and few animals will eat prey that is already dead (crows and oppossums are the only two that spring to mind, and if you had an oppossum, you wouldn't have a vole problem in the first place.) Most predators prefer to kill their own prey and eat it fresh.

Instead, wear leather gloves and wrap the vole in plastic and dispose of it. (You shouldn't handle them in case they carry tularemia or other diseases/organisms.)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 9:59AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Susan I do agree. I would dispose of them b/c of disease. THe traps do work. I had a problem with the squirrels getting the traps and tearing them apart to get the apple. They tore my planters apart getting to the traps to get to the apple.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 3:49PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Stupid question here, if you put it under a bucket, how do the voles find it? Or do you leave a little opening for voles to squeeze into?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:35AM
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I will dispose of the voles in the garbage. I live in a clearing in the woods, so possums would be attracted, and I don't want anything that will eat my corn, which I'm planting for the first time in 20 years. I forgot about the scavenger part as opposed to predator...senility is fast approaching!

Gottagarden, there is a small space for the vole to crawl into. I prop the bucket up on a rock. The coop ext. also said to put the bucket right over the mole's exit hole.

I've never seen squirrels in my garden, just those chipmunks which will be another problem in a short while! Traps work on them too...they ate my whole pea crop last year till I got out my shotgun. Are they still hibernating? Haven't seen them yet.

I have no shame when it comes to my garden.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 9:58AM
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I saw the first chippy of the year yesterday here in Rochester. I think I'm going to leave a feeder that they can get to so they don't bother everything else. I HOPE it works.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 12:04PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

@#$%^&* voles!! Dug up all my lily bulbs! ANd they are expensive. Fortunately I took Penny's advice and dipped them in chili pepper before planting, so they didn't eat them, just dug every single one up (25) and left them on top of the soil for the freezing nights and full sun and drying wind to get. Time for the vole traps. I thought the cats were taking care of the problem, but obviously not.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 7:11AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I just received a Canada Lily from another gardwebber in PA. She sent me some hardware cloth to make a cage for the lily before I plant it to keep the voles away. Since it is already growing in a container I am not going to dig it up to add the hot sauce but I will use the cage and water the soil all around the lily in hot sauce.

I also received a shipment of hummingbird cannas and am expecting another shipment from another gardenweb member in KS. I am creating a raised bed just for the cannas. THe rhizomes will be dipped in hot sauce before planting in a hardware cloth lined bed that also has a 12 inch high brick border. I am taking no precautions with these either.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 8:31AM
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The vole traps got all the ones that were living in the garden (good riddence). Sometimes now I see a hole here and there, but with the hot sauce method, they don't seem to stick around.

I just planted a ton of sweet pea flowers and watered them with the hot sauce. Those seeds usually get eaten. I won't use that on my food, though, because I'm afraid it will all taste hot. Penny, do you use it with food, and does it taste hot?

I have my lily bulbs in hardware cloth, too. Nasty metal mesh...wear gloves. I top it with that black plastic bird netting placed around the stems so the varmints don't enter from above. What we go through.

Gottagarden, your bulbs might have been dug up by squirrels, skunks, deer, etc., who found them distasteful.

I wonder if the hot sauce can burn the plant tissue like it does our mouths. I've seen it kill leaves/plants when sprayed on. And how long does it stay in the soil? We had 6" of rain right after I doused the garden. Guess experience will tell.

Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 9:07AM
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robbiezone5(z5 HudsonValley)

what is the difference between a mole and vole? are they the same? i see both spellings here. i'm just curious to know if these are two different animals, or different names for the same?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 6:03PM
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Moles and voles are different animals. Moles eat grubs and voles eat roots. A search will find you pictures.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 6:14PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

I burned the leaves of my hellebore last year from being a bit over zealous with the hot sauce. I should have probably done it at night and with a little less vigor.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 8:05PM
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I would guess the best method, other than the trap which sounds a bit extreme, is the watering with the hot sauce which would make the roots taste hot; voles usually work underground.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Hot sauce is too much work for a big garden and burns plants. Traps are easy, quick and effective, at least for me.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 12:49PM
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