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Meadow Voles

Pestgon FactSheet

VOLES: (microtis)

Voles, also known as Meadow-mice, are small grayish-brown rodents found outdoors in landscapes. They are short-haired about 5-8 inches long and appear stubby and compact, with small ears and short tails and small eyes.

Voles are often found in grassy and ivy covered landscapes. They are active both night and day. They feed on the root tubers of a variety of landscape plants and grasses. They also feed on the bark and twigs of various shrubs causing a great deal of damage to landscape plantings. The burrow holes are clean openings, approximately golf ball size, showing no soil mounds. They do not venture far from their burrow system. Peak breeding takes place spring and fall.

Meadow vole damage
Typical Meadow Vole Damage

Economic Damage:
Most plants tolerate minor vole damage. However in certain conditions, vole populations explode to several thousand voles per acre. Such populations can cause devastating damage to landscape grasses, shrubs and trees. The demise of most trees and shrubs is by girdling of the bark at the trunk and lower limbs. The economic impact to landscape can quickly become very costly if voles are not controlled.

Management Methods:
Since voles rarely feed in the open spaces, Pestgon, Inc. recommends skirting up trees and creating a bare area under the drip line to discourage voles from girdling trees. Trunk guards are also helpful to protect trees from above ground girdling. The use of registered rodenticides are very effective in eliminating vole populations. These chemicals and baits must be applied by a certified pest control technician, such as Pestgon, Incorporated.

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