Step 2 - Learn About the System. A good way of spotting a vole infestation is by looking for tiny three-inch holes. Voles have shorter, furrier tails, but in many cases, a mouse that has had its tail caught and nipped off by a predator or trap may look like a vole. As the snow gradually melts away here in the northern U.S., we're getting increased calls for Vole control. One of the biggest ways they differ is in their appearance. Moles live underground in tunnels, and are predatory in nature. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. Using a grub treatment for a lawn is a common practice but is not environmentally sound as it affects the food supply for other wildlife. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Voles are 5 to 8 inches long and have prominent orange teeth for gnawing plant roots and stems. Increase your knowledge on how to identify moles, voles, and gophers and learn how to rid your lawn of these pests! Vole Damage. Navigate to homepage. Because these products are systemic within the turfgrass, they will last the entire growing season. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. How To Identify If You Have Gophers, Moles, Or Voles Digging Up Your Yard.New Mouse/Rat Trap Videos Every Sunday & Monday. Often, however, these methods are not very effective. Step 4 - Shop Here Mole signs. And if any lawn and garden pest can literally beat a path through the grass due to their sheer numbers, its the voles. Moles live primarily underground, have tiny eyes and ears, small hind legs, and short, powerful shovel-like front paws that are perfect for digging. Shrews hunt for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. Both moles and voles reside in Tennessee. Vole Mole Shrew Moles, voles and shrew behavior Moles live underground and prefer to live solitary, isolated lives. As mentioned earlier, the mole and vole are two very different animals. Another thing to keep in mind is that while voles are rodents, moles are not. There may be multiple residents in a vole colony, so habitat modification is important in controlling them. Moles leave unsightly dirt hills on landscapes. • Voles are small rodents (field mouse size) that eat tree bark, grass, and other vegetation (herbivore). Granular products are easier to apply but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. To minimize vole damage, the key is to manage the population before the numbers get too large. Now that you have understood the differences between vole vs mole, you may want to dig deeper about the voles. There are many different types of vole traps that can be found at your local hardware or garden supply stores. Despite their differences, both pests, cause collateral damage to turf and ornamental plants alike. Moles are solitary animals, so ridding the landscape of one or two moles will make a big difference. Vole control, as with mole control, comes down to two methods: trapping or baiting. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. Again, read and follow the label instructions carefully. There are many differences exhibited between moles and voles. Vole: Also known as a meadow mouse, has rounded ears and body and is black, brown or reddish in color with a gray underside. Voles look like field mice with short tails, compact heavy bodies, small eyes, and partially hidden ears. Voles seldom go into the yard. A mole is classified as a mammal (a member of the family Talpidae ), while a vole is categorized as a rodent (from the family Cricetidae). All rights reserved. Look for a product that says it’s effective against moles and voles. One way to distinguish the difference is by the diet of each animal. Nothing is more frustrating to a homeowner with a beautiful lawn than to see molehills all over the yard. Grubs are only a tiny percentage of a mole’s diet, so treating for grubs will have no impact on the moles–there is still plenty for them to eat.) Vole runways result from the voles eating the grass blades, as well as from the constant traffic of numerous little feet beating the same path. Vole Control. If poison baits are left in place, they have the potential of being washed into water sources. Since voles and mice are both around five to eight inches long and have gray or brown fur, it may take a closer look to tell them apart. Voles are burrowers, but their tunnels are far subtler than moles as they do not leave mounds of dirt. Most vole damage occurs during the winter months because it is easier for them to obtain their food while being protected by snow cover. The two types of voles found in South Carolina are meadow voles and pine voles. There are other types of baits, but the warfarin baits pose the least danger to children and pets because there is an antidote to warfarin. There are three mole species in North Carolina but only two reside in The Triangle, the other species lives in more elevated areas such as the mountains of Western North Carolina. The diet of a mole is different form a vole. As earlier mentioned, voles consume plants, and thus have a great potential to cause some serious damage to your garden. You can tell a vole vs mole often by size. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backwards in the tunnels. There are a number of available poison baits, but these pose a hazard to humans, pets, and other wildlife and may enter the water supply. Look for the broom handle sized holes in the beds; a sure sign of vole activity. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Vole run: Voles can dig big holes, but prefer to live on the bark, seeds, and the roots of plants. When using any type of poison or chemical, carefully read and follow the label instructions. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Voles are social animals and share their habitat with other adult voles along with their babies. They breed with great fecundity and are sometimes seen aboveground. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden ) Mole Run: Moles prefer to dig and then live in underground tunnels; see this example of a mole run on a lawn. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program. Place a box or bucket over the trap as voles prefer to take the bait from under cover. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in law… Voles are herbivores that eat the plants on the ground. These opportunists will dig characteristic golf ball-sized exit holes in previously established mole tunnels. I… Voles “V”, on the other hand, are vegetarians and eat the roots and stems of plants. These basic characteristics can help you determine voles vs. moles and voles and moles vs. shrews. Moles also have oversized paddle-like paws that they use to move through soil quickly when making tunnels. Unlike voles, moles are actually not rodentsat all and instead belong to the mammal family known as insectivores. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. For more information on grub control, please see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass. Application in the late summer or fall is not as effective, as the older grubs will go deeper in the soil and are harder to kill. Removing weeds, heavy mulch, or dense vegetation will aid in eliminating their food source along with protection from predators. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. (You won’t notice a thing.) Most common control methods include trapping, bait stations, or repellant. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Voles prefer to take bait from under cover.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. They consume that grass and also use it … These two species, the eastern mole and the star-nosed mole, are both rather small, weigh just a few ounces, are furry, can’t see and burrow around in the dirt. At this time, the grubs are small and close to the surface, so the contact insecticide will be very effective in eradicating the young grubs. Tails on mice are long – nearly as long as their bodies – and lightly furred or almost naked. Pine voles will destroy the root systems of plants and trees. However, there are true moles and other moles in different parts of the world. If a live trap is used, remember that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources does not allow relocation of trapped animals to another location due to animal and human disease exposure; therefore, the captured animals will have to be euthanized. Either bury them or place them in plastic bags in the trash. Scientific Name: Talpidae (mole) and Microtus arvalis (vole) Lifespan: Four to six years (mole) and four to twelve months (vole) Brief description: Moles and voles are small mammals that can cause numerous problems in backyards and gardens. There are several different types of mole traps, such as harpoon, impaling, choker, pitfall, or scissor-jawed available on the market. The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 2366 | Updated: Oct 15, 2020 | Print, A mole is 4-7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws.Courtesy of Mississippi State University Extension Service. That means the bait must be replenished every two days. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. Mole Tunnels Vole Tunnels Set the traps along runways or near the exit holes, making sure that the trap is placed with the trigger end toward the runway. Unlike voles, moles are not rodents, and they don’t eat plants. Moles will simply switch to another food source, such as insects and earthworms. There are over 150 different species of voles and they range throughout the northeast and Midwest United States as well as Canada and parts of Alaska. To protect an area from a vole infestation, a wire fence with a mesh of ¼ inch or smaller will help exclude them. Moles. Offspring may number from four to seven each year. A vole may be attracted to peanut butter as bait; a mole most likely will not. Moles are carnivorous so they are hunting for insects, grubs, or worms. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backward in the tunnels. Mole tunnels, however, may raise the surface when they are not deep but are still entirely covered. The biggest problem with voles is that they will eat almost anything. Moles are usually larger than voles, with very small eyes and ears. Keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly, and keep mulch cleared from around tree bases. You can think of vole travel paths as ruts. Often confused with moles, these rodents are entirely different. Voles are too often not dealt with in the flower beds. Rabbits dont have anything over this pesky rodent. In mulch, voles make paths by pushing the mulch out of the way. They also frequently create shallow holes in the ground. Snap traps, such as a mousetrap baited with peanut butter, are not effective in catching moles. One day a plant will be beautiful, and a few days later, it will have fallen over with the roots gnawed off. Traps should be placed over an active tunnel and are the most effective in the fall and winter months. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. If you have vole signs Follow the 4 Steps to Vole Control: Step 1 - Learn Even More About Voles. If you grow fruits or veggies, they will definitely eat those things. Also another distinguishing factor is the depth at which the two dig their “houses’ with moles creating very complex networks of feeding tunnels under the soil surface and sleep deeper into the soil, voles prefer closer to the surface burrows with direct access to low lying vegetation. Step 3 - Locate "Hot Spots" of Vole Activity. They are not commonly discussed or talked about, but they are surely annoying and pesky. Mole: has pointed snout, enlarged front feet, and ears and eyes so tiny that they are not visible. You can also make your lawn inhospitable to voles. This makes concave little passageways open to the surface. Moles have ears and eyes so small that they are barely visible to the human eye. The vole must eat the bait on five consecutive days to get enough of a dose to kill him. A castor oil treatment to the lawn will also repel moles and voles for about two weeks. Due to their distinct food and feeding habits, the damage caused by voles and moles will be quite different. Moles “M” meat-eaters Identification and Diet Moles have enlarged front feet and claws, perfect for digging and tunneling, dense dark grey hair, a long pointed nose, and eyes and ears that are barely visible. Granular grub killers that contain trichlorfon or carbaryl are contact insecticides that should be applied in early July and are spread over the lawn and watered in well. Voles are stockier than mice with … All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. Critter Control Logo. This equates to a 5-ounce mole eating 50 pounds of its prey in a year. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. Vole damage in yards is often seen by the lengthy pathways they create. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. A harpoon style mole trap may be used in an active mole tunnel.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. (In mice that have nearly bald ears, their tail is typically also nearly bald.) A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. © Copyright Critter Control. Reducing or eliminating food availability for moles has been used as a control technique. Vole Tunnels. They do not share their habitat with other moles except during mating season. This will last for about two weeks. (Some homeowners mistakenly believe that treating their lawns for grubs will repel moles. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in the lawn each day. Mothballs also do not work, and it is illegal to use as it is considered a misuse of a pesticide. Their primary diet is earthworms with a few insects – beetle larvae and adults, ants, wasps, and flies tossed in as appetizers. The best way to control these pests is by calling a professional. Moles, voles and shrew behavior In addition to different physical characteristics, moles, voles and shrews each live in different habitats and have distinct food preferences. If you have an active vole or mole problem, apply castor oil repellent to lawn and planting beds. If you would like a free estimate on rodent control and mole or vole services, please call 1 … Moles and Voles are often confused for one another, but when viewed closely, one can differentiate, between the two, quite easily. This adaptation allows moles to travel both forward and backward through the soil. Snap traps baited with apples or peanut butter and oatmeal are an excellent way to catch voles. These are available in ready-to-spray, hose-end sprayers, or granular formulations. The easiest way to identify a mole is by locating golf ball sized holes in the lawn. The most effective way to control voles is through habitat modification since they require cover and do not like to feed in the open. Mole Tunnels. Moles are most active in the early morning and late evening on cloudy days during the spring and fall. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Moles are expert diggers that will consume up to 60 to 100% of their body weight in insects, grubs, and earthworms each day. Voles leave smaller runways and an entrance to their burrow. If it rains during that time, the product will have to be reapplied. There are a number of castor oil products sold that are advertised to repel moles and voles. This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. As both pests carry infectious diseases and parasites, it is important to wear disposable gloves when handling the dead animals. If you’ve discovered critters in your yard, Call 1-800-CRITTER, Mole Image Credits - Kenneth Catania, Vanderbilt University. Due to the temporary residual nature of castor oil products for repelling moles and voles, they are not very effective. Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds (Comparison of Gopher and Mole Mounds). It works by making the soil smell bad to their noses. Trapping is one of the most successful ways to get rid of moles. Although mole and vole do sound informally similar, they are different animals of two taxonomic orders. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Meadow voles are much larger and live most of their lives above ground, whereas pine voles are much smaller and live almost all their lives underground. Using a castor oil product is not the most effective way to control moles and voles as it does not have a long residual life in the soil. Neither of these methods is completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey. Moles breed in the early spring and sometimes in late winter. Do not use if irrigation is frequently run in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil. However, each are very distinct and cause distinct damage to lawns and gardens. Moles “M” are meat-eaters, and their diet consists of insects, grubs, and earthworms. Fall and late winter are the best times to trap voles. Moles, voles, and gophers are often confused for one another. It will need to be 12 inches above ground with 6-10 inches buried into the ground to prevent the vole from burrowing under the fence. Systemic grub treatments that contain imidacloprid as an active ingredient can be applied to the lawn area in May. They can be extremely damaging to trees and will often tear through the bark all the way around. Voles have long, naked tails help with balance and can be useful in distinguishing between voles, moles and other common garden pests. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. There are many methods advertised for removing moles, such as chewing gum and vibration and ultrasonic devices that are advertised to deter them. Shrew: A shrew has a pointed snout, and non-enlarged feet (unlike the mole). Mole vs Vole . VOLES vs. MOLES What IS the difference? Almost all of our customers are able to spot mole … Their food sources typically consist of seeds, bugs, tree bark, and plants. Poisoned gummy worms or pellets with an active ingredient of bromethalin may be inserted in an active tunnel, but they may pose a hazard to humans and pets and may possibly enter the wildlife food chain. Voles are herbivores, and they only eat plants. Poisons are usually the first method that a homeowner thinks of but is not necessarily the most effective or best choice. Voles are mouse-sized, shrew-like creatures with dark fur. Mole fur is short, soft, velvety, and when brushed offers no resistance in either direction. Damage by meadow voles is usually to the base of plants and fruit trees. Meadow voles look like field mice with short tails.Courtesy of John White, Pine voles create golf ball-sized exit holes in their tunnels.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. They consume that grass and also use it to build nests. Voles construct well-defined, visible tunnels, or \"runways\" at or near the surface, about two inches wide. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. According to Ohio State University, a five-ounce mole will consume 45 … Now back to the basic question: we know about voles; what about the moles! If you realize that the mole is mainly a meat eater, whereas the vole is mainly a vegetarian, you'll know that they will not necessarily be attracted to the same baits (should you decide to try to catch one of these garden pests). 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Help exclude them won ’ t notice a thing. tell a vole mole!, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson Extension moles to travel both forward backward! Tunnels, however, these rodents are entirely different before the numbers get too large both pests carry infectious and! Oversized paddle-like paws that they will eat almost anything use pesticides only according to the temporary residual of... With great fecundity and are the most effective in the area as watering quickly! Of but is not necessarily the most effective in the tunnels are dug a!, hose-end sprayers, or dense vegetation will aid in eliminating their while...