Tag Archives: vole tunnels

Vole Problem


Book club this morning was a huge disaster, thanks to the vole problem I have.  We started book club on the first of January, which seemed like a really great idea to all of us.  We chose the books we want to read for the year, and decided who will be hosting which months.  It all seemed to work perfectly, and I’m getting to know some of my neighbors and their friends better than I would have otherwise.  It’s March, and my turn to host.  I made sure to read the book early, I prepared discussion questions in case there was a lapse in conversation, I got my house all clean and made sure we had enough seating for everyone and things for the kids to do, and I even made refreshments that were mentioned in the book.

But, the snow has melted, and it looks like my yard is covered in ugly cracks, just small ditches criss-crossing all over the lawn.  I worked really hard getting the yard nice last year, so I was looking forward to spring and watching the grass and landscaping turn green and lush.  With the strawberry bushes I’d worked on for a couple of years, I literally was hoping to reap the fruits of my labors.

And, then, the snow melted enough to show me all the damage caused by the vole problem.  Just in time for book club.

As people arrived, I made the mistake of apologizing for the state of my lawn, which brought more attention to it.  Before too long, we were all just talking about different lawn care programs and pests, and I found out I wasn’t the only one in the area with a vole problem.  The voles were destroying the looks of lots of lawns, but killing grass roots along their little trails.  Bulbs weren’t growing into flowers, because something had eaten them during the winter.  And, my strawberry bushes were a mess.  Other people had planted young trees last year that were struggling now, because voles had chewed on tender roots.

It was all very helpful, especially to know I wasn’t the only one with a vole problem.  I even got the contact information for a great company that gets rid of voles.  So, I won’t have to waste the nice Spring days by battling voles instead of planting flowers and putting in new landscaping.  Even still, we barely got to talk about the book.  We didn’t even touch the discussion questions I’d worked so hard to prepare, and people ate the refreshments without even noticing how they related to the themes in the book.

I guess it wasn’t a “huge disaster,” really, if you think about it.  We got together, we had fun and laughed about things, and we helped each other out with the vole problem.  But, I don’t think I’m going to be hosting book club for a while, and I’m really okay with that.

Get Rid of Voles

I’ve never been good at yard work, so I have no idea how to get rid of voles.  I didn’t even know what a vole was until yesterday, much less how to take care of the vole problem.  This is the first time I’ve actually been happy I have neighbors who love yard work.

I work long hours at my day job, and I usually have a gig somewhere most nights.  When I’m not out at night singing in clubs, I’m watching other bands or writing songs, or just hanging out.  So, my lawn is really the last thing on my mind.  Most weekends are busy for me, too, so I don’t spend a lot of time mowing my lawn, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and whatever else people do.

Unfortunately, I have neighbors who really care about that stuff.  I mean, these guys are out there almost every night with their big power tools edging stuff, cutting stuff, trimming stuff.  They mow so carefully, it’s like an art form for these guys, with perfect mow lines evenly spaced across the yard.  They all have gardens, and every year they come over and politely drop off bags full of excess tomatoes from their harvest.  I hate tomatoes.  Their wives suggest I could can them.  I don’t can.  I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  Then their wives ask me, very kindly, if I’d like their husband to help me out with my yard.

It’s not a girl-guy thing, either.  Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I can’t do it.  It’s just that it’s not important to me.  And, just because I’m single doesn’t mean I need a man to come over and take care of the yard for me.  I hire a kid from the neighborhood to mow once a week, I make sure the sprinklers are turned on regularly, and I call it good.  It’s not like I spend a lot of time at home, so why waste it doing yard work?

It was the kid who mows my lawn who told me I needed to get rid of voles.  I had no idea what he was talking about, so he invited me outside so he could show me the criss-cross streaks of dried grass all over the lawn.  He also pointed out the tiny little holes everywhere.  Then, he showed me the piece-de-resistance – a dead vole.  Kind of looked like a mouse, but with a more pointed nose.  The kid told me all about how there’s probably tons more under my grass, blah, blah blah.

Then, one of my neighbors spotted me and came out, full of advice of how to get rid of voles.  My eyes kind of glazed over after he talked about traps and trips to the nearest gardening store for bait or poison.  Seriously, I think it’s great that people try to do it themselves, but I really don’t need to.  The one thing I know about problems like this is who to call.  Allstate Animal Control.  I figure if there might be a lot more of them, and it’s a real problem, why not just have an expert come out and take care of it, right?  They’ll get rid of voles at a good price, and I can keep on living my yard-work-free life.

Vole Exterminator

Sweet, domestic cat by day, vole exterminator by night, I prowl the premises and get rid of voles with my incredible skills in stealth, stalking and staking prey within my sharp claws.  I live with a lovely woman and her little girl, both of whom adore me.  The woman has given me a very soft bed to sleep on during the day, a wide variety of delicious foods, and fun toys to chase and bat around the few hours I’m awake when the sun is up.  The little girl dotes on me, and who can blame her?  I’m soft and beautiful and I let her pick me up, carry me around as I’m  draped over her shoulders, pet me and tease me until her mother makes her “be soft,” whatever that means.

As the evening approaches and the sun goes down, my wild predator side emerges.  Soon, the woman will open that front door and let me loose on the world for a few hours before she calls me back inside.  She offers me food, but I’m usually satisfied during my time in the wild outdoors.  I’ve usually gorged on a rodent of two during those brief hours of freedom, especially since I am a vole exterminator extraordinaire.

I begin with my normal routine.  I get down to about the third cement stair and roll around.  I rub my house-cat scent all over, making sure all the other felines know that this is MY house, my territory.  Then, I roll around in the dirt, which works to mask my scent a little.  Then, there’s running time.  Under the chain link fence and I’m streaking across the neighborhood as fast as my legs will carry me!  A day of pent-up sleeping and it’s time to get the blood racing.

Only then am I ready to take on my noble role as a vole exterminator.  I enter into stealth mode, poking around in the undergrowth, the garden, and seeking out any holes or scent of voles.  I listen to the ground around vole tunnels and vole holes for any sound of vole activity.  Once I know a vole is in there, I slink back to an appropriate hiding place and lie in wait.  Sometimes, I’m weak, and a passing bird or dog barking will distract me, but usually I can wait for the longest time.  I don’t pounce when the vole sticks its nose out of the hole.  I don’t pounce the moment it exits the tunnel.  No, I wait until it’s a little too far to duck back quickly to safety.  Then, I’m like lightening, and the vole is in its death throes before it even realizes it is caught between my sharp teeth.

Satiated and happy, the evening’s work as vole exterminator is done.  I get back inside the warm home, purr as the woman gives me cold, clear water to drink, and head off for another well-deserved nap.

Vole Trapping

Aaaah, this family here has no idea they should have someone come out and do vole trapping, and I am going to use them to my advantage!  Here, I’ll sit here with my cute little vole paws, my rounded head, my large ears, and my tiny little nose.  Yep, gets ‘em every time.  I’m so much cuter than a mouse, and I resent anyone who thinks I look anything like those common creatures!  Besides, I normally don’t even go into a human’s precious home.  That’s when they get really mad, when stupid mice get in their homes and run around like they own the place.

No, so much better to live in the wilds of the yard.  Especially this yard, where they let the grass grow long, which is just perfect cover for me to hide from those horrible beastly birds that eat my kind.  This yard has lots of beautiful places that provide cover, like that woodpile over there.  Not to mention that lovely, lovely garden full of tender little roots.  Delicious!

Vole holes are tiny enough that ignorant humans don’t notice them, not like those ugly gopher holes that have dirt thrown everywhere.  And, I’m cute enough that if a human sees me, they just think I’m adorable and leave me alone!  This family thinks I’m so cute that they even GIVE me food instead of doing any kind of vole trapping.  Fantastic!  Like this huge piece of bread here, for instance.  They saved it and tossed it in the yard just for me.  Sure, I’m careful before I grab it and eat, making sure it’s not bait for a vole trap, but it turns out they just want to watch me be all cute.  Well, I’m happy to oblige!

So, I’m assuming my tunnels running throughout their yard are completely okay.  They must not mind that some of the grass is turning brown, because I’ve killed the roots.  They must not mind that I’ve destroyed some of their garden plants.  I know they don’t mind, because they keep inviting me and my friends back with more food.  It’s a perfect situation for any vole to be in.

I’ll just bring some of this bread back to my family.  Some of them have gotten sick, and they’ll love the free food.  My vole uncle has a couple of ticks feeding on him, and I don’t think he’ll last long.  Who knows where those ticks will go to feed when he passes on.  Probably the family dog.  That huge snuffler keeps rooting around our holes, hoping to catch one of us.  Maybe he’ll get lucky one day.

But, until then, I’m just going to enjoy the good life.  Free food while the family dog is penned up inside the house, plenty of good water from the hose, soft dirt to tunnel in, and an excellent vegetable garden.  Gotta love a family who doesn’t believe in vole trapping.