I just love these do-it-yourselfers who come in every year, right when the snow’s melted, and ask me “how do I get rid of voles from my yard?” With all the new housing developments going up, I’m doing great business as the owner of the only yard supply store in the area. I sell sprinkler systems, mulch, grass seed, and all kinds of traps for the local critters like voles, moles, mice and gophers that tear up the lawns around here.
As soon as the snows melt, people look out their windows and see a roadmap of dead grass in their yards. If they look closer, they can see little holes spotting the lawn, or they might even catch a glimpse of a vole scampering through the grass. I’ll admit, they’re cute little suckers, but anyone who spends time and money caring for their lawn doesn’t want all their work ruined by some little mouse-like wild animal making crooked little lines of dead grass all over their property.
Personally, I have to shake my head when someone comes in to ask me how to get rid of voles. But, they’re happy to pay for the traps I sell them, and I’m a good businessman – won’t ever turn down a sale. It’s just that voles can have four to six young per litter, and they have been known to have up to 17 litters per year. So, yeah, I’ll sell a homeowner or landscaper a handful of vole traps, but it’ll only catch a handful of voles. I’m happy to instruct them how to use them, which bait to use, and I’ll let them know that voles are active day and night, throughout the year. They’re better off, though, if they call a professional who knows how to get rid of voles and does it all the time. That’s really the best way to get all of them.
Until then, selling vole traps helps me to pay the lease for my store.
One guy came in with a story the other day about his cat catching a vole in his backyard. As cats like to do, it brought the vole inside as a special “gift” for his owner. His six-year-old little girl saw it first and actually picked it up before anyone stopped her. Turns out the little rodent had a bloated tick on it, and was probably infested with all kinds of other parasites like mites. It was still alive when his daughter brought it to him, even though the cat had chewed on it a bit. I have to admit, the image made me gag, but I know it happens. I actually suggested to him, the best way to get rid of voles is to call in a professional wildlife removal service. Oh, and tell his daughter not to pick up any wild animals, but I’m sure he’d already told her that.