Tag Archives: get rid of voles

Vole Problems

It’s been a long winter for us raccoons, and now that the snow is just starting to melt, I’m out strolling along the cover of the low woods next to human neighborhoods, watching for any signs of vole problems.

Yeah, as a raccoon, I eat just about anything.  Garbage and pet food pretty much got me through the winter, and sweet corn crops haven’t come up yet.  Right now, it’s the perfect season for spotting voles, and they are deeelicious!!  They’re all fattened up from eating grass roots and tree bark.  Over the winter, especially, they move through yards, golf courses or orchards virtually undetected by the humans, since they usually keep just below the snow line.  Most of their predators are eating somewhere else or are in hibernation, so they get all fat and juicy.  Perfect as an early spring feast for me!

The trick is, I wait until the weather finally warms up enough for the snow to start melting.  Sometimes I can actually see one of the tasty snacks running above ground, but more often I see the tell-tale signs as the snow melts:  trails of dead grass running through the lawn, trees with exposed rings around the bases, flowers and shrubs eaten away, the traces of last year’s vegetable garden completely consumed.  It’s pretty obvious when a home or business has a vole problem.

I wait until nighttime, when I get the hungriest and go out to forage for food.  I might roll over the garbage can for an appetizer, move onto the second course of pet food left out on the porch, take a brief nap and then move onto the final course.  I saunter out, sniffing, listening, and I find a hole with a little tiny scrabbling or rustling noise that I can barely hear.  Suddenly, I’ll start digging with my amazing paws, shoving my snout down into the hole that’s getting wider and wider by the second.  Then, quickly, SNAP!  My wonderfully sharp teeth close around the juicy little critter.

The great thing is, voles breed pretty quickly, so where there’s one, there’s more.  And other little yummies like to follow or use the vole’s burrows and trails – mice, rats, chipmunks.  It’s literally an all-you-can-eat buffet for me!  And now that I’m here, I might as well take up residence.  That building is pretty easy to get into, with a little bit of chewing and clawing, I should be able to get on in.  I bet I could make a pretty great den inside that chimney or up in the attic.  It’d be warm, there might even be a little insulation I can use for nesting materials, and there’s obviously plenty to eat here.  These humans have no idea, yet.  Their vole problem just became a raccoon problem.

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.

Get Rid of Voles

get rid of voles

Ring!  Ring!

Lizzie:  Hi, this is Lizzie.  We get rid of voles, moles and gophers in holes!  How may I help you?

Caller:  I’m desperate.  I’ve had my house on the market for a long time now, and I’ve even dropped the price.  It’s a really great house, and a lot of people are interested, but they want me to lower the price even more because of the yard.  I just can’t afford to lose any money.

Lizzie:  I’m happy you called.  Let’s see how we can help you.  You say there’s a problem with the yard?  What’s going on?

Caller:  There’s these dead spots all over the front and back yard.  Well, they’re not really dead spots, they’re more like dead trails.  Trails of dead grass all over the front yard and the back yard.  And, some of our really nice fruit trees are dying. 

Lizzie:  Uh, huh.  And, are there big piles of dirt everywhere?

Caller:  Not really, no.  It’s just these big, snaky trails all over.  Looks like a road map out there. 

Lizzie:  Have you seen large holes?

Caller:  Well, we’ve seen a couple of smallish holes.  Like, about the size of a quarter, or like someone shoved a broomstick at an angle into the ground.

Lizzie:  Sounds to me like you need our help to get rid of voles.

Caller:  Voles?  Aren’t those kind of like mice?  We have a nice house here, not a dirty . . .

Lizzie:  I’m sure your house is absolutely lovely!  Voles are a little bit like mice, but they generally don’t get into your home.  They like to stay in a yard that has a lot of tall grass or dense shrubbery.  Places for them to hide.

Caller:  Tall grass?  That explains it, I guess.  We had a lot of things going on, and I didn’t really mow the lawn down that much before the first big snow fall.  It was kind of long, but I didn’t think there’d be any problem. 

Lizzie:  They really do prefer the taller grasses, because they can tunnel around, stay warm, and stay out of sight of their natural predators.  They’ll burrow around in the grass under the snow, and chew through roots and eat bulbs if you’ve planted any.  They may also be responsible for your fruit trees dying.  Are there rings of bark missing around the base?

Caller:  Dang it all, yes!  Can you do anything?  I just have to sell this house!  We’re moving in a month and it’s got to be gone before then!

Lizzie:  We can certainly get rid of the voles, to prevent them from damaging your yard any further.  May I suggest a couple of good landscapers to repair the damage they’ve already caused?

Caller:  That’d be great.  How soon can you all get out here?