“Hon, call the Utah County Exterminator, I think we have voles.”
“What? We have what?”
“Voles, honey, we have voles.”
“I’ve never heard of that. Do you mean moles?”
“No, haven’t you heard of voles?”
I felt kind of stupid, but I’d never heard of that before in my life. Growing up, my Dad always did all the yard work. With four girls, two of whom were fighting at any one time, he somehow always had yard work to do. As an adult, I suspect it was an excuse to get out of the house for a little bit for some peace and quiet. We’d never had any vole problems before, that I know of, and when I grew up and lived in apartments, I had zero yard work to do. So, who could blame me for never hearing about voles?
My husband and I bought our first house almost three years ago, and boy was that a wake-up call. It was a brand new home, so we put in the yard ourselves. I’d never dug ditches, raked dirt or laid pipes for a sprinkler system before, but I sure did learn fast. I’m not the kind of woman who makes her husband do all the outdoor chores, so I learned as I went. I got to the point where I was proud of my calluses and got so excited when the first grass seeds sprouted. I actually watched grass grow sometimes, and couldn’t get over how successful I felt making bare land look beautiful. It cost more money than we really had at the time, and I lost count of the hours we worked out there, but it was worth it. We ended up with one of the most beautiful lawns in our new subdivision.
So, now, after three years, we had to have the Utah County exterminator come over and get rid of voles, a creature I’d never heard of before.
Winter was coming to an end, and I had been looking forward to watching our lawn green up again for the spring, but I’d noticed trails of dead grass in the yard. I thought maybe it was a result of letting the thatch build up in some places, but my husband taught me it was these little mouse-like creatures that tunnel under the lawn, chewing up grass roots and flower bulbs and sometimes even chewing the bark off of some trees. I worried about our trees, since they were still pretty young, but fortunately the damage was mostly limited to the yard and apparently the tulip and daffodil bulbs I planted last fall. All our work was being damaged by tiny little rodents?! I just couldn’t bear the thought of spending my spring fighting off rodents instead of planting a garden and putting in some ornamental bushes I had my eyes on. I agreed with my husband that we had to get the Utah County exterminator in as quickly as possible to get rid of the voles for us.