Tag Archives: vole extermination

Tunnel Trouble

I’m 99% positive there are voles in my lawn; that or aliens that look like voles are creating aimless crop circles into my grass (I wish it was the aliens).  Two weeks ago in between the winter storm breaks, the snow at my house started to melt and I noticed that there were long stretches of dead grass cutting through the green stuff.  It wouldn’t have made me worry except that it was all over the lawn.  In almost any patch I uncovered you could see dead grass, and that was only the beginning.

Within a couple of days of noticing the dry strips, my cat started bringing home dead mice.  Except they weren’t mice, their ears were smaller and tails were shorter, I was a little baffled because I didn’t know what my cat was bringing home!  I figured that the two had to be connected because they showed up around the same time, so I did my research.  It didn’t take that long to solve the mystery, five minutes on Google and I knew: there were voles in my lawn.  I learned a couple of things like voles are attracted to moisture, making them more common in winter and spring months; and that they can carry a deadly virus called the Hauntavirus.

Once I read that last part, I was freaked out.  Not only were these things killing my lawn and gardens, but my cat had already killed and eaten four of them and they could kill us back with some virus!  That’s when I started trying to get rid of them myself,  I bought some poison at an IFA in town and tried my best to apply it to my lawn, but after a week: no luck.  The tunnels were expanding and my cat killed two more, so now I’m looking for a professional.  I haven’t really been able to find anyone with a slogan that says “Got Voles in your Lawn, We Can Help!” (which would be useful), but I’ve called a couple of wildlife technicians and things are looking up; hopefully by the time spring hits for good, they’ll be gone.

Overpopulation of Voles

Last spring, my neighbors and I battled an overpopulation of voles in our lawns, and many of our conversations this winter have been wondering if we would continue to have a vole problem once the snows thaw.  One of our neighbors was particularly upset, because they invested in some gorgeous apple trees a few years ago and were starting to enjoy the “fruits of their labor”, so to speak, when we experienced an overpopulation of voles in our county.  Most of us just had to deal with vole damage such as trails of dead grass crisscrossing our yards, making them look like some kind of road map.  A few of us had planted tulips and daffodils and were disappointed, because voles had eaten the bulbs we’d so painstakingly planted throughout our flower beds.  But, the neighbors with the apple trees suffered the worst damage.  Voles had basically gnawed rings around the trees and roots, and exposed the trees to disease.  All of their hard work and the money they’d invested in the trees were now for nothing, and they were understandably upset.

I’ve done a little more research on the subject during this winter.  I was worried once I found out that voles can breed all year long, and a mother vole can have three or four litters during the winter season, each with up to ten babies.  I didn’t even bother planting bulbs last fall, and I’m not planning a vegetable garden until I can get a barrier in place to discourage the voles from eating all my vegetables and herbs.  I just imagined hoards of voracious voles running rampant under the layer of snow, munching, breeding and tunneling.  It made me sick and for the first time in my life I dreaded the spring.  I just dreaded the idea of battling an overpopulation of voles again when the weather turned nice and I could see the extent of the damage.

I inspected the yard as the snow melted off after each storm, but I couldn’t see any damage so far, and I began to have hope.  Had some disease spread through the vole community and wiped them out?  Did the high number of vole traps throughout the neighborhood actually catch them all?  Would we be able to enjoy our lush, green lawns this year, like normal?

Some of my neighbors actually considered getting outdoor cats to roam the neighborhood, and I could certainly see some merit in that.  They’d keep down the vole population, as well as mice or rats, right?  Of course, not everyone in the neighborhood likes cats or sees the value of having them around.  One neighbor was pretty upset, because she’d already had a problem with feral cats getting into her garage and making a mess of everything in a previous home, and swore she wouldn’t go through that again.  I guess an overpopulation of feral cats isn’t the solution to an overpopulation of voles, but something has to work, right?

So, we still don’t know what, if any, vole damage or vole problem we’ll have to deal with when the weather gets better.  But, I do know this – I won’t settle for setting my own vole traps or doing battle with them alone.  I’ll call in a professional to handle the problem for me this year!

Utah County Exterminator

get rid of voles

“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.