As a vole, I am terrified at any efforts at vole control. I’ve learned, through watching vole neighbors, brothers and sisters, that most vole control means a swift and sure death for us. I’m not an adventurous sort. I have kept a mental list of all the vole extermination methods used, vole traps, vole poison, and everything else, just so I can avoid them.
Some of my cousins, and even some of the local rats and gophers, make fun of me. They call me a worry-wart, and tell me I’m more likely to die of a heart attack when I hear a loud noise than I will of any vole control method. That may be true, and they can make fun all they like. I intend on staying alive.
Some of the more unwise rodents dig tunnels through people’s yards, which is a sure-fire way to attract attention to us. They end up destroying the grass, creating tunnels that look like brown dead trails on the surface. Or, they eat flower bulbs that people have planted so carefully, or garden vegetables. I’m told that people’s yards are beautiful, lush places where the ground is soft from constant watering, roots, flowers and garden plants are tender and juicy, and the people actually keep our natural predators away, as much as they can. So, there’s not as big a threat from snakes, raccoons or other creatures that prefer a meal of voles rather than a nice juicy mouthful of plant roots. I’ve noted, however, in my intense observations, that these predators will come anyway, when there is a high population of voles. Lots of voles equals more determined predators, whether or not people want them there.
So, while I may not enjoy the juicier eatings, dig in the easier dirt, and while I may live a more solitary life, I have stayed alive much longer than most of my compatriots. In fact, I just located a perfect place to live. It is in someone’s yard, but it’s far, far away from the home, so I doubt even the household cat will become aware of my presence. There is a wonderful compost pile right up against a sturdy fence. A black tarp covers it, so I’m afforded warmth during the winter and protection from rain or snow. Occasionally, the people will troop back to my pile, pull back the tarp, and dump delicious fresh plants on the top.
It’s hard not to feel superior at times. I am wise enough to avoid vole control methods employed by the same people who bring me offerings of food and provide me a safe place to live. If I can make sure they never learn of my existence, I could live a very long and healthy, fat life.