Chickens Findings Gardening Health Issues Seasonal Care

Got Voles?

Apparently, we do.  Today was the day that I learned about voles.  Prevention goes a long way.  We have made it a quarterly practice to have a pest management company come in and prevent any rodent, insect or other nuisance wildlife from becoming a health issue at our home.  For the past few weeks, I could have sworn that I saw tiny little mice running back and forth across the driveway and into the surrounding shrubbery and plantings. Their population seems to be booming; in fact, just the other day one of them ran across my foot.  I felt its tiny little toes and toenails grab into my skin as it quickly scuttled into the nearby bush.

Today, during a routine visit, I explained what I had been witnessing to the representative from the company. He took a quick survey of where I had been seeing them.  I learned that I did indeed have an infestation – not of mice or moles, but of voles.  He showed me how they have made trails through the grass and holes in the ground and around the front steps.  Yikes, I was starting to become paranoid.  Voles are small three inch rodents.  They are similar to mice and moles and enjoy eating root systems of plants, which eventually kills the unsuspecting victim.   Voles, unlike moles, spend some of their time living above ground.  They have short ears, short tails, small eyes, and are stockier than mice.

They may be sweet, but if left to their own devices, voles can have litters of 10 babies  up to 17 times per year!  Of course, my first thought was, were they near the chickens?  The answer was no.  Thankfully, the voles have no interest in what the chickens are doing or eating.  There is also no evidence of voles anywhere near the coop and run.  Today, we took the necessary steps to eradicate the vole population from our immediate yard and property.  Although I hated to do so, it was a matter of my family’s safety from potential diseases.

Here are some more references on the subject:

http://www.pitcherplant.com/diseas/voles.html
http://www.colonialpest.com/blog/moles-or-voles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vole


This post is linked up to Homestead Revival’s Homestead Barn Hop.

 



Photo Credit:  pitcherplant

  • I've seen voles in our yard once in a great while. Usually when the neighbors cat, Anna, is being punished and kept indoors. She is a great barn cat of sorts and loves our back yard.

  • Wow, I wonder how they got over to the island rugosarosefarm? Funny, our neighbors on both sides had cats up until recently. Makes me think now that their cats kept the population at bay.

  • I have never heard of theses little creatures. I don't want to find them around my property either. Yuck!!!

  • Well thanks for this post. Our tabby cat has brought in more than one (four) as a "gift" for mommy. Needless to say….they don't get to stay. Now at least I know what they are…..!!!!

  • Ugh! I can't imagine one running across my feet. We had one in the basement a couple years ago in January. I'm in Wisconsin so I'm sure he was looking for a warm place. I have cats so he got to be a plaything for a while before I put him out of his misery.

  • My cat caught one of these way in the back of our yard in the spring! I couldn't figure out what it was at the time – not quite a mouse, not quite a mole. Thanks for the info!

  • I am so happy that everyone learned so much from this post. I do have to say, knowing what they are have helped me solve a few mysteries going on around here! Thank you everyone for your awesome comments and love!