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:
Photo Credit: pitcherplant