How to Get Rid of Voles Living in Your Yard and Garden

You have seen me post a lot about our landscaping project. I have talked about the positives and the negatives of hiring a landscaper and problems we encountered along the way. Just when you thought I was done…another huge problem is discovered.

How To Get Deer to Stop Eating Your Shrubs and Plants

I was patting myself on the back for this remedy but I should have known, more problems were lurking 🤨. As much as I wanted to be done with landscaping issues, another doozie is calling my name. But, I figured out a solution to deer eating our shrubs, you can read more about it in “Deer Resistant”? Yea Right!! Calling Out the Label.

N2GZvqaSQyaIraMtQUYKfQMy hollies were growing back nicely after being badly eaten by deer. All was good with the world 🙂 UNTIL…ONE DAY….

What are these Holes in my Grass and Flowerbeds?

2A2WRLgsRUiwnOm3mDSs%QI noticed these small holes in my holly beds.

U+2dSnHoT4O8iV3okBGSOAWithout sticking my fingers into the holes, (for fear of being bitten by a snake) I thought to myself that they looked rather deep.

fullsizeoutput_ab13The holes are very visible and burrows are found throughout the holly bed.

JWyXAdpsQQatuUxlK6CLHAThis is what my hollies presently look like. The culprit!? VOLES!!

What are Voles?

Voles are small rodents that are relatives of lemmings and hamsters, but with a stouter body; a shorter, hairy tail; a slightly rounder head; and smaller ears and eyes. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America and Australia.

These mouse-like rodents are known mostly for damaging grass, bulbs, trees and plant roots. They are wreaking havoc on my holly shrubs and have already killed four bushes.

Wtb2fHbLTuGqd+DaO8d3UgThey can be difficult to identify and even more difficult to control and eliminate.

What do Voles Eat?

meadow-vole-sonoma-caPrimarily herbivorous, voles commonly feed on grass, as well as the seeds, roots, stems and leaves of plants. They have been feasting on my Holly roots for months.

How to Identify Vole Activity?

Bringing my landscaper back to the scene of the crime helped me identify the destructive criminals invading my beds. Other than identifying the issue, he offered no other useful information to help eliminate them.

Common signs of vole damage include:

  • surface runways: irregular paths of clipped and trampled grass or soil, about 1-2″ in width; can also appear to be a snakelike trail under mulch
  • holes in lawn: clean, round holes about 1.5″ in diameter, often in line with surface runways
  • girdled bark/stems: irregular gnaw marks about 1/8″ wide, 3/8″ long and 1/16″ deep, along the very bottom of trees or plants
  • damaged roots, which may lead to delayed or lack of fruit production in trees
  • yellow or brown wilted plants and shrubs
  • stolen bulbs

How To Get Rid Of Voles in Your Yard and Garden

There are a number of ways to get rid of these pesky rodents. They include trapping them, deterring them away from your property and chasing them to your neighbors house or killing them.

Please don’t judge me for my choice, but I chose the latter of the three. I called my pest company to come out and help me with the job, as I had no idea how to do this on my own. They told me voles aren’t that common in our area so they don’t regularly treat for them, but they would do me a special favor 🙌.  After several calls and much back and forth, they came out with the product prepared to treat our home.

I followed along with the technician as he serviced our home and realized this is something you can easily DIY.

How to Get Rid of Voles Living in your Yard and Garden

2NJzJHAESciTsVg+6ewidAThe pest company ordered a ton of bait for the voles. The bait comes in individual packets in a container. You will need a bait applicator to get deep enough in the holes.

1.) Wearing gloves, open several packets of bait and empty them into the top of the applicator.

IUpla5t7QoWW7bI93xCj4g2.) Search around for vole burrows. Some may be visible holes like pictured above but others you will have to feel around for with your fingers.

OmsBTxVqRTKMZFlpG+aoaw3.) Insert the bait applicator into the burrow and release the bait by spinning the top mechanism. You will feel how deep the burrow goes, you don’t have to press down with the applicator any harder when you release the bait.

4.) Make sure to cover up the hole with dirt using your hand once you release the bait. Voles don’t like sunlight and may not take the bait unless it is covered up.

8yc1r+1QTKakdO5LnSX%xQ5.) Continue making your way around the flower beds, looking for signs of vole activity. Insert bait into all the burrows and holes you can find. This can be time consuming if you have many burrows.

BY2NP0t0R0SizYJ2SH3twg 6.) Once the technician found all the burrows and inserted the bait using the bait applicator, he sprinkled a granular product on top of the beds and a handful around the root of each holly bush, where the voles were most prevalent.

7.) Water the base of the plants so the granules get soaked into the roots. You undo not have to water the bait.

This is a seven step process and will be repeated once a month for five months. They guarantee that this method will eliminate vole activity in our home.

They also placed additional bait boxes around the perimeter of our property, as the voles are most likely coming in from the wooded area behind our house. I am hopeful this all works and we are able to eliminate these pesky rodents from our home.

When I asked if the products were harm my dog if eaten, he said only in very large quantities…our pup would have to eat several packets to get sick.

Do you have voles living in your yard or garden? Have you found an effective method to get rid of them?

My friend Joni at the Home Place Web blogged about her experience with voles and wasps, head on over to check it out HERE.

Follow along on Instagram HERE and Instagram stories HERE for daily updates and happenings at Happy Haute Home. I am going to reveal a big outdoor project we are taking on this year! You won’t want to miss all the details.



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12 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Voles Living in Your Yard and Garden

  1. That was informative Denise. The pest control company I dealt with for my wasp problem did not deal in voles, so my handyman/grasscutter got rid of it by whacking it with a shovel. We were lucky and happened to see it when we were standing there talking. I only had the one, but am wondering if there are others under the deck but I don’t see any holes around my flower beds or tunnels anywhere, so am hoping if there are others that they will be killed off over the winter. I don’t think I would want to DIY, it seems like a lot of work and I’m squeamish so much better to leave it to the professionals. If you don’t mind I will put a link to your post at the end of my post. PS. They are certainly creepy little creatures.

    1. Thanks Joni. I would venture to bet that there are more, they multiply quickly. I am squeamish as well…snakes being my worst fear. You’re right, it is a lot of work if there are many holes. My pest guy bought a lot of bait, so they should be set for the next 5 months! I thought it was interesting that everything they used can be found on amazon 🙂 Thanks for linking my post! 🙂

  2. Hi – those holly shrubs must be so delicious !
    And this post is helpful because who knew it was a viable DIY- thanks for this – never had them (thankfully) but what came to mind was a comic I remember from the Sunday news years ago – there was a comic that had a man going crazy from the miles in his yard of humor about him being outwitted by then

    1. They are clever little critters, I’ll say that. They sure do know how to stay outta sight. Yes, it is a DIY if you ever come across them..they can be very hard to detect though. Glad you don’t have them!

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