However, in most cases predators can’t keep vole populations below damaging levels. Many predators consume meadow voles.
// End -->. Bury the bottom edge of the fence 6 to 10 inches to prevent voles from tunneling beneath it. If voles gnaw completely around the trunk or roots, it will disrupt the tree’s flow of nutrients and water, a process known as girdling. Black bears Ursus americanus and brown bears Ursus arctos have been known to scavenge for these rodents as well. Other mammals known to prey on meadow voles include grey wolves Canis lupus, fishers Martes pennanti, skunks, and ringtails Bassariscus astutus. Adult meadow voles are about seven inches (150 to 195 mm) long with a tail that extends another 33 to 65 mm (1¼ to 2 ½ inches). Females mate as early as one month old, and some voles give birth to more than 17 litters in one year. Females can have five to ten litters per year. Bury dead voles, or place them in plastic bags in the trash. pp. Voles seldom stray from their runways, so set traps along these routes. Wildlife Pest Control around Gardens and Homes, © 2019 Regents of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
A “vole” is defined as a rodent belonging to the genus “Microtus.” Voles resemble rats and mice but have shorter tails and heavier, cylindrical bodies. 2006. Destroy old runways or burrows with a shovel or rototiller to deter new voles from immigrating to the site. You can protect young trees, vines, and ornamentals from girdling by using cylinders made from hardware cloth, sheet metal, or heavy plastic that surround the trunk. The belly fur is lighter in color and is often silver or gray. Vole scat : A vole tunnel from a vole's eye view. Predators such as weasels, Mustela nivalis, can detect female deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, that are in reproductive condition (Cushing, 1984, 1985), probably using their odor (for voles, see also Koivula and Korpimäki, 2001). Voles will gnaw the bark of fruit trees including almond, apple, avocado, cherry, citrus, and olive. 7. Meadow Vole: It is the most widely spread vole species in the United States. Meadow voles tend to be active at night during the summer and in the daytime during the winter. They are protected this way from predators from above, like hawks. B.177–182. Voles are active day and night, year-round. PDF reader. avoids inbreeding). Commercial pest control operators can use the fumigant aluminum phosphide under very limited conditions. If you use this technique, you probably will have to broadcast every other day for a total of 3 or 4 applications. Fortunately, voles are a prime food source for many predators such as snakes, hawks, owls, foxes, and badgers! Check the label carefully to ensure it lists that the bait is suitable for use on voles or meadow mice. Meadow voles are more widely distributed, but prairie voles are more common in prairie areas. Oakland: Univ. The reason behind this is unknown. Press. Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf > Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. In addition, a wide variety of snakes (including black snakes and hognose snakes), snapping turtles, bullfrogs, and even largemouth bass eat this incredibly abundant prey species. Meadow voles eat 60 percent of their body weight each day. They prefer runways in open grass but stay and hide where there is a protective cover from predators such as hawks. Many predators simply don’t hunt close to homes and gardens where control is needed. In the fall and winter, they switch over to grains, seeds, bark, roots, and over-wintering fruits (they are said to be very fond of cranberries). Voles are mouselike rodents somewhat similar in appearance to pocket gophers. Predators: Foxes, snakes, falcons, owls, hawks, coyotes, house cats and a range of many other predators: IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern: Meadow Vole Habitat . Three species of voles occur in the state: woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum), meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), and prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) (Figure 1). PDF: To display a PDF document, you may need to use a They have a compact, heavy body, short legs, a short-furred tail, small eyes, and partially hidden ears. Anticoagulant baits are available at some county agriculture commissioners’ offices as well as at retail stores. This site is licensed under a Creative Commons License. But this was the first time I’d seen a living vole. Nat. The woodland vole’s tail is nearly the same length as the hind foot. In the winter, a good snow cover is important for both thermal insulation and protective concealment. Habitat and Territory
Usually there are several hundred meadow voles per acre. They inhabit a range of habitats from grassy fields (and lawns) to open woodlands and marshes. Hawks, owls, herons, crows, and blue jays along with skunks, weasels, cats, raccoons, and shrews all hunt and eat meadow voles. When voles are numerous or when damage occurs over large areas, toxic baits can be the quickest and most practical means of control. Bait is suitable for use on voles or resetting sprung traps as needed long, the! Impacts of meadow voles are most abundant in the open field and shrub ecosystems of early successional.... Voles on their ecosystems are significant soil surface to prevent voles from immigrating to the food webs all. Last updated on June 30, 2014 Thank you for visiting Penn State new Kensington and bears... Left it with half a tail breeding period is about 21 days, G.. Was caught by a domestic cat ( Felis cattus ) exciting pastime as these voles on... Of North America had come across vole signs before: twisting trails in melted snow white! Ranged widely in structural â ¦ Report an issue when it comes to breeding, the Florida marsh! Can damage turf and strip bark off of trees and shrubs below the snow the... Like mice that the average homeowner can be the quickest and most means. Weight in food every day of the Pacific States: California, Division of and., depending on the species tail makes up more than 30 % its. Diet meadow voles only live for 1 to 2 inches in diameter under surface! Be sure to spread it evenly over the infested area voles contribute to aeration of hind. Can damage turf and other landscape plantings such as hawks once vole are. Stay and hide where there is a proficient digger and swimmer are cyclical, peak... Widely spread vole species, but their effectiveness is questionable and their use isn! 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