Moles and Voles
Think you saw a mouse in your yard or garden but it didn’t quite look right? There’s a good chance it was a mole or a vole. These two critters are both easy to mistake for mice, but are completely different — both from mice and from each other. Unlike the common house mouse, moles and voles infrequently make their way into homes but can cause havoc in yards and gardens. Outbuildings with dirt floors — such as garden sheds, barns or utility buildings are also at risk of mole and vole damage.
Moles Tearing Up Your Yard?
Are you having mole problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart,
or (260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your yard mole removal.
Identifying Moles and Voles
Both moles and voles are roughly the size of house mice — between three and five inches long. Both have brown, gray or black fur, but that’s where the similarity ends. Voles look much like the common mouse, except their tails — which are also furry — are visibly shorter than the rest of their bodies. Moles are most easily distinguished by their broad necks and shoulders, long snouts, lack of visible ears and tiny eyes.
Both moles and voles are usually found close to the ground. They’re burrowers who create long and intricate tunnel systems. While they show a preference for dense vegetation, they’re found in woodlands, grasslands, farmlands, mountainous regions, and don’t discriminate against more suburban and urban areas along with rural ones.
Vole and Mole Problems and Damage
Moles and voles aren’t typically found indoors, but instead cause damage to yards and gardens. They tear up the soil in attempts to find food and shelter. Moles are a little more tolerable than voles, since they’re carnivores who eat insects. Voles, however, gnaw on tree bark, roots and plants close to the ground for nutrients. Both can disrupt lawns and gardens with their tunneling, as well as causing damage to irrigation lines, pasture and agricultural crops.
While moles pose little risk of disease to humans, voles are vectors for fleas and ticks, which can transmit tularemia and plague, among other issues. Both moles and voles can bite if picked up or if they feel threatened. Bites from these critters are painful and can leave you open to bacterial infections necessitating treatment with antibiotics.
Dealing with Voles and Moles
When dealing with moles, exclusion from your yard is nearly impossible. These pests aren’t protected under law, so can be dealt with by baiting or trapping — what works best depends on the circumstances of the infestation.
While posing more of a health risk than moles, voles are more easily controlled by means of exclusion and habitat adjustment. Removing weeds and groundcover makes your yard and garden less appealing to voles. Fencing around trees and mesh around plants discourages them from nibbling and tunneling.
When an infestation is unbearable, calling in Critter Control is your best bet. Highly trained, qualified professionals who can determine the most effective and humane way to deal with a mole or vole problem — be it baiting or trapping and removal — can bring an infestation under control. Since both of these creatures burrow in secret, the process of trapping and removal can be tricky. Calling in the experts ensures the best results with as little frustration as possible.