Voles are the most prolific breeders in the rodent family, producing 3-5 pups per litter and up to 17 litters in a year. A female vole can have 80 offspring in a year! However, nature has its system of checks and balances. Since the vole has a wide variety of predators, including large birds, most only survive a few months in the wild.
Traps, rodenticides, and prevention are all options for controlling voles.
Small infestations of voles can be eliminated using expanded trigger mousetraps.
Indoors, traps can be placed along walls as would be done for the House Mouse. Outside, traps can be placed at the beginning of the runways a couple of inches from the burrows beneath natural cover.
Traps can also be placed directly in the runways in the turf. Broadened areas of the runway, or locations where several runways converge, are good trap locations.
Using bait on the snap traps is not necessary because Voles run these runways in a habitual manner, and often run onto or over whatever falls into these paths. For traps that are placed beneath cover, smudges of peanut butter mixed with oatmeal provide an enticing treat to Voles.
Always use water-resistant gloves when disposing of the all Vole carcasses.
Rodenticides, also known as rodent baits, offer an economical and efficient approach for eliminating rodent populations. Rodenticides used against rodents are effective against Voles.
Just as with trapping, the key to effective use of baits lies with a thorough inspection to determine area of high activity. After locating a burrow, placing Rodenticide into burrows with a long spoon is most effective. Pellets are typically better accepted by voles than wax blocks.
Voles can be kept out of buildings via good rodent proofing techniques. Because voles gain access to buildings only at ground level, key areas to inspect and repair include garage doors and any foundation cracks.
Close mowing and brush removal will reduce the severity of vole infestations.
For young trees, use a 12-inch tall fence made of hardware cloth buried 3 inches into the ground to create a barrier that will keep Voles out.