• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Voles and Moles.......How to get rid of them???

 
                                    
Posts: 1
Location: suburban Washington, D.C.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have voles and/or moles. I also have dogs. Do the voles/moles eat the dogs' feces? I've been told both "yes" and "no". What's the truth? How do I get rid of them, without risking poisoning my dogs? Yes, I'd like to kill the voles, but because of my dogs, I'd be content to simply run them off. I've lived in this house for more than ten years, ( and I've always had dogs ). The voles/moles have only shown up within this past 9 or 10 months. First time I've ever seen them, or any evidence of them! Some people say, just live with them. Well, I'm an animal lover, not just a dog lover, but I don't want to live with them. So, I'm looking for some "expert" assistance and advice. Thank You. I'm a brand new member, who's just registered. This is my very first posting. Anyone with something to offer, PLEASE respond. Thanks.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a 4 year old female Beagle and I have moles in my yard. The dog is doing more harm than the moles as she will dig up their trails or runs to try and find them. I have researched moles on the internet through several Universties. The only real way to get rid of them is to use mole traps from "Victory" (one brand I am using effectively but there are others) which is a spring spike trap. I have killed 3 moles so far in just a week or so. Moles are insectavores and eat a variety of insects including worms .... every good lawn has lots of worms.

There were so many trails in my yard .... and the information I gathered said to try and find a run that is fairly straight and long and this is their main run or highway which they use frequently. It may be along a driveway, fence row, or tree line along your property. I also have a yard roller which I dragged behind my lawn tractor .... I decided to roll my lawn flat so that I could see the new runs where the moles were active. As I was rolling I saw the moles making a new run and turned around and rolled over him .... later I saw a mound popping up as the mole was digging and I went to that spot and shoved a spear made out of 2 large campfire hot dog forks duct tapped together to give me 4 spike ends. The next day after a nice rain fall the mole was on the surface dead. One of the new trap was tripped and there was a dead mole on the end. This is becoming a "war" for me and I am going to win. My neighbors extra wooded lot beside me is fill with moles and they are moving into my yard because I have a sprinklers system and the yard is green during the current draught in the Midwest. I have purchased lawn insectaside to help kill some of the insects like grubs etc. This should help some also.

Regards,

Doctor Mole Hunter in Illinois
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have 2 terriers and 1million moles or whatever.  My backyard looks like a war zone.  I tried a trap but was unsuccessful since my yard is totally landscaped with many plants and is hard to see the trails and find the main rodant road.  I'm afraid to use poison for obvious reasons.  Maybe I should stand outside with a shovel?  I'm damn mad and I'm not going to take it anymore!  What else do you recomend?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19829
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a little trouble with voles.  Fortunately, one of my dogs will patiently sit out in a vole area and wait patiently to see one and then eat it.  This seems to be working rather well. 

Before she did a lot of that, I did a fair amount of research on buying garter snakes.  I never did buy the snakes, but it did seem that I could get about 20 of them for around $50.  I figure I would turn all 20 of them loose in the same spot and over the years they would reproduce.  But they could get down in the holes with the moles/voles and eat babies.  As they got bigger, they could probably eat the adults. 

Snakes really creep me out.  But if I have garter snakes, then scarier snakes probably won't move in to solve the problem.

As for insecticide:  if you use it, it will kill what you are trying to kill and it will kill the things that could control that sort of thing for you AND it will kill a whole bunch of stuff that you don't intend to kill AND, odds are, that you are harming yourself, your family, your pets, your aquifer and the same can be said for all of your neighbors. 

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We had mole holes all around our in ground swimming pool and were told to put Juicy Fruit Gum sticks down each hole.  The moles chew the gum, blow up and burst--killing them.  We went out and purchased packs of the gum, dropped a stick in each hole and it did the trick.  We did not have a mole problem after that.  Happy swimmer in Pa. 
Also, my mother, in Fla. had a mole problem at her home, so we tried the same thing. We  bought the gum, inserted the pieces in each hole and moles were gone. 
It's worth a try---cheap and safe.  JK
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a mole situation and have so far tried to kill the grubs. I used  smoke bombs but no effect. Do you unwrap the gum is what I'd like to know?Thanks for any help..Vin in Detroit.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also had this problem...

Moleattack.com has a great product that is environmentally safe and worked perfectly for me
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19829
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
Snakes really creep me out.  But if I have garter snakes, then scarier snakes probably won't move in to solve the problem.


I never saw this post before. Not to creep you out even more regarding snakes, but...
I'm pretty sure that scarier snakes are not at all opposed to eating friendly little garter snakes.

I really like snakes. Let my neighbor keep his ball python (small python, avg. length 3 - 5 feet) at my house because his wife just couldn't handle having a snake around. I found it fascinating to watch its movement around the aquarium.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
Voles and Moles make excellent pig food!




yeah yeah yeah. what doesn't make excellent pig food I think the pigs would destroy alot more than the moles while getting at them! my dogs would dig neat little trails through the yard after them. unless they have  little hammer drills on their noses I don't think we will have much of a mole or gopher problem here. a mole that could pop up in my yard is a frightening proposal indeed.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19829
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Run the pigs in the area for just a short while.  They will probably wipe out more than half of the mole/vole population and take only 10% of other stuff.  And, the good news is, the moles/voles and other stuff - they all get converted to pork!
 
Mariette Kruit
Posts: 5
Location: Europe
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know this topic is old, but I'm new in the game and have just realized that those little critters my cats having been bringing back/eating aren't field mice, but voles. And I think I may have been feeding them the past two winters with my compost pile conveniently located in an old shed. Food and shelter over winter plus all my sweet potatoes over summer (plants were there, tubers weren't). My husband taking out the old apple trees where the local owl's liked to sit probably doesn't help either. Cats and dog can't seem to be keeping up as more and more deep rooters seem to be missing their roots. But on the plus side I now know what I'm dealing with and know not to yell at my dog next time she decides to go digging. And my husband did (jokingly) mention getting a pig or two, so I might just be able to talk him into that, thanks! What about ducks and chickens? I would really like to implement them into my garden. I've heard that chickens will eat mice, any truth to that (have those too)?
Also I've noticed that voles can't seem to or want to dig through heavy clay. Our yard is like one long, continuous piece, the house being on the side. So our "front" yard (next to the house) is heavy clay and there used to be another smaller building on it too. It's very compact, tried to dig a hole to build a sandbox in for my daughter and I couldn't get further than a shovel deep. I've sheet mulched some places and only the places with minimal amounts of clay soil around them have been visited by moles, but no voles at all. So there might be a plan in that for me, since I have to leave some clay in place anyway as a driveway to the back. And I'll just have to either get or borrow a couple of pigs for a while and let them run loose in the backyard.
Thanks for the info!
 
Faye Corbett
Posts: 23
Location: Appalachian Mountains
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
An ag consultant friend recommended using plenty of gypsum in the soil which also help repel voles. I tried it one year in a problem area, with late planted Irish potatoes. I planted so late I feared I would not make a crop a all, had so little compost to put on it, etc. However, the calcium seems to unlock the available nitrogen in the soil. Not only did I have huge potatoes, best tasting ever, but the voles did not touch them.
Are we sure we want to get rid of the voles and moles? Moles eat grubs in the soil which eat our plants, and really clean out an area of those. Maybe we just need to control them or repel them from an area.

I've also tried planting castor beans and putting cotton swabs smeared with castor oil in their tunnels. That works too. I did do the windmill type device you stick into the ground, which sets up a vibration. They moved away, but came back when they figured out it wasn't going to hurt them.

Lately, I'm planting in big pots, freebies from a plant nursery. Gravel/small rocks in the bottom to close the holes but leave enough room for water to drain, then my growing soil/compost/leaves. So far the voles haven't gotten in. I'm doing more of that this year, for my root crops: sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas. Did I leave anything out? Oh, Jerusalem Artichokes are too big for the pots, they'll have to manage without protection.

I really think voles are part of the solution, not the problem. They soften soil, provide food for countless other critters like hawks, snakes, owls and my dog. If the coyotes/wolves and Bobcats have a plentiful supply of voles, perhaps they are less likely to kill domestic livestock. They have their niche. I just don't want them eating everything I grow. I remember once digging up my garden, and in a mole/vole tunnel there were snake eggs.

Now if I could only convince my closest neighbor NOT to kill every snake/owl and hawk she sees. I try to encourage them. My dog (Australian Shepherd mix) once tackled a hawk in flight as it swooped down on an unsuspecting chicken. Pretty comical watching him run around the tree barking where the hawk finally landed. He thought he was keeping him treed and the chickens safe. My dog is my most valued companion and farm help. I couldn't do what I do here without him. Not only does he protect everything (including me), but he herds any livestock I need him to and has great instincts. I think he is telepathic, he seems to know what I want him to do all the time. I tell him, but somehow more information is being transmitted than he could possibly understand verbally. Enough about the dog, this is a vole thread. He does eat his share and constantly digs up tunnels, when not busy working.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 248
Location: Northern Maine (zone 3b-4a)
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the voles don't bother anything in summer but in winter they travel under the snow and girdle trees. i lost 4 3 yr. old cherry bushes to them last winter. when the snow melts you can see the trails they left on the lawn. come spring they head back to the field next door. how the heck do you deal with them in this situation?
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 12
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Reply to Steve Bossie:

I understand your frustration with voles that tunnel under snow and girdle trees and eat the roots of the things you planted. They find plants that you had to pay money for, and spent all summer establishing, especially tasty. I get the "live in harmony with nature" idea, and I get that Masanobu Fukuoka would probably say that it's not an excess of voles but a dearth of vole-eaters, but as you and I know, snakes lie low in the winter, birds of prey can't see through snow, and cats don't follow tiny tube tunnels under the ice and snow. The voles feast, undisturbed.

The best thing I've found so far is plastic pipe a couple of feet long, cut in two lengthwise, to put around the trunks of young trees; it gets fastened together again with strapping and screws, and can be removed when the tree outgrows it. For wispier trees-to-be, 1/4" hardware cloth is what saved my one little cherry that survived the voles. I'd forgotten about voles, and was goat- and deer-proofing with concrete mesh for the other little cherries, but ran out of it, so used the hardware cloth instead. It's the only thing I'll use for the protecting twiggy saplings, now. That and fly screen. The concrete mesh was of course useless against voles.

I guess the way to protect asparagus in box beds is to run fly screen all across the top of it, and staple it to the sides of the planter. It took me years of calling myself a black thumb gardener, who followed instructions to the letter and got zero results, before I clued in to the voles. That helped my self-esteem slightly. They say that it's better to pay full retail for better quality, early season plants, but seriously, until the voles are deterred, it's not even worth the gamble buying cheap end-of-season stock, nor investing the time only in propagating cuttings.

I wish you best success with defending your plantings.
 
David Livingston
steward
Pie
Posts: 2602
Location: Anjou ,France
102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Came back from a four day trip to the seaside to discover I have voles in the green house they had killed a melon and two sweet potato plants . Any one any suggestions as I dont have a dog or cat
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 421
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David, I have really good results with a 5 gallon bucket half filled with water and a minimum of a 5/8 to 3/4 inch hose draped along the ground for a foot, going up over the top, then down the other side for a foot on the ground. In my situation I put the buckets under leaky spots in the irrigation lines. They jump in at night and that's the end of that. It may take a week or so for them to get curious about it and go up the hose, but I get some in my buckets every week. One particularly busy time I got six at once. A bucket I put under my deck got 4 overnight. The average is one or two per bucket per week during the busy seasons. If the bucket is too full they will pull themselves out of it. Sometimes I even find them in empty buckets, so they seem to fall or jump in no matter what.

 
David Livingston
steward
Pie
Posts: 2602
Location: Anjou ,France
102
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have caught mice this way but not voles who seem to prefer to remain under ground

David
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 421
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, voles are like mice on steroids, they run around among plants during the day, will go up fruit trees and float differently when dead than mice, have more of a snout. Mice usually run around at night, but both voles and mice jump into the buckets at night.

Moles are under the ground all the time, have those big fan claws and can turn tough clay soil into the most beautiful stuff ever, but only eat worms, not fruit or roots. I don't want them eating my worms, but I don't worry about them in the greenhouse, I just squash their lifted tunnels.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic