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Home » Blog » How To Get Rid of Voles

How To Get Rid of Voles

How To Get Rid of Voles

Voles are small rodents that often get mistaken for mice or moles due to their similar appearance. These little critters have compact bodies, short tails, and typically sport brown or gray fur. However, unlike moles, voles are herbivores. They have a voracious appetite for plants, which can turn them into a major headache for gardeners and homeowners alike. So what are voles and how to get rid of them?

Voles with short tails and small eyes
Voles are similar to mice, with the difference of having shorter tails, smaller eyes, and partially hidden ears.

Reasons for Getting Rid of Voles

Now, let's dig into why you'd want these plant-munching rodents out of your life and how to get rid of voles.

Garden and Lawn Damage:

Voles have a knack for wreaking havoc in gardens and lawns. They chomp on plant roots, stems, and bulbs, leading to wilting, stunted growth, and, in some cases, plant fatalities.

Tunneling and Burrowing:

Beneath the surface, voles are busy bees...well, rodents. They construct intricate tunnel systems that can weaken the soil and mess with the root systems of your plants. Plus, these tunnels might just trip you up in your own yard.

Population Control:

Voles are like the rabbits of the rodent world when it comes to reproduction. A minor vole issue can quickly turn into a major vole infestation if left unattended. So, in our experience providing wildlife removal services, we think that it's best to nip it in the bud.

Unveiling Voles

Voles may be small, but they've got distinctive features. Measuring in at a modest 4 to 8 inches in length, including their short tails, they're not much larger than your average smartphone. Their unassuming appearance includes small eyes and ears that don't command attention. But don't underestimate them; these critters boast sharp incisor teeth tailor-made for chomping through plant material.

Where Voles Hang Their Hats

Voles have a knack for picking homes that are like hidden forest gems. They thrive in areas adorned with dense vegetation, and that's precisely why gardens, lawns, and fields are their favorite haunts. They're the early risers and night owls of the rodent world, often at their most active during the early morning and late evening hours.

Unraveling Vole Behavior and Their Impact

To tackle the vole conundrum, it's essential to grasp their behavior. Voles are plant enthusiasts, but not in a good way for gardeners. They target the base of plants, munching through stems and gnawing at roots.

Their presence leaves behind distinct surface runways – pathways etched through the grass as they navigate their green kingdom. Understanding these habits is the key to effective control, so let's delve deeper into how to manage these plant-loving pests.

Keeping Voles at Bay: Prevention and Control Methods

But what do voles eat? Voles are herbivorous rodents, and their diet primarily consists of plant material. They are known to eat a variety of vegetation, including:

  1. Grasses: Voles often consume grasses, which make up a significant portion of their diet. They nibble on grass stems, leaves, and roots.
  2. Herbaceous Plants: Voles are fond of herbaceous plants, such as flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants. They may eat the stems, leaves, and sometimes the entire plant.
  3. Tree Bark: In winter, when other food sources are scarce, voles may resort to gnawing on tree bark, especially the bark of young trees and shrubs. This can lead to damage and stunted growth.
  4. Seeds: Voles also eat seeds, particularly those found in gardens or fields. They may dig up and consume seeds from the ground.
  5. Fruits and Vegetables: Voles have been known to target fruits and vegetables like strawberries, potatoes, and carrots.
  6. Tubers and Bulbs: Voles may dig up and eat underground plant parts like tubers and bulbs, which can be detrimental to plants.
  7. Insects (Occasionally): While plant material makes up the bulk of their diet, voles may occasionally consume insects or other small invertebrates.
Voles are herbivorous,
Voles are herbivorous, so their menu is mostly plants, fruits, and seeds.

When we provided wildlife removal services, we found that voles can cause significant damage to gardens and lawns due to their feeding habits. Gardeners and homeowners often can take some measures to prevent voles and protect their plants from vole damage and implement vole control strategies when necessary. These include:

Eliminating Food Sources: Voles are foodies, so let's clear their culinary delights. Say goodbye to fallen fruits, veggies, and that generous birdseed buffet. Keep those garbage containers locked down tight to deny access.

Lawn Love: Show your lawn some tender love and care. Regular mowing and vegetation trimming not only keep your yard looking spiffy but also reduce vole hiding spots. It's like telling them, "Sorry, no vacancy here!"

Strategic Planting

  1. Vole-Resistant Plants: Get picky with your plant choices. Opt for species that voles find about as appealing as a salad with no dressing. Consider options like daffodils, marigolds, or the pungent allure of garlic.
  2. Garden Fortifications: Unleash your inner garden architect. Construct barriers and raised beds, turning your garden into a fortress. These protective measures keep vulnerable plants safe from vole invasions.

Trapping and Vole Relocation

At Critter Stop, we have provided hundreds of wildlife removal services, and we can ensure that trapping is an effective method for controlling vole populations, there are different types of traps available. Let's explore each type and the best use for each:

  1. Snap Traps:
    • How They Work: Snap traps are classic and straightforward. They consist of a spring-loaded mechanism with a baited trigger. When a vole attempts to take the bait, the trap springs shut, swiftly catching the vole.
    • Best Use: Snap traps are ideal for placing along vole runways or near their burrow entrances. Bait them with peanut butter, seeds, or oatmeal to attract voles. Be sure to check them regularly, as these traps are lethal, and you'll need to dispose of any caught voles.
  2. Live Traps:
    • How They Work: Live traps are designed to capture voles without harming them. They typically have one or more entry points, allowing voles to enter but not exit. Once a vole is inside, you can safely release it elsewhere.
    • Best Use: Live traps are suitable for situations where you want to catch voles alive and relocate them away from your property. Place these traps near vole runways or burrow entrances, and use bait like apple slices or birdseed. Check the traps frequently, and release captured voles at least a mile away to prevent their return.

Natural Predators

Inviting Nature's Helpers: Consider attracting natural vole predators to your yard, such as owls, hawks, or snakes. These eco-friendly allies can help keep the vole population in check.

Professional Assistance

When All Else Fails: If voles seem to have the upper paw, don't hesitate to call in the pros. Pest control experts have a range of strategies and tools at their disposal to tackle vole infestations effectively and safely.

With these comprehensive strategies and sub-strategies at your disposal, you're well-equipped to reclaim your garden, lawn, and property from these persistent plant-loving pests. Say goodbye to vole-induced, garden pests and nightmares and hello to a thriving green kingdom!

Removing Voles

Dealing with a vole problem can be a challenging task, especially when these small rodents are busy creating their intricate vole runways in your garden. These meadow mice, often mistaken for their close relatives, can be quite the headache for gardeners and homeowners alike. They feast on young trees, making it crucial to prevent vole damage if you want your garden to flourish.

Fortunately, there are ways to discourage voles, kill voles, and even get rid of voles altogether. Some gardeners swear by using coffee grounds to repel voles, while others opt for more traditional methods. By taking proactive measures, you can discourage voles and reduce the vole population around your property, ensuring that your garden remains a haven for plants and bird feeders without becoming a vole buffet.


If you are wondering about how to get rid of voles without poison, you have a couple of options:

  1. Natural Vole Repellents: Harness the power of nature with repellents like castor oil, garlic, or predator urine. These scents are like "keep out" signs for voles.
  2. Commercial Vole Repellent Products: For a more convenient solution, you can explore commercially available vole repellent products. These often come in user-friendly forms and can be applied easily.

Poison Baits

Using poison baits requires caution and responsibility:

  1. Choosing Safe Vole Baits: When selecting poison baits, prioritize safety. Read and follow all safety instructions carefully, and store these baits out of the reach of children and pets.
  2. Using Poison Baits Effectively: To target voles effectively, place baits in vole runways or near known activity areas. Regularly monitor bait stations to assess their effectiveness and replenish as needed.


Fumigation is a drastic measure and should be considered as a last resort:

  • When and How to Use Fumigation: Fumigation involves introducing toxic gases into vole tunnels. This method should only be used when other control methods have failed. Ensure you follow safety guidelines and adhere to any local regulations when using this method, as it can have environmental impacts.

As a responsible vole controller, use these removal methods to control vole populations judiciously and prioritize safety for all living creatures in your environment.

Winter Vole Control Methods

While winter may seem like a reprieve from vole troubles, these resourceful critters can still pose unique challenges in the colder months. Their survival strategy often involves seeking shelter under snow cover, making their activity less visible. Even when your yard is blanketed in white, voles may continue to wreak havoc beneath it.

Voles in the snow
Even in winter, Voles can be on activity under the snow cover. 

Stay Vigilant:

To effectively deal with voles during winter, maintaining vigilance is key. It's essential to remain watchful for signs of vole activity, such as runways or damaged plants, even if these telltale signs are hidden beneath the snow. Regularly inspect your garden and lawn to spot any disturbances or tracks that might indicate vole presence.

Protecting Plants and Property in Snowy Conditions

Snow: Friend or Foe?: While snow may appear tranquil and harmless, it can serve as an unexpected hiding place for hungry voles. These rodents are known for tunneling through the snow to access your precious plants, where they proceed to gnaw on bark and roots beneath the protective cover.

Defense Strategies

To shield your plants and property from winter vole damage, implementing effective strategies is crucial. Consider the following approaches:

  • Snow Barriers: Create snow barriers by surrounding the base of vulnerable plants with hardware cloth or mesh fencing. Extend these barriers above the snowline to deter voles from reaching your plants and causing damage.
  • Tree Wraps and Guards: Employ tree wraps or plastic guards to safeguard the lower trunks of trees and shrubs from vole feeding. These protective measures can make all the difference in preserving your greenery during the winter months.


To wrap up our vole control journey of how to get rid of voles in your yard or how to get rid of voles in your house, let's revisit the essential steps:

  • Identification: Recognize vole presence through signs like runways and gnawed plant material.
  • Prevention: Maintain yard cleanliness, strategically plant vole-resistant species, and consider trapping or natural predators.
  • Removal: If necessary, use repellents, poison baits, or fumigation, prioritizing safety and humane methods.
  • Winter Vigilance: Stay watchful for vole activity, even during winter months, and protect plants and property.

Benefits of Successfully Getting Rid of Voles

Successfully managing vole populations in your yard brings several advantages. By minimizing vole damage, you can enjoy healthier plants, improved garden productivity, and reduced property destruction. Your efforts in vole control can lead to a more pleasant and visually appealing outdoor space.

Final Thoughts on Vole Management and Conservation

In our quest for vole control, let's not forget our responsibility to nature. Encourage responsible vole management practices that prioritize humane and environmentally friendly methods. Striking this balance ensures that while you protect your plants and property from vole problems, you also contribute to the conservation of wildlife and maintain a harmonious coexistence with the natural world.

As rodent control experts, at Critter Stop we always recommend that our customers call directly an expert team in case of having these unwanted visitors. DIY videos and tutorials are normally easy to watch but hard to apply, opening the possibility of spending more money, causing damages to your property, and even put in risk your safety. If you have any doubt, just call us at  (214) 234-2616 and we will be happy to help you. 

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
Susan Casey
Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
Karen Eckholdt
Karen Eckholdt
14:54 22 Sep 22
Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
Aaron Echols
Aaron Echols
13:51 03 Aug 22
The guys at Critter Stop responded quickly, were very friendly, and gave us an honest estimate of what we might need. They explained why some items on other quotes were or were not necessary. They communicated well to get us scheduled, and did the work well and quickly. Great service at a fair and competitive price.
Jacob Scribner
Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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