Moles are more of a
nuisance than a financial liability. The ridges of their tunnels make lawn mowing
difficult. They are capable of tunneling one foot per minute. Mole activities may
indirectly damage vegetation, even though their feeding on insects and other soil
organisms is beneficial. Voles are similar in appearance, but their diet consist of a wide
variety of vegetation. Due to this, they share the same habitat. You should know how their
habits differ, so that you can identify and implement the proper (IPM) control methods.
Examine characteristics chart.
Eastern Mole: Scalopus Aquaticus
Prairie Vole: Microtus Ochrogaster
Meadow Voles: Microtus Pennsylvanicus
- Diet consist of insects, grubs, worms, spiders, snails, & beetles.
- One litter per year.
- Short brown velvety fur.
- Active year round but antisocial.
- Prefers moist, sandy loam soils.
- Avoids dry clay soils.
- Paddle like fore feet with prominent nails.
- Lacks external ears and eyes appear to be missing.
- Voles are a genus of rodents.
- Voles are small and weigh about 1 to 2 ounces. (19 species).
- Important food source for many predators such as snakes & hawks.
- Life expectancy is short, but have been noted to have over 15 litters per year.
- Many vole populations are cyclic.
- Voles are widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere.
- Territory is less than 1.5 acres, herbivores predominantly.
pesticides/grubicides/fumigants only according to label instructions. Toxicant/fumigants
can be hazardous to humans, pets, livestock and non-targeted wildlife. Precautions should
be taken to prevent secondary poisonings. Some states prohibit the killing of moles.
Contact your county extension agent for details within your county. Transonic devices have
very limited research to demonstrate their effectiveness.
Mole Out Granules
IPM strategies discourage nuisance animal extermination. The use of multiple
methods often increases the efficacy of both. Use the safest methods possible.
|Post Control Methods:
Pack soil with a roller and reduce
moisture. Use of an insecticide to control their food source: worms, grubs, etc., is
|Pre Control: Inspection(*) Management (-)
* Inspect for raised ridges or surface tunnels and
mounds. Moles leave cone-shaped mounds, and are most active early mornings and late
- Traps are among the most successful and practical
method to rid and eliminate damage. Set traps in straight surface tunnels. These are
travel tunnels. Assure you have chosen a travel tunnel, then make a small impression which
should close off the tunnel. Observe for repairs late that afternoon or early next day.
University studies have shown caster oil deters mole activity. This digestive tract
irritant is consumed as worms, insects, & grubs are eaten within treated soils.
Vole: (meadow mice)
* Prairie voles construct surface runways.
* Pine voles have extensive underground runways and
- Spot treatment with baits and repellents are effective
in eliminating voles. Most damage is noticed in the spring, although they damage nursery
stock throughout the winter. Whole Control and Mole Out Granules, are two repellents
labeled for the expulsion of moles, pocket gophers, armadillos, and voles, is a 100%
natural deterrent that assists in controlling but does not kill the animals. Vegetation
and weed control is critical. Baits and traps are somewhat effective for the short term
control. Establish the safest and least offensive control possible.
Tunnels disfigures lawns, golf
courses, gardens, & cemeteries. Voles often kill expensive nursery stock. Tunnels
expose plant roots to air, causing wilting or death of valued plants or shrubs. Physical
damage to bulbs and flowers. Damage to woody plants, usually during the fall.