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Voles!!

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Goodbye Voles

Post  junequilt on 8/11/2010, 3:48 pm

How wonderful, Shoda! This is a testament to how marvelously nature can restore its balance. Thank you for letting us know!

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The voles are back

Post  ander217 on 9/13/2010, 7:13 am

I thought the voles had left us in early summer, but now that the sweet potatoes are growing large I see that they are back. There are vole holes around every sweet potato plant in the bed. It is so discouraging.

I received my first packet of potato onions this week from SESE, and included was a paper on growing onions. It mentioned voles as a pest, and suggested rolling up Juicy Fruit gum and dropping in their runs, while avoiding touching it or leaving a human scent. Apparently voles cannot digest gum. (Hubby is in the process of digging in hardware cloth all around the perimeter of the garden to keep them out but he hasn't yet finished. Maybe it will thwart them next year.)

Vole Battle II has commenced. Wish me luck!

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Chopper on 9/13/2010, 10:47 pm

The underground pests are the worst!

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Re: Voles!!

Post  middlemamma on 9/13/2010, 11:54 pm

Dang Ander......I'll be thinking good thoughts for your sweetie tatoes and your onions...

I haven't recieved my potato onions yet from SESE.


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VOLE WARNING / Tomato destruction overnight

Post  Squat_Johnson on 3/31/2011, 9:58 pm

They left two living tomatoes out of 48. Sad

I had 3 cases of 4" to 8" tomatoes, and two cases of peppers under a 4x4 hoop house. To say I have a major infestation, I suppose would be an understatement. They only ate two peppers.
See the two tomatoes that are left? They left the two scrawniest ones!!



I have 4 more cases of tomatoes upstairs under lights... I'll be OK, but there won't be any sales at the farmer's market...

You can see the dead plant tops lying in the dirt (there isn't anything planted in the box yet), but not really the paths underneath the cases...



Out of my 4 big beds (4' x 24'), 2 are already under conversion to a box
with hardware cloth (wire mesh) bottoms. I had some problems last year,
but they are back stronger than ever. I have been dropping Juicy Fruit
into their holes, and have tried snap traps, but have not had much luck.
Any help is appreciated.

Learn from my ranting... If you think this is a problem in your area, drop the extra cash on a wire bottom for your boxes.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  ashort on 3/31/2011, 10:04 pm

I remember the infamous gopher battles as a kid... so I went with chicken wire under all my boxes so far....


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Re: Voles!!

Post  walshevak on 3/31/2011, 10:11 pm

What a bummer! I'm glad you have some backups. My friends in the Philippines are losing tomato seedling to the finches. Little birds just snap off the top.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  middlemamma on 4/1/2011, 12:09 am

OH!!! That is so terrible.....I am so sorry!!!

If you would like a good laugh here is my vole story.... Smile
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4276-only-the-sfg-forum-will-fully-appreciate-this-postwarning-long-but-i-hope-you-laugh

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/1/2011, 10:24 am

Jennie, that is too funny! I didn't expect you to be working for the other side... Shame on you Very Happy

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How I got rid of voles & chipmunks last year

Post  Joyousch on 4/4/2011, 3:08 pm

In case this is helpful....

I moved into a new house last year and spent a LOT of time tearing out the old overgrown shrubs, removing the rock mulch (why do people use that??!) and amending the clay soil by hand. After many hours of hard labor, I planted various flowers and bulbs. Before long, I had critters eating away my flowers & plants (not my tomatoes or basil, thankfully, and those were the only veggies I had then). They got hostas above ground and some bulbs below ground. I was not happy! I saw chipmunks and figured that what was doing it. I didn't want to trap them live and have to either kill or release them...I wasn't fond of the spring-loaded traps...preferred to avoid poison, since I have toddlers...and I didn't want to spend much money...but I wanted them gone! After that long intro, here's what I did:

I got a five gallon bucket and filled it half full with water, then made a ramp from the ground to the top of the bucket with a piece of wood. Then, I got a lot of unshelled sunflower seeds and covered the entire surface of the water with them, then make a trail leading up the wood. The chipmunks (and voles that I didn't even know I had) ate their way up the ramp and then fell into the bucket of water while trying to get to more sunflower seeds. They were trapped and drowned. My hubbie got the unfortunate job of collecting the drowned vermin and disposing of them. If left long, they started to smell...but aside from that, this was a pesticide-free, relatively safe, and pretty darn cheap way to get rid of above-ground critters! I had two buckets set up and caught at least a dozen of the darn things over a few weeks. One thing I learned - the placement of the buckets is important. I was more successful when I put the buckets in a shadow or against a wall, rather than out in the open.

I may have to break out my buckets again this year. We have a lot of gophers or moles that are tunneling through the yard, which I presume will attract more voles... and something has already nosed its way *between* the top of my 4'x4' SFG box and the cage I made to rest on top of the box. Argh. When I built my boxes, I stapled 1" sheeting to the bottom to hopefully keep anything from tunneling up through the dirt...but now I'm worried because I used the plastic-y stuff the hardware store had available (they were sold out of chicken wire). I hope they don't eat right through it. Oh well, we'll see.

Happy vole-catching!

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Re: Voles!!

Post  quiltbea on 4/4/2011, 3:51 pm

I'm sure the voles can get thru many wire mesh unless its really small. If they can fit their head thru, the rest of their body will stretch right thru the wire mesh. They aren't very big.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/4/2011, 4:52 pm

I ended up using 1/2" wire. I couldn't find any large rolls with the 1/4". I caught a couple in traps, the adults definately won't get through . I think the slat the below one is lying on are about 3/4" wide or so.

Just so you know, this is what they look like... Although this one looks alive, I had just released him from the snap trap.


Last edited by Squat_Johnson on 4/4/2011, 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)

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Re: Voles!!

Post  martha on 4/4/2011, 11:48 pm

Squat - Juicy Fruit? I have this image of little vermin with a big wad of chewing gum in their cheeks!

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Re: Voles!!

Post  lizzo on 4/4/2011, 11:56 pm

By golly, that's the healthiest looking dead vole I've ever seen. Having experimented with snap traps from different manufacturers, I support Squat's use of Victor traps.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/5/2011, 8:58 am

I have only had limited sucess with traps. I caught 2 last spring, none through the summer, although I baited about a dozen of them with peanut butter and apple until they fell apart (wooden). I have been told that they will eat Juicy Fruit because it is so sweet, but they can't digest it.

I have declared war, and am on my 4th jumbo pack of gum in a week. I wear a rubber glove so it won't have my scent, ball most of them up and drop into the holes... I left a half dozen sticks on top of the soil the last three nights. This morning is the first that they weren't all gone. Only one stick left though.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/6/2011, 10:31 am

Last night I lost two more heads of lettuce, so they are three to a square.
Then I lost it.

I am standing in my garden channeling Carl (my avatar). "Sometimes you gotta think like a gopher..."

We just had a lot of rain on Monday. If I was a vole, it was likely very drenched down in those holes. Carl gets out the water hose... After running about 5 minutes, I see water bubbling up IN THE OTHER BOX, down hill about 15 feet away. Evidently there is quite the underground system under my garden. I flooded a couple gallons of mel's mix down into their burrows. Then I stuffed up the holes with fresh mix.

Be sure to stay tuned for the third act - dynamite!

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Lindacol on 4/6/2011, 3:13 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:Last night I lost two more heads of lettuce, so they are three to a square.
Then I lost it.

I am standing in my garden channeling Carl (my avatar). "Sometimes you gotta think like a gopher..."

We just had a lot of rain on Monday. If I was a vole, it was likely very drenched down in those holes. Carl gets out the water hose... After running about 5 minutes, I see water bubbling up IN THE OTHER BOX, down hill about 15 feet away. Evidently there is quite the underground system under my garden. I flooded a couple gallons of mel's mix down into their burrows. Then I stuffed up the holes with fresh mix.

Be sure to stay tuned for the third act - dynamite!

I don't know anything about voles but I have a gopher problem. When I was searching for solutions, other than wire bottom raised beds and gopher cages to plant in, I came across this:

http://www.traplineproducts.com/onlinestore.html

I bought their gophinator traps and a couple of the mole traps suggested for smaller gophers and followed their video instructions and have caught about 15 gophers in the last couple of months, catching one nearly every time I set 2 traps in oppisite directions like they suggest.

They have a video on trapping voles too and offer vole traps.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  jhayford on 6/18/2011, 6:54 pm

Hey my cats kill them things all the time.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  stripesmom on 6/18/2011, 8:59 pm

I'd like to second the cat post. I have more vole killing by cats than I knew existed. If I have ground squirrels, they will take them out. If I have mice, moles or rats, I can count on my cats to make sure they are out of here. But, not all cats will do as well as others. A cat that is some what feral seems to do better. It use to be said that if you feed a cat too well, they won't hunt. This isn't true. When a cat has it in their up bringing, they love to hunt and kill. I've read that a cat is the only thing, besides a human, that will kill for pleasure. Also, a male will hunt just as well as a female, some times, better. You have to find the right cat though.

Also, I did try some sonic devices I got at Walmart for the moles. Not sure if they work for voles, but they did great with the moles, pushed them right out of the yard.

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Voles

Post  happytheman on 8/24/2011, 5:18 pm

If this topic has been covered my apologies. I did a quick search for both Voles and Moles and nothing came up. Prior to this summer I only had them in my front yard. However this spring they found their way into my garden and wreak havoc. I would rather go a direction other than professional pest company but it might be my only hope. My understanding is these critters reproduce rather rapidly thus making it hard to eradicate. Anyone on this forum have any luck dealing with these pest and would like to share their "secret"?

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Re: Voles!!

Post  camprn on 8/24/2011, 5:28 pm

@happytheman wrote:If this topic has been covered my apologies. I did a quick search for both Voles and Moles and nothing came up. Prior to this summer I only had them in my front yard. However this spring they found their way into my garden and wreak havoc. I would rather go a direction other than professional pest company but it might be my only hope. My understanding is these critters reproduce rather rapidly thus making it hard to eradicate. Anyone on this forum have any luck dealing with these pest and would like to share their "secret"?
hi there, there are multiple threads about this creature. See here <~~~~Click

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Re: Voles!!

Post  happytheman on 8/24/2011, 5:49 pm

Thank you! I obviously didn't look in the right place.

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Re: Voles!!

Post  camprn on 8/24/2011, 6:47 pm

@happytheman wrote:Thank you! I obviously didn't look in the right place.
No Worries! Glad I could help you find what you were looking for! What a Face

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Voles!!

Post  Cherbear on 4/14/2014, 2:03 pm

Anyone else have voles visiting their yards? I noticed weird tunnels in the lawn after the snow melted, and checking on line, sure enough, they are vole tunnels. Anyone know what to do about the beasties?

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Re: Voles!!

Post  Kelejan on 4/14/2014, 2:47 pm

Cherbear, if you put "Voles" in the Searchbox at the top lefthand corner, it brings up 19+ threads about Voles.  Yours is the 20th.  Happy hunting.  Very Happy

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Re: Voles!!

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