Ask a Question forum: Vole Control

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Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Feb 29, 2016 5:03 PM CST
I live at 8,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains and have been organic gardening here for almost 40 years. At some point in the last 10 years the voles have moved in. Having tried many things - castor bean oil granules, buried wire fencing under beds, garlic and hot pepper in their tunnels, etc. etc. Does anyone have any new ideas? So far the best deterrent is my cat, Luna who last year killed at least 100 of them. So far, since the first of the year she's already caught four!
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Name: Paul
Madison, IN (Zone 6a)
delab
Feb 29, 2016 5:16 PM CST
I assume that a vole is about the same type of critter as a mole, an old farmer told me it was fairly easy to get rid of them. All you need is a plug of chewing tobacco and a shovel. You put the chewing tobacco in one of the runs and wait. once the little guy pokes his head out to spit, you bonk him in the noggin with the shovel.

Come to think of it, that old farmer might just have been pulling my leg.

We've had success in the past with moles and the pronged traps (six or so nails with a spring) found at Lowes or any home improvement site. as the yard is probably already destroyed, find a friend with a terrier type dog, they love digging for crawly stuff, but it will trash some of your yard.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 29, 2016 6:37 PM CST
Voles are field mice, about the size of a hamster with the short tail but no stripes. The mole trap wouldn't work but you can catch them with gopher traps. Or you could get Luna some assistants. Smiling
Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Mar 1, 2016 9:36 AM CST
Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, the foxes do help Luna. I think we just have to learn to live with those survivors!
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Mar 1, 2016 10:10 AM CST
My husband has successfully used car exhaust directly into the tunnels.
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Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Mar 1, 2016 11:39 AM CST
We grow our vegetables organically and would not want to put car exhaust into our garden.
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Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Mar 1, 2016 11:42 AM CST
I'm sorry. Wasn't thinking!
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Mar 1, 2016 1:46 PM CST
I've had great luck with Plantskydd, and it's organic! http://www.plantskydd.com/Plantskydd-Vole-Repellent.html
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Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Mar 1, 2016 2:37 PM CST
Thanks Chris. I actually haven't tried this for voles. I did try the spray for deer but the smell of the product was so powerful I moved on to Bobbex and another similar. I'll try it! Thanks
Gardeners are the very best of humans!
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Mar 1, 2016 2:52 PM CST
The granules don't smell after a very short time and they don't leave a red residue like the spray does either. Good luck getting rid of them!
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Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
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Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Mar 1, 2016 2:58 PM CST
Not sure how practical with existing beds but I read a layer of gravel on top and at base of the planting area keeps them away. Also if possible plant deeper ...shallow travelers.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Mar 1, 2016 3:50 PM CST
Someone suggested lighting a highway flare and stuffing the lit end down an entry hole.

But I think that would release some sulfur and maybe other, more toxic, chemicals.

Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Mar 1, 2016 5:04 PM CST
Thanks Rick but think I'll try the Plantskydd. Smiling
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 1, 2016 10:35 PM CST
I don't have voles, but when I had a mole infestation, after trying a lot of things I just went out each morning and stuck the hose down the holes and flooded all their tunnels as best I could. Especially in spring when they are "denning" underground, they will move away fast if you flood their dens and that will prevent a whole new generation of young ones from making a home in your garden. It took about 10 days for me to see no new tunnels doing this.

If you try this, and it works short term, then put out the scent deterrent to prevent them coming back, that might be an excellent solution.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lynda
Evergreen, CO (Zone 5a)
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llillywhite
Mar 2, 2016 12:02 PM CST
Thanks Elaine. We do have to be extra careful about water here in the mountains but i may resort to this if the other solutions aren't working.

Oh, and Rosie...your suggestion may work for small areas or individual plants but we have a lot of gardening space and it's not very practical.

I really appreciate everyone's input. thanks so much. I'll let you know how it turns out as the season progresses.
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Mar 2, 2016 12:13 PM CST
Seen youtube video where a guy puts baited mouse traps UNDER a 5 gal bucket. he sets the bucket over top of the little holes where the voles exit their tunnel. He says it works. I haven't tried it, but I am going to.

Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Mar 2, 2016 12:17 PM CST
Lynda - that is what I figured.
Useful info for garderners like me but not for large plantings or established beds.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 2, 2016 12:21 PM CST
Frillylily said:Seen youtube video where a guy puts baited mouse traps UNDER a 5 gal bucket. he sets the bucket over top of the little holes where the voles exit their tunnel. He says it works. I haven't tried it, but I am going to.



OH, I would put a rock or something over the bucket so it won't tip over leaving the set trap exposed.

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