This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. Removing weeds, heavy mulch, or dense vegetation will aid in eliminating their food source along with protection from predators. Why is it important to know the difference between a mole and a vole? You likely saw a vole or mole, but it’s hard to tell without more specifics. This makes concave little passageways open to the surface. Due to their distinct food and feeding habits, the damage caused by voles and moles will be quite different. Moles will simply switch to another food source, such as insects and earthworms. You can't see eyes and ears the way that you would on a vole or on a mouse. The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. Michael Caduto. But so is a vole. Like the vole, the pocket gopher (Thomomys) is a rodent and looks like a mouse, but with bigger teeth. They burrow into the ground, leaving behind unsightly mounds on your lawn that are horseshoe-shaped. Application in the late summer or fall is not as effective, as the older grubs will go deeper in the soil and are harder to kill. As earlier mentioned, voles consume plants, and thus have a great potential to cause some serious damage to yo… Let's begin with how these two different mammals look. Many mole killers (poison) are advertised and sold. They can also be hard to get rid of. When you spend as much time underground as a mole does, it makes perfect sense to have your eyes and ears protected in this way. ... A vole (or meadow mouse), has a body and ears and is black and brown, or reddish with a gray underside. However, this is where the similarities end. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in law… The runways they leave behind in the process make for an unsightly lawn, although voles do not leave behind big mounds of dirt the way moles do. Granular products are easier to apply but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. Moles don’t have external ears, and their eyes are so small they appear to be absent. Neither of these methods is completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey. Mole Tunnels. The preferred diet of the mole is a carnivorous one. • Moles are found in the subterranean tunnels more than on the ground whereas voles mostly inhabit the ground and rest or sleep inside the underground tunnels. Identify the shrew, mole or vole by its eyes. Trapping is one of the most successful ways to get rid of moles. These opportunists will dig characteristic golf ball-sized exit holes in previously established mole tunnels. You have to sprinkle it all over the tunnel so a mole can grab quickly. Poisoned gummy worms or pellets with an active ingredient of bromethalin may be inserted in an active tunnel, but they may pose a hazard to humans and pets and may possibly enter the wildlife food chain. How To Identify If You Have Gophers, Moles, Or Voles Digging Up Your Yard.New Mouse/Rat Trap Videos Every Sunday & Monday. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. Moles live underground in tunnels, and are predatory in nature. Keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly, and keep mulch cleared from around tree bases. However, this is where the similarities end. Either bury them or place them in plastic bags in the trash. This will last for about two weeks. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. This equates to a 5-ounce mole eating 50 pounds of its prey in a year. This critter, in terms of what it looks like, can be thought of as in between a mole and a mouse, but it is much more closely related to moles (it is not a rodent). Using a grub treatment for a lawn is a common practice but is not environmentally sound as it affects the food supply for other wildlife. Like moles, voles also tunnel and create runways through your lawn. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. The word “mole” is from the Middle English molle which is derived from mold-warpe, meaning “earth-thrower.” Moles prefer well-drained, loose, sandy soil, and they avoid heavy clay, gravelly soils, and very dry or very wet soils. Each spring, we get several calls about moles and voles and turf damage caused by these pests. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. There are several different types of mole traps, such as harpoon, impaling, choker, pitfall, or scissor-jawed available on the market. Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. More information. When mole tunnels are close to the surface the tops of the tunnel are convex and may be pushed down as you walk. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. This is the dirt excavated from the tunnel that is under the surface connecting all those mounds. But rodents do exploit mole tunnels to get underneath your plants and gnaw at their roots, so moles can play a role in plant damage, even though they do not eat plants. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. There are many methods for ridding your yard of these creatures, some humane and some less so. You can think of vole travel paths as ruts. Correct identification of your burrowing pest is the first step towards effective control. There are a number of castor oil products sold that are advertised to repel moles and voles. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. They have small ears and a short tail. But unlike moles, voles grow short, thin tails that grow to be about ¾-inch long. Voles have coarse hair that can range from reddish-brown and black to light grey in color. It has a long snout and sharp, pointed teeth. Voles look like mice; some are commonly called meadow mice or pine mice. A vole’s forefeet are characterized by skinny, agile claws that allow them to grasp and eat flower stems and small blades of grass. Moles are well known for leaving large mounds of dirt behind also known as molehills. Voles are different from moles in that they are herbivores. Also another distinguishing factor is the depth at which the two dig their “houses’ with moles creating very complex networks of feeding tunnels under the soil surface and sleep deeper into the soil, voles prefer closer to the surface burrows with direct access to low lying vegetation. blogs.cornell.edu/nysipm/2015/02/03/the-difference-between-voles-and-moles There are many differences exhibited between moles and voles. Mole, gopher, and vole damage are identified based on mounds, runways, holes, and runways. They are small, stout rodents slightly larger than a field mouse. When a vole has moved into an existing tunnel system, the openings it uses will be clearly visible, often with an apparent pathway to it through the surrounding grass. Mole Damage Versus Vole (Field Mouse) Damage. Unlike the predacious moles, voles are primarily herbivores and will feed on the bark, roots, bulbs, and seeds of many ornamental plants and grasses. Mole vs Vole . Learn the difference between moles, voles, and gophers in order to chose the proper treatment plan for your lawn. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Do not use if irrigation is frequently run in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil. One day a plant will be beautiful, and a few days later, it will have fallen over with the roots gnawed off. The animal does have eyes and ears, but they are buried beneath its fur, so that dirt does not get into them. If the moles continue to be an issue throughout the summer, you may want to consider treating your lawn for grubs. Step 2 - Learn About the System. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Dear Kendra: From your description—yes, it sounds … Although mole and vole do sound informally similar, they are different animals of two taxonomic orders. Voles may travel through mole tunnels, but also dig their own burrows. Well, here is one reason: If you realize that the mole is mainly a meat eater, whereas the vole is mainly a vegetarian, you'll know that they will not necessarily be attracted to the same baits (should you decide to try to catch one of these garden pests). Pine voles will destroy the root systems of plants and trees. Here are a few additional resources with some good information on controlling voles and moles: Shrews eat insects, not plants, so gardeners should not view them as a pest. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. Meadow voles, the most common voles in Pennsylvania, are herbivores and eat a variety of grasses, seeds, and roots. Voles rely on eyesight and hearing much more than smell, which is the moles primary sensory input. Meadow voles look like field mice with short tails.Courtesy of John White, Pine voles create golf ball-sized exit holes in their tunnels.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Step 3 - Locate "Hot Spots" of Vole Activity. August, 2019 | Posted by The Nature Care Company | Categories: Lawn Care. There are many methods advertised for removing moles, such as chewing gum and vibration and ultrasonic devices that are advertised to deter them. Vole Tunnels. 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