How To Get Rid Of Voles Around Your Omaha Home
Voles, also known as field mice or meadow mice, are small, chunky rodents closely related to lemmings and often confused with mice and moles. You rarely see them because they spend half their days in the underground tunnels or hide cleverly among taller grasses and vegetation.
What is hard to mistake is the amount of damage voles inflict on your plants and young trees. Voles feed on grasses, roots, and bark of young trees, especially in the winter, with snow covering the ground. Most people discover their presence once the snow melts and vole pathways connecting entrances to the underground tunnels become visible.
Let's take a closer look at what voles are, the damage they can inflict on your yard, what options you have when it comes to DIY pest control for voles, and where to find reliable pest control in Omaha if you need a hand in that task.
What Are Voles?
Voles in Omaha are cute, tiny mammals that spend half their life in underground tunnels and feed on grasses, weeds, and other vegetation. An adult mole is usually between 5 and 7 inches long, with a stocky, brown fur-covered body and dark grey undersides. Voles have small, rounded ears clearly visible on their bodies, unlike another common yard destruction suspect, the mole. Their body shape is very similar to a mouse, except voles have a shorter snout and a short tail.
Like common house mice, voles multiply quickly. Each female births between one and five litters each year, usually producing three to six young but could be as many as 11. They wean their young by 21 days, with the female offspring becoming sexually mature and having more lawn-destroying voles at just 35 to 40 days. Vole population numbers tend to cycle; every two to five-year cycle creates a population boom that can devastate your backyard and make vole control a more complicated problem than many other rodents.
The Destruction Voles Can Create In Your Yard
In addition to making your backyard look like a miniature version of a WWI battlefield, thanks to the endless number of tunnel entrances and pathways in between, voles also endanger the plants you've painstakingly planted.
Voles feed on plants but will also gnaw on the bark of young trees, girdling them and eventually killing the tree. They're also known to eat through underground bulbs of perennial flowers and destroy root crops and garden vegetables. Controlling voles near your Omaha home involves a combination of prevention treatments and professional vole control services.
How To Identify And Remove Factors That Attract Voles
Voles are attracted to areas with tall grass which provides them both cover and a food source. Keeping their numbers down involves making your property as unattractive to these little guys as possible.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Keep the grass trimmed between three and six inches tall to remove the cover that voles need to move around when they're not in the tunnels.
- Keep young trees and shrubs behind wire guards to remove vole's favorite food source.
- Plan and install buffer spaces of six to 12 inches of the empty ground around your garden and other areas you need to protect.
- Clean your property of weeds to remove another vole food source.
- Add gravel around plant beds; voles prefer to avoid digging through the coarse ground.
Creating an environment where there isn't much to attract voles to your property and encouraging birds of prey and other natural predators that feed on voles is the best vole control plan of action for a DIY'er.
The Trick To Getting Rid Of Voles
If, regardless of your preventative efforts, your property is dealing with an explosion in vole numbers and your plants are under a serious threat-it's time to give professional wildlife control in Omaha a chance.
At Quality Pest Control, our service specialists have decades of experience identifying and controlling voles and other pests that threaten your house and property. If vole passageways and tunnels disfigure your lawn, give us a call today for help and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Omaha.