Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

VOLES (microtis)

Description:
Voles, also known as Meadow-mice, are small grayish-brown rodents found outdoors in landscapes. They are short-haired about 5-8 inches long and appear stubby and compact, with small ears and short tails and small eyes.

Biology & Habits:
Voles are often found in grassy and ivy covered landscapes. They are active both night and day. They feed on the root tubers of a variety of landscape plants and grasses. They also feed on the bark and twigs of various shrubs causing a great deal of damage to certain landscape plantings. Pestgon technicians have seen areas where they have produced hundreds of exit holes with runways on the surface between them. The unsightly holes are clean openings, approximately golf ball size, showing no soil mounds. They do not venture far from their burrow system. Peak breeding takes place spring and fall.


Typical Meadow Vole Damage

Economic Damage:
Most plants tolerate minor vole damage. However in certain environmental conditions, vole populations explode. Under these field conditions, there can be several thousand voles per acre. Such populations can cause devastating damage to landscape grasses, shrubs and trees. The demise of most trees and shrubs is by girdling of the bark of the trunk and lower limbs. When limbs die off separately, it is called “flagging.” It is often confused with drought conditions and lack of plant nutrients, but a closer inspection may reveal girdling of plant bark by voles. Pestgon recognizes that the economic impact to your landscape investment may become very costly if voles are not controlled.


Management Methods:
Since voles seek dense plant cover, Pestgon, Inc. recommends skirting up trees and creating a bare area under the drip line to discourage voles from girdling trees since they rarely feed in the open spaces. Trunk guards are also helpful to protect trees from above ground girdling. The use of registered rodenticides are very effective in eliminating vole populations. These chemicals and baits must be applied by a certified pest control technician, such as Pestgon, Incorporated.


Additional Links http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7439.html