Voles (also known as field mice or meadow mice) are small rodents that are native to North America. They are herbivores that feed on lawns, plants, and vegetables.
Voles create small golf ball-sized holes in lawns or near plants. They can take over old gopher tunnels but unlike gophers they run along the surface. They will often leave behind narrow trails in grassy areas leading to and from their holes.
Examples of Vole Holes and Trails:
Since voles are herbivores they can cause significant damage to your plants. They often consume grasses, herbaceous plants, bulbs, and tubers. They even eat the bark off of shrubs and trees which can quickly kill a mature plant or tree.
Vole damage to the root system: Vole damage to a tree:
Voles look similar to a common mouse but are stouter and typically anywhere from 3-7 inches in length (including their tails). They have smaller ears than a common mouse and are usually brown in color.
Voles are active all year long and are active on the surface but return to their underground nests to sleep and eat. Voles are prolific breeders, which means that they reproduce at very a high rate. They can have multiple litters of 3-11 young per year during the spring and summer. Female voles are fertile within a month or so after being born so an infestation can happen quite quickly during this time.
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