The Key To Effective Vole Control In San Antonio

If you're having trouble with voles on your property, the first challenges you have to tackle are all the misunderstandings about voles. While they look like mice, and are commonly referred to as field mice or meadow mice, they aren't actually mice. Sure, mice and voles are both rodents, but so are mice and beavers. But, when is the last time you had a beaver infestation in your home? We're going to go out on a limb and say never. You're not likely to have a vole infestation in your San Antonio home either. Here are a few things you should know about voles and mice and how you can use this information to help you get effective control of voles.

Vole Identification

vole on ground

Is it a mouse or a vole? The first step in any effective pest control plan is the proper identification of the animal you're attempting to control. Mice and voles look similar, but there are some distinct differences you can look for to tell which one you're dealing with.

  • Voles have smaller eyes than a mouse. If you put a vole next to a mouse, this is quite noticeable.

  • Voles are "fatter" than mice. If the rodent you're dealing with looks like it needs to go on a diet, you're probably looking at a vole.

  • Voles have shorter tails than mice. A mouse tail is typically as long as the mouse itself. Voles have tails that are half that size.

  • Voles have smaller ears. When looking for voles in your yard, you're not looking for an animal that looks like Mickey Mouse. At the right angle, you may not even notice that a vole has ears. It does have ears—and they're shaped like the ears of a mouse. But they are about half the size.

  • Voles aren't great climbers. They usually stay near the ground. If you see a rodent scramble up a tree, run along a branch, or scale the side of your home like Spiderman, you're looking at a mouse, not a vole.

Vole Warning Signs

When voles come into your yard, they're going to let you know it by creating runways in your grass and by girdling your trees. House mice, deer mice, white-footed mice, and other mouse species don't do this. If you notice pathways in your grass or the bark chewed off the base of trees, you have a vole problem, not a mouse problem.

A Few Simple Tips For Vole Prevention

While you can't fully exclude voles from your yard with pest maintenance, it is surprising how much of an impact you can have. These tips will typically fall short only if vole pressures are high or a large population has taken up residence on your San Antonio property.

  • Keep your grass trimmed low. This will reduce cover and grass as a food source.

  • Remove unnecessary plants that can provide vegetative cover or a food source for voles. Trimming plants and thinning out areas of your landscaping will also make it easier to detect vole activity.

  • Reduce mulch in areas that have a dense application. Voles like to dig into mulch and create burrows.

  • Protect the base of your trees with a metal mesh or protective product.

  • Create a four-foot buffer around the base of trees. If there is no vegetation or cover, voles will be less likely to girdle your trees. They don't prefer to feed in the open.

  • Till grassy areas along the banks of ditches.

  • If you have a garden, fruit trees, or berry bushes, put fences around these to help protect them. Make sure you install the fencing material at least a foot into the ground.

  • Another protective measure for gardens is 15 feet of ground around the garden that is free of vegetation or, at the very least, free of weeds. If voles feel exposed, they may not traverse the open ground to get to your garden.

Vole Trapping

If you have high vole pressures, or it is difficult to alter conditions in your yard to deter voles, trapping may be required. It is best to have a licensed professional handle this task as it can be difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming. Professionals use field-tested methods and appropriate traps and are able to perform inspections to ensure the success of the treatment process.

Do you live in San Antonio, Texas? 

If so, reach out to us. The team here at White Knight Pest Control can help you figure out what you're up against and guide you in selecting the right control program to address your vole problem. We can also tell you whether or not the rodents in your yard aren't actually voles at all. It only takes a few seconds to begin the process of getting rid of those pesky rodents.