Voles are rodents that are about 4 - 5 inches in length with short bushy tails. And let's be truthful, they look really cute and harmless, but there you would be fooled, because they are anything but harmless.
These creatures can completely destroy your garden, eating tree roots and gnawing at the lawn's grass blades, leaving it ruined. Also their reproduction rate is so high that they might start off as being just about 10, but over a season could multiply to being over 200. So getting rid of them should be top priority if you catch one lurking in your garden.
Control the Attack
There are simple methods that you can undertake to protect your garden. Make sure that your garden is cleared of all the debris that could act as a cover for the voles. These could be mulch that you've put out for the trees, garbage piles, brush piles etc.
It won't take the voles time to find cover there, where they will hide, only to come out at night and destroy all that is in sight. Make sure that there is no snow around the roots of the trees either. This can act as an excellent cover as well.
A fence will more than protect your garden and help get rid of the voles. Get wood piles and mesh wire to put around. Now arrange them so that your entire garden area is covered. Make sure to fit the fencing about a foot or so into the ground, because, voles will dig through the soil to enter a garden. So preventing them from doing that is necessary.
Make sure to raise the fencing to about 12 - 15 inches above the ground. This will protect the garden further because voles cannot climb. The mesh wire should be thick enough so that the voles cannot bite through it.
Fence the Trees
Building a fence around the trees becomes necessary because voles have a tendency to eat the roots away. This they do in a haphazard manner, by gnawing away a ring of the entire bark of the tree at the base, which often leads to the killing of the tree. To prevent this from happening, simply protect the tree (from the voles) by fencing it.
Take a hardware cloth and wrap it around the base of the tree so that it becomes impenetrable. Make sure to press it into the ground so that the voles will not be able to gnaw through it.
Do it the old-fashioned way―set some traps. There are several traps that are available in the market. Just use some of them, distribute them around the garden, and trap the voles. Use peanut butter or apple pieces for bait.
One could purchase a repellent or pesticide that is easily found in the market or you could use the following recipe. Once it is prepared, simply pour it down the tunnels and burrows that they've made:
- Tabasco sauce (1½ tbsp.)
- Chili powder (1 tsp.)
- Liquid dish wash (1 tbsp.)
- Water (1 quart)
Mix all of these and store them for future use. Use as often to get rid of them completely. There have been reports of human urine, coffee beans, and Castor oil also working effectively when poured in and around the tunnels.
Keep a Cat
Cats are natural hunters of voles and they'll help in getting rid of the voles just as effectively.
Once the pesky creatures are dealt with and the garden is a haven again, make sure that you keep them away for good by following all of these preventive methods.