Moles. This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. One of the biggest ways they differ is in their appearance. Voles construct well-defined, visible tunnels, or \"runways\" at or near the surface, about two inches wide. Poisoned gummy worms or pellets with an active ingredient of bromethalin may be inserted in an active tunnel, but they may pose a hazard to humans and pets and may possibly enter the wildlife food chain. Mole Tunnels. According to Ohio State University, a five-ounce mole will consume 45 … Moles live underground and prefer to live solitary, isolated lives. Moles are usually larger than voles, with very small eyes and ears. Their primary diet is earthworms with a few insects – beetle larvae and adults, ants, wasps, and flies tossed in as appetizers. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. Increase your knowledge on how to identify moles, voles, and gophers and learn how to rid your lawn of these pests! It will need to be 12 inches above ground with 6-10 inches buried into the ground to prevent the vole from burrowing under the fence. Moles will simply switch to another food source, such as insects and earthworms. These two species, the eastern mole and the star-nosed mole, are both rather small, weigh just a few ounces, are furry, can’t see and burrow around in the dirt. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. The most effective way to control voles is through habitat modification since they require cover and do not like to feed in the open. If it rains during that time, the product will have to be reapplied. That means the bait must be replenished every two days. If you have vole signs Follow the 4 Steps to Vole Control: Step 1 - Learn Even More About Voles. Moles are carnivorous so they are hunting for insects, grubs, or worms. Neither of these methods is completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey. When using any type of poison or chemical, carefully read and follow the label instructions. VOLES vs. MOLES What IS the difference? Because these products are systemic within the turfgrass, they will last the entire growing season. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Granular grub killers that contain trichlorfon or carbaryl are contact insecticides that should be applied in early July and are spread over the lawn and watered in well. It works by making the soil smell bad to their noses. How To Identify If You Have Gophers, Moles, Or Voles Digging Up Your Yard.New Mouse/Rat Trap Videos Every Sunday & Monday. Using a castor oil product is not the most effective way to control moles and voles as it does not have a long residual life in the soil. Voles are herbivores that eat the plants on the ground. Another thing to keep in mind is that while voles are rodents, moles are not. • Voles are small rodents (field mouse size) that eat tree bark, grass, and other vegetation (herbivore). Shrew: A shrew has a pointed snout, and non-enlarged feet (unlike the mole). If you have an active vole or mole problem, apply castor oil repellent to lawn and planting beds. A mole is classified as a mammal (a member of the family Talpidae ), while a vole is categorized as a rodent (from the family Cricetidae). Often confused with moles, these rodents are entirely different. Despite their differences, both pests, cause collateral damage to turf and ornamental plants alike. Moles, voles, and gophers are often confused for one another. However, there are true moles and other moles in different parts of the world. Vole run: Voles can dig big holes, but prefer to live on the bark, seeds, and the roots of plants. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. There are a number of castor oil products sold that are advertised to repel moles and voles. The two types of voles found in South Carolina are meadow voles and pine voles. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 2366 | Updated: Oct 15, 2020 | Print, A mole is 4-7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws.Courtesy of Mississippi State University Extension Service. Moles live primarily underground, have tiny eyes and ears, small hind legs, and short, powerful shovel-like front paws that are perfect for digging. As mentioned earlier, the mole and vole are two very different animals. The diet of a mole is different form a vole. Voles leave smaller runways and an entrance to their burrow. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. Mothballs also do not work, and it is illegal to use as it is considered a misuse of a pesticide. As the snow gradually melts away here in the northern U.S., we're getting increased calls for Vole control. (Some homeowners mistakenly believe that treating their lawns for grubs will repel moles. Vole Tunnels Granular products are easier to apply but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. This makes concave little passageways open to the surface. There are several different types of mole traps, such as harpoon, impaling, choker, pitfall, or scissor-jawed available on the market. Poisons are usually the first method that a homeowner thinks of but is not necessarily the most effective or best choice. Either bury them or place them in plastic bags in the trash. Step 4 - Shop Here Mole signs. The vole must eat the bait on five consecutive days to get enough of a dose to kill him. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. Application in the late summer or fall is not as effective, as the older grubs will go deeper in the soil and are harder to kill. Also another distinguishing factor is the depth at which the two dig their “houses’ with moles creating very complex networks of feeding tunnels under the soil surface and sleep deeper into the soil, voles prefer closer to the surface burrows with direct access to low lying vegetation. You can think of vole travel paths as ruts. Shrews hunt for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. Fall and late winter are the best times to trap voles. Removing weeds, heavy mulch, or dense vegetation will aid in eliminating their food source along with protection from predators. One way to distinguish the difference is by the diet of each animal. This will last for about two weeks. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. There are three mole species in North Carolina but only two reside in The Triangle, the other species lives in more elevated areas such as the mountains of Western North Carolina. To minimize vole damage, the key is to manage the population before the numbers get too large. Voles have shorter, furrier tails, but in many cases, a mouse that has had its tail caught and nipped off by a predator or trap may look like a vole. In mulch, voles make paths by pushing the mulch out of the way. Often, however, these methods are not very effective. Voles are stockier than mice with … They do not share their habitat with other moles except during mating season. I… Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds (Comparison of Gopher and Mole Mounds). Reducing or eliminating food availability for moles has been used as a control technique. Scientific Name: Talpidae (mole) and Microtus arvalis (vole) Lifespan: Four to six years (mole) and four to twelve months (vole) Brief description: Moles and voles are small mammals that can cause numerous problems in backyards and gardens. Vole control, as with mole control, comes down to two methods: trapping or baiting. They are not commonly discussed or talked about, but they are surely annoying and pesky. Mole vs Vole . Rabbits dont have anything over this pesky rodent. Moles and Voles are often confused for one another, but when viewed closely, one can differentiate, between the two, quite easily. Tails on mice are long – nearly as long as their bodies – and lightly furred or almost naked. Offspring may number from four to seven each year. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. Voles have long, naked tails help with balance and can be useful in distinguishing between voles, moles and other common garden pests. Step 3 - Locate "Hot Spots" of Vole Activity. As earlier mentioned, voles consume plants, and thus have a great potential to cause some serious damage to your garden. There are over 150 different species of voles and they range throughout the northeast and Midwest United States as well as Canada and parts of Alaska. Keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly, and keep mulch cleared from around tree bases. Vole runways result from the voles eating the grass blades, as well as from the constant traffic of numerous little feet beating the same path. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Mole: has pointed snout, enlarged front feet, and ears and eyes so tiny that they are not visible. Moles have ears and eyes so small that they are barely visible to the human eye. To protect an area from a vole infestation, a wire fence with a mesh of ¼ inch or smaller will help exclude them. Voles look like field mice with short tails, compact heavy bodies, small eyes, and partially hidden ears. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program. These opportunists will dig characteristic golf ball-sized exit holes in previously established mole tunnels. A castor oil treatment to the lawn will also repel moles and voles for about two weeks. They consume that grass and also use it to build nests. Voles are mouse-sized, shrew-like creatures with dark fur. These are available in ready-to-spray, hose-end sprayers, or granular formulations. Vole Tunnels. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden ) Mole Run: Moles prefer to dig and then live in underground tunnels; see this example of a mole run on a lawn. Their food sources typically consist of seeds, bugs, tree bark, and plants. A vole may be attracted to peanut butter as bait; a mole most likely will not. Pine voles will destroy the root systems of plants and trees. Now that you have understood the differences between vole vs mole, you may want to dig deeper about the voles. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backwards in the tunnels. If you would like a free estimate on rodent control and mole or vole services, please call 1 … There are many different types of vole traps that can be found at your local hardware or garden supply stores. You can tell a vole vs mole often by size. Since voles and mice are both around five to eight inches long and have gray or brown fur, it may take a closer look to tell them apart. A good way of spotting a vole infestation is by looking for tiny three-inch holes. (You won’t notice a thing.) Moles leave unsightly dirt hills on landscapes. This equates to a 5-ounce mole eating 50 pounds of its prey in a year. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in the lawn each day. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. Moles breed in the early spring and sometimes in late winter. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backward in the tunnels. There are many methods advertised for removing moles, such as chewing gum and vibration and ultrasonic devices that are advertised to deter them. There may be multiple residents in a vole colony, so habitat modification is important in controlling them. Moles “M” are meat-eaters, and their diet consists of insects, grubs, and earthworms. Set the traps along runways or near the exit holes, making sure that the trap is placed with the trigger end toward the runway. A mole is a carnivore that eats worms, insects, ants, and other animals. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. Unlike voles, moles are not rodents, and they don’t eat plants. If you grow fruits or veggies, they will definitely eat those things. Place a box or bucket over the trap as voles prefer to take the bait from under cover. The best way to control these pests is by calling a professional. Vole Damage. Both moles and voles reside in Tennessee. Meadow voles are much larger and live most of their lives above ground, whereas pine voles are much smaller and live almost all their lives underground. The biggest problem with voles is that they will eat almost anything. They can be extremely damaging to trees and will often tear through the bark all the way around. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Damage by meadow voles is usually to the base of plants and fruit trees. Moles “M” meat-eaters Identification and Diet Moles have enlarged front feet and claws, perfect for digging and tunneling, dense dark grey hair, a long pointed nose, and eyes and ears that are barely visible. Look for a product that says it’s effective against moles and voles. Voles are herbivores, and they only eat plants. Now back to the basic question: we know about voles; what about the moles! The easiest way to identify a mole is by locating golf ball sized holes in the lawn. Most vole damage occurs during the winter months because it is easier for them to obtain their food while being protected by snow cover. Grubs are only a tiny percentage of a mole’s diet, so treating for grubs will have no impact on the moles–there is still plenty for them to eat.) Systemic grub treatments that contain imidacloprid as an active ingredient can be applied to the lawn area in May. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. If a live trap is used, remember that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources does not allow relocation of trapped animals to another location due to animal and human disease exposure; therefore, the captured animals will have to be euthanized. (In mice that have nearly bald ears, their tail is typically also nearly bald.) Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in law… One day a plant will be beautiful, and a few days later, it will have fallen over with the roots gnawed off. © Copyright Critter Control. Due to the temporary residual nature of castor oil products for repelling moles and voles, they are not very effective. Although mole and vole do sound informally similar, they are different animals of two taxonomic orders. Moles, voles and shrew behavior In addition to different physical characteristics, moles, voles and shrews each live in different habitats and have distinct food preferences. You can also make your lawn inhospitable to voles. Moles are solitary animals, so ridding the landscape of one or two moles will make a big difference. Nothing is more frustrating to a homeowner with a beautiful lawn than to see molehills all over the yard. They breed with great fecundity and are sometimes seen aboveground. Mole fur is short, soft, velvety, and when brushed offers no resistance in either direction. Vole damage in yards is often seen by the lengthy pathways they create. Vole: Also known as a meadow mouse, has rounded ears and body and is black, brown or reddish in color with a gray underside. There are many differences exhibited between moles and voles. However, each are very distinct and cause distinct damage to lawns and gardens. If poison baits are left in place, they have the potential of being washed into water sources. Again, read and follow the label instructions carefully. These basic characteristics can help you determine voles vs. moles and voles and moles vs. shrews. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. This adaptation allows moles to travel both forward and backward through the soil. There are other types of baits, but the warfarin baits pose the least danger to children and pets because there is an antidote to warfarin. Snap traps, such as a mousetrap baited with peanut butter, are not effective in catching moles. Traps should be placed over an active tunnel and are the most effective in the fall and winter months. If you realize that the mole is mainly a meat eater, whereas the vole is mainly a vegetarian, you'll know that they will not necessarily be attracted to the same baits (should you decide to try to catch one of these garden pests). Look for the broom handle sized holes in the beds; a sure sign of vole activity. Voles are 5 to 8 inches long and have prominent orange teeth for gnawing plant roots and stems. Due to their distinct food and feeding habits, the damage caused by voles and moles will be quite different. Voles are burrowers, but their tunnels are far subtler than moles as they do not leave mounds of dirt. Meadow voles look like field mice with short tails.Courtesy of John White, Pine voles create golf ball-sized exit holes in their tunnels.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. As both pests carry infectious diseases and parasites, it is important to wear disposable gloves when handling the dead animals. Voles “V”, on the other hand, are vegetarians and eat the roots and stems of plants. Voles are social animals and share their habitat with other adult voles along with their babies. Moles are most active in the early morning and late evening on cloudy days during the spring and fall. Vole Control. Voles are too often not dealt with in the flower beds. Mole tunnels, however, may raise the surface when they are not deep but are still entirely covered. Trapping is one of the most successful ways to get rid of moles. Unlike voles, moles are actually not rodentsat all and instead belong to the mammal family known as insectivores. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. All rights reserved. There are a number of available poison baits, but these pose a hazard to humans, pets, and other wildlife and may enter the water supply. Using a grub treatment for a lawn is a common practice but is not environmentally sound as it affects the food supply for other wildlife. Snap traps baited with apples or peanut butter and oatmeal are an excellent way to catch voles. Do not use if irrigation is frequently run in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil. Voles prefer to take bait from under cover.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. Navigate to homepage. Step 2 - Learn About the System. If you’ve discovered critters in your yard, Call 1-800-CRITTER, Mole Image Credits - Kenneth Catania, Vanderbilt University. They also frequently create shallow holes in the ground. Moles are expert diggers that will consume up to 60 to 100% of their body weight in insects, grubs, and earthworms each day. For more information on grub control, please see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass. Is often seen by the lengthy pathways they create a box or bucket over the yard trapping baiting! 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