Chemical-free vole control?

We have about 5 acres of grassy fields with fruit trees and berry bushes. We also have a pile of pine mulch and a compost pile. And this year, we have a huge infestation of voles everywhere. Most of the online chemical-free "solutions" we've found are appropriate for a small garden or yard, or have to be applied after every rain (we'd never get anything else done if we did that). Does anyone have an economical, effective way to get rid of these pests without poisoning?

Answers

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin
    edited April 2022

    Welcome to TGN's forum @Berry Lady.

    My problem is slightly larger; gophers. We haven't been able to find anything that will get rid of them. Any of the control baits that are on the market in my province are not effective. A suggestion was Double Bubble bubble gum but that was a waste of time and money.

    I have a large cat and she gets them every so often but they are pretty quick at getting down those holes. We have resorted to shooting them. That is the most effective control we have found.

    However, voles are a different matter. I think you might need several cats. Or a small terrier that likes ratting.

    We have an introductions section so maybe if you could let us know where you are from, that might get some answers from someone close to you that has a similar issue with voles.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    I feel for you! Gophers are one of the banes of my existence, too. We have 2/3 acre and they make a mess of everything. While we do use conventional (but not bio-accumulative) pest control around the perimeter of our house for mice, I can't find anything practical for gophers, either. Although I'm torn, because they do provide food for the local hawks and they do provide natural soil aeration. There's still a lot of open land in our area but with the furious pace at which the city is encouraging every Tom, Dick and Harry developer to pave the land with crowded housing, the nice tracts of small/hobby farms we used to have in the area are disappearing rapidly and with them the habitat for gophers and everything that depends upon them. I just want to strike a balance so they're under control, not necessarily eliminated. I'm willing to be balanced in my approach, but so far, it seems like eradication, which isn't even possible because others will just keep moving into the empty habitat, or nothing. Suggestions welcome!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have voles, chipmunks and tunneling squirrels. Sonic deterrent didn't work, herbal deterrent didn't work.

    I have a lot of open land they could have but they want to tunnel in my landscaped areas, excavating lots of dirt onto rock mulch and killing some plants.

    Here's hoping someone has a solution that works in the city.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, I hope someone has some good deterrents because we have vole problems and would like to dissuade the little varmints.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Here are some ideas. If anyone tries something in these links and you find it's effective, let everyone here know.

    This link covers various baits:

    https://www.havahart.com/articles/vole-trapping-tips

    Traps:

    https://youtu.be/yRocDIgujNs

    https://youtu.be/DeH-Fy2lqyQ

    https://youtu.be/WEl41J4W-pU

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    We have pocket gophers on our property, and they are a primary reason I now garden almost exclusively in containers and raised beds. HOWEVER, I will say that for about two years, we found a solution that did seem to work. We bought five Buckeye hens, and as they grew, they literally hunted those little pocket gophers out of existence ... within our fenced acre yard/chicken pasture. Outside the fence, there were still tons of mounds, but none within the fence where the Buckeyes roamed. Of course, as the hens aged, they stopped being quite as good at hunting the pocket gophers and so gradually the mounds started moving back inside the fence. But I do wonder ... if we had just kept getting new Buckeyes every year or two, would they have kept our gopher problem at bay? I can't help but think they might have!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @Merin Porter I bet it would have continued to work. I imagine that the chickens had loads of fun (is it fun or adrenaline stress?) chasing those little guys around and then chasing each other.

    It would have been interesting to watch at the very least.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    I think you're right! And I do think the fact that they're Buckeyes had something to do with it -- I don't know if it's the game bird in their heritage or what, but they are definitely hunters. And such great personalities -- I do love them. :)

  • gvizzini658
    gvizzini658 Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    Hi, I found this while watering yesterday, about 60 up from the ground on an eggplant leaf. Could these be vole droppings? I've seen mouse droppings plenty of times, and these are different - longer and not as tapered at the ends.


  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if there is a way to attract owls and raptors to your property? They would gladly feast on such a large concentration of voles if only they knew they were there.