Meadow voles and woodland voles are the species most likely to cause problems in Illinois. However, due to voles’ reproductive capabilities, it is typically ineffective to trap them over a large area. Their feeding habits damage growing trees, lawns, and gardens. To determine whether or not voles are causing observed damage, look for irregular gnaw marks and note their width. The trail systems disappear quickly once the grass begins to grow in the spring and the lawn is not harmed. Meadow voles sometimes build a nest of grass above ground, whereas the other species build nests below ground. As populations rise, many of the individuals within the vole colony use the same major runways. June 30, 2017. They have grizzled brown to reddish-brown fur, short legs and small, furred ears. To avoid injury to wildlife and pets, place them beneath boxes or protect them in some other way. It is a single-dose toxicant available in pelleted and grain bait formulations. may afford very short-term protection but the use of repellents is generally not recommended due to low efficacy. They usually are brown or gray, although many color variations exist. Yellow plants, droppings, and burrows are the primary signs voles are to blame for the disruption to your property. Time spent during the inspection to identify these areas and the locations where runways lead to burrows beneath cover will pay off in proper trap or bait placement and facilitate effective control. The opening of the burrow is usually near the base of the plant and is easily seen. When other foods are limited, voles will eat bark from the base of trees and shrubs. Rabbits will also gnaw on bark, especially during the winter. Request a Free Quote People often mistake voles for moles, but these are not the same animals. People often refer to voles as meadow mice or “field mice.” In North America, there are 19 species, but the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus; the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster; and the pine vole, Microtus pinetorum, are of the greatest pest significance in turf and landscaped areas. Woodland voles average two to three young per litter. If you haven’t seen any animals yet, a sure sign it’s a vole and not a mole is if you notice your vegetables and grass are depleting thanks to their eating habits. In addition to hand placement, baits also can be placed in various types of bait containers that will protect bait from moisture and reduce the likelihood of nontarget animals and children accessing it. Schopen Pest Solutions can help you eliminate voles from your landscape. Meadow voles inhabit grasslands in low-lying areas or near stream, lakes, or swamps. We’ll send out an experienced tech to examine your yard or farmland and develop a personalized pest prevention plan to meet your needs. Read and follow the instructions on the product label. Meadow & Woodland Voles The eastern half of the country harbors a widespread population of meadow voles, which are the most numerous species in North America. Voles have a very short lifespan, most living less than one year. Voles are small, stocky rodents approximately 4¼ to 7 inches in length and weighing 25 to 50 grams, depending on the species. Habitat modification is the best way to control vole damage. If you have a vole problem, it makes sense to address it right away, before they have caused extensive damage to your plantings or lawns. Meadow voles and prairie voles will create surface runways (small trail systems) through the grass, while woodland voles build surface runways just under the leaf litter. As mentioned earlier, voles are most prolific when they have abundant amounts of vegetation and cover. Saturday: 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Illinois Counties Mow lawns and other turf regularly and clear mulch 3 feet or more from the bases of trees in areas of vole activity. All Rights Reserved. If you wait too long, you could be in for a long battle with these persistent creatures as they can be extremely hard to get rid of once they stake their claim to your yard. The stems of clipped vegetation are cut cleanly on a 45-degree angle. Description & Identification. Several species of voles are found in Illinois. Finally, no types of frightening agents are effective against voles, and no plant exists which, when planted, will repel or scare voles away from an area. DuPage is home to the deer mouse, meadow jumping mouse, western harvest mouse, white-footed mouse, meadow vole, prairie vole, least shrew, masked shrew, northern short-tailed shrew and eastern mole. Take Control of the Vole in Your Yard. Keeping grass mowed short will reduce food resources and cover, reducing vole numbers in the area. They eat bark from trees, leaving a bare ring around the base; a healthy tree can very quickly become ill or dead, and a destroyed root system can cause it to fall over … Because voles often use the tunnel systems of moles, moles are sometimes blamed for damage actually caused by voles. Fall and late winter are times when many vole species are easiest to trap. Research has shown that tube sizes of about 5 inches long by 1-1/2 inches in diameter are effective and practical. If you need help controlling the vole population within the Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin areas, Schopen Pest Solutions is here for you! Their eyes are small, and their ears are partially hidden. In general, voles are compact rodents with stocky bodies, short legs, and short tails. We have decades of experience doing battle with these little rodents and other pests, and we know what works best for yards and homes in the Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin area. © 2020 Schopen Pest Solutions. Voles can kill trees if they girdle them or cause extensive root damage. The zinc phosphide baits should be placed in runways and burrow openings. Voles travel along the surface of your yard, while moles travel underground. Bury one-quarter inch or less mesh hardware cloth six to eight inches into the soil around the area you wish to protect. We can help you get rid of vole problems. The anticoagulant baits used against house mice and rats are also effective in controlling voles, but multiple feedings are needed for most anticoagulants to be effective. Prairie voles live in upland grasslands, fallow fields, and fencerows and typically avoid wooded areas. Young orchard trees are particularly susceptible to vole damage during the winter, when voles feed on bark and tree roots. If you need help controlling the vole population within the Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin areas, Schopen Pest Solutions is here for you! Depending on how many have populated, they can cause a significant amount of damage to your plants. Meadow and prairie voles have an average of three to five young per litter. These little rodents forage on greens aboveground, and also work belowground digging tunnels and chewing up roots. The traps should be set perpendicular to the vole runway with the trigger end placed in the runway. Mouse snap traps can be used to remove a small number of voles. If they are not killed by a predator, a vole can live for up to two years. From our office located in McHenry, IL, we can reach those in the surrounding areas with voles and more. You will find voles look much more like a mouse because the eyes and ears of a mole are small and somewhat hard to spot. Most voles do not live for more than a few months. Repair Damage: What to Know Before Making Repairs, The Fascinating Story of Squirrels and Acorns, Conservation on Agricultural Lands Benefits Wildlife. We have worked with many homeowners and farmers in the region. Voles are more often a problem in agricultural fields and orchards than in the urban landscape. Mulch should be kept at least three inches away from the base of trees. Mainly, they eat the stems and leaves of various grasses, but they also consume other vegetation. The protector must be flush with the ground so that the voles cannot squeeze in underneath. Voles gnaw on bark from various angles and make marks approximately 1/8 inch wide, 3/8 inch long, and 1/16 inch deep. Voles may clip grass and create surface runways in lawns under a layer of snow. They make their homes in open woodlands, grassy lawns, and damp environments like marshes. Thiram applied to roots or tubers before planting may help protect plants from vole damage, but this strategy provides only short-term protection. Types Of Rodents Commonly Found In Illinois. Commonly called meadow mice, voles thrive in both grasslands and mountainous areas. Our experienced team of pest control specialists will evaluate your current vole infestation, determine a course of action making sense for your given situation, and then tell you what they plan to do to get rid of the rodents. Voles are herbivores (eat plants). The Illinois Wildlife Code does not protect voles. If you eliminate weeds and dense ground cover around lawns, these areas will be less able to support voles. If you are experiencing issues with this common rodent, reach out to our experienced pest control team for professional help banishing the destructive animals from your property.
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