THE VOLE STORY
I share with you this story so you can learn from my naiveite in the area of voles. It all began last winter when I thought I noticed moles in my back garden. I have lived here and built gardens with block walls for 12 years and have had three run ins with moles that I successfully trapped or poisoned with poison worms.
Then I noticed some ground disturbance and assumed it was winter homes for moles, so I stuck my worms down what I thought were runs without any mounds. I back filled my walls that I thought were dropping due to compaction and everything looked fine throughout the rest of the winter and early spring.
In May I had a mole problem in the front. If I get any they love to burrow under my walls. I used my magic worms and filled all the mounds. I noticed when fixing my steppingstones, a strange birdlike nest under one of the stones. I asked around and we just shrugged thinking it was a mouse. Oh well.
I also have had a rat and mouse problem under my back porch. I trap rats all the time and sometimes know mice are eating the grain I put out since they don’t set off the traps.
In June my golden chain tree fell 45 degrees. It lives above my drain field, so I assumed that the roots were week on one side due to the access caps. My son in-law brought come a longs and ropes and we straightened the 12-foot tree by tying it off to the porch rails. I didn’t like this much as I knew there was company coming for the picnic and you know how I like my gardens to be perfect.
About the end of July, I noticed a small hole by my front garden wall and again thought hmm? I put a water hose into the hole. I also was stunned when while mowing I actually saw what I thought were mice in the garden but since I knew there were mice under the porch, I didn’t think anything more except I threw Rat and Mice X under where they crawl out.
OK, it's time to start cutting back perennials and I find that several plants are dying. A nice grass is now divided in two and the areas that I thought were needing water simply were cut away from their roots. Now it was time to look up VOLES. There must be dozens of the little critters burrowing under my two gardens. Upon inspection I have runs under most of the ground cover and around shrubs.
So, I traipsed down to my favorite store, Sunny Farms, and they suggested I use a gutter and two mouse traps. They have no Vole X or any other suggestion. I went to my favorite mail order site and ordered Vole X, read the instructions. The instructions say these critters can girdle and fall a fruit tree and they love mole runs. I saran wrapped 100 little pellets (the poison doesn’t work if it gets wet...duh) and inserted them everywhere I saw signs and spread dry pellets in holes.
I think this is going to be a long haul…wish me luck!
Update: I killed 29 voles over a 6-week quest. Pellets didn't work but what did was a simple mouse trap with bird seed and a bucket over each trap. The word spread that the colony was under siege and soon no more traps sprung. I did catch 3 slugs.