Lawn Pests: Voles

Lawn Pests: Voles

Tips To Prevent Vole Damage

  • Starting in late October, gradually lower your mowing height one notch at a time until your final mowing is as short as possible without scalping. Collect clippings to reduce debris.
  • Keep lawn and landscape beds, adjacent to the lawn, free of leaves and other debris in late fall through early spring. Debris provides favorable habitats for voles.
  • Mouse traps can be used to trap voles. Place the traps in habitats bordering lawn edges. Peanut butter and apple slices make excellent baits.

What Are Voles?

Voles are small rodents, similar to field mice, that can be very destructive to lawns during winter. Most voles are brown or gray and range in size from 3.5 to 5 inches long.

Voles feed mainly on stems and leaves of various grasses, but also eat bark, seeds, snails, insects, and animal remains. These non-hibernating rodents are active year-round, primarily at dawn and dusk.

Most voles are brown or gray and 3.5-5 in. long.

How Can Voles Damage a Lawn?

Voles burrow into the turf, creating winding trails or runways. Voles form these trails by eating grass and also traveling back and forth through the same paths.

Damage is most common where lawn edges meet landscape beds, fields, sheds, and decks or any structure that offers protection from the elements.

Large vole infestations can cause significant turf injury, sometimes killing sections of the lawn. Long periods of cold temperatures and deep snow cover usually result in the most damage.

How Can I Help My Lawn Recover From Vole Damage?

As soon as the snow melts, lightly rake the affected areas and remove any dead plant material and debris left behind.

Raking helps prevent suffocation of roots and surrounding grasses. It also allows room for new spring growth. Most lawn damage from voles will recover with a good raking, core aeration, and fertilization. Turf that has not fully recovered by the end of May will need reseeding. Be sure to use disease-resistant seed.

How Can Turf Care Help?

Unfortunately, no sprays or repellants can prevent vole damage. We can, however, help with the recovery of your lawn. Our spring lawn fertilization products are especially formulated for faster recovery from winter damage. Aeration also helps stimulate new side growth and strengthen your lawn. We can also seed areas of your lawn that don’t recover from the damage.

Contact Us

If you think voles are living in your lawn or if you have any questions about vole damage, please call 847-304-4144 or contact us.

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