December 12, 2017. There are many differences exhibited between moles and voles. At this time, the grubs are small and close to the surface, so the contact insecticide will be very effective in eradicating the young grubs. Voles typically tunnel on the surface and eat their way through the grass to get to their burrows. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. 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. Fall and late winter are the best times to trap voles. There may be multiple residents in a vole colony, so habitat modification is important in controlling them. Voles typically tunnel on the surface and eat their way through the grass to get to their burrows. 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. • Moles are found in the subterranean tunnels more than on the ground whereas voles mostly inhabit the ground and rest or sleep inside the underground tunnels. This means that if you find an open hole with grass wide ridges on top of the soil, you may be looking at a vole problem, not a mole issue. They have small ears and a short tail. And why is it important to know the difference? But unlike moles, voles grow short, thin tails that grow to be about ¾-inch long. Due to the temporary residual nature of castor oil products for repelling moles and voles, they are not very effective. 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. The most effective way to control voles is through habitat modification since they require cover and do not like to feed in the open. Neither of these methods is completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey. This critter, in terms of what it looks like, can be thought of as in between a mole and a mouse, but it is much more closely related to moles (it is not a rodent). How To Identify If You Have Gophers, Moles, Or Voles Digging Up Your Yard.New Mouse/Rat Trap Videos Every Sunday & Monday. But if you take a really good look at a mole's face, you will see the difference right away. Moles seem to be much better known, but it’s really voles causing much of the damage chalked up to moles. The surest way to prevent moles, voles or groundhogs from coming back is to kill them. This is the dirt excavated from the tunnel that is under the surface connecting all those mounds. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. Vole Tunnels. So what is the difference between a mole and a vole? Step 4 - Shop Here Mole signs. Tackling a mole, vole, or gopher invasion on your property can be a massive project. A harpoon style mole trap may be used in an active mole tunnel.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. A vole (Myodes) very much matches the usual image we have in our minds when we think of a mouse. Keep looking! These are two entirely different pests, yet they’re often confused. Why It’s Important To Know Your Moles While moles, gophers, and voles can do damage to your property, the damage differs between each animal. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Voles are different from moles in that they are herbivores. Unlike the predacious moles, voles are primarily herbivores and will feed on the roots, bulbs, bark and seeds of many ornamental plants and grasses. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. If the moles continue to be an issue throughout the summer, you may want to consider treating your lawn for grubs. However, this is where the similarities end. Pine voles will destroy the root systems of plants and trees. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. Moles “M” are meat-eaters, and their diet consists of insects, grubs, and earthworms. Voles “V”, on the other hand, are vegetarians and eat the roots and stems of plants. Michael Caduto → May 23, 2016. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. (Photo courtesy of flickr) Michael Caduto. One day a plant will be beautiful, and a few days later, it will have fallen over with the roots gnawed off. Trapping is one of the most successful ways to get rid of moles. Posted September 27, 2019. But having a mole in the yard or garden is another problem to tolerate. Keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly, and keep mulch cleared from around tree bases. Step 2 - Learn About the System. They are small, stout rodents slightly larger than a field mouse. 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. They can also make small runways underneath the surface that are about two inches in … Moles have ears, but they are not easily visible. Shrews have many habitats, depending on the species. You can see its eyes and ears, but they are tiny. Identifying Voles and Vole Damage. This creature is active day and night, year-round, with peak activity occurring at dawn and dusk. Set the traps along runways or near the exit holes, making sure that the trap is placed with the trigger end toward the runway. Moles are underground creature and they are specialized for it. 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. But so is a vole. There are a number of different kinds of shrews, and their appearance can be somewhat varied. By eliminating their food source, the moles … You can think of vole travel paths as ruts. Mole Damage. Voles vs shrews Dear Kendra: From your description—yes, it sounds … But moles don’t eat gain, or peanut voles do. Voles prefer to take bait from under cover.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. 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. When you spend as much time underground as a mole does, it makes perfect sense to have your eyes and ears protected in this way. • It is a sharp and pointed snout in mole but, not in voles. Well, here is one reason: 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). Do not use if irrigation is frequently run in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil. Next. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. Moles, Voles, and Shrews - Do You Know the Differences? Moles don’t have external ears, and their eyes are so small they appear to be absent. • There are sharp and spade-like claws in moles but not in voles. Voles can also accidentally damage trees and shrubs by burrowing into their root systems, causing young specimens to experience die-back or to begin to lean. One way to distinguish the difference is by the diet of each animal. Mole activity often looks more serious and damaging than it truly is. Mole vs Vole . Moles are about 6-8 inches long with pointed snouts, paddle-like forefeet and long claws. Mole tunnels, however, may raise the surface when they are not deep but are still entirely covered. 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, voles, and gophers are three critters that can wreck havoc on lawns and flower beds. Gardeners have to worry about them, too, due to their diet. Moles will simply switch to another food source, such as insects and earthworms. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Voles are rodents and are about the same size as moles (4 to 6 inches in body length) with relatively large black eyes, small ears, a blunt face, and prominent orange front teeth for gnawing. This equates to a 5-ounce mole eating 50 pounds of its prey in a year. Vole Behavior. Moles are well known for leaving large mounds of dirt behind also known as molehills. Reducing or eliminating food availability for moles has been used as a control technique. Why is it important to know the difference between a mole and a vole? Like moles, voles also tunnel and create runways through your lawn. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Other than having similar sounding names and both causing havoc to yards, voles and moles have little in common. 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. Moles have a hairless, pointed snout that extends nearly a half-inch beyond their mouths. Moles primarily feed on earthworms, grubs, beetles and other animals or arthropods found in the soil. Voles have coarse hair that can range from reddish-brown and black to light grey in color. Moles can dig surface tunnels at a rate of 18 feet/hour. But, mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. Their respective diets are also different­­—moles are carnivores (meateaters) and will eat worms, ants, grubs, beetles, and insects while voles are herbivores, which means they eat plants from above the ground. When a vole has moved into an existing tunnel system, the openings it uses will be clearly visible, often with an apparent pathway to it through the surrounding grass. The only visible evidence of a vole burrow is the neat exit holes an inch or two across. https://moleremovalnashville.com/difference-mole-vs-vole-animals Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. It has a long snout and sharp, pointed teeth. Traps should be placed over an active tunnel and are the most effective in the fall and winter months. Another dead giveaway to identify a mole is its big forefeet (used in digging). Here we will discuss 10 distinctions between a vole vs mole. Often confused for one another, these three animals are in fact distinct and differ in their habits and destruction. Due to their distinct food and feeding habits, the damage caused by voles and moles will be quite different. It can kill a mole within 2-3 hrs. Let's take the Northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) as an example. Mike McGrath has some tips to help you deal with any problems the furry little creatures cause. Baits; Mole bait poison comes into two forms- worm-shaped baits and gel containing warfarin. As both pests carry infectious diseases and parasites, it is important to wear disposable gloves when handling the dead animals. Vole: A Vole, often called a meadow mouse comes to the surface. The easiest way to fix this problem is to tamp down or rake out the tunnels. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. So, where should you start in the vole vs mole battle? The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backward in the tunnels. Both can reach the size you describe. The poison peanuts are made of the same ingredients. By Secure Lawn. You can tell a vole vs mole often by size. Voles prefer to live in low-lying or creeping vegetation, and make trails through the grass or snow. Moving on to damage, to the left is a picture of classic mole damage called mounding; little piles of dirt everywhere. Shrews eat insects, not plants, so gardeners should not view them as a pest. They also can do damage to young trees as they like to eat tree bark and roots. The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. 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. Damage by meadow voles is usually to the base of plants and fruit trees. They burrow into the ground, leaving behind unsightly mounds on your lawn that are horseshoe-shaped. Mole and vole elimination If, like Jeff in Manassas, you have moles making tunnels in your lawn and voles eating your spring bulbs and perennial roots, a castor oil-based mole and vole … Like moles, voles grow a range of gray to dark-brown colored fur. Voles are stockier than mice … Poisons are usually the first method that a homeowner thinks of but is not necessarily the most effective or best choice. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backwards in the tunnels. Photo credit: Troy Salzer: In the home lawn Voles - Voles are small brown rodents about the size and shape of a mouse. Moles are solitary predators that aggressively defend their territory. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Granular products are easier to apply but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. A mole is a pest that uses tunnels and causes damage in your lawn. Let's begin with how these two different mammals look. Voles may travel through mole tunnels, but also dig their own burrows. They can also make small runways underneath the surface that are about two inches in diameter. They are brown to gray in color, 4 to 6 inches long, with large front teeth used for chewing through bark and roots. Like the vole, the pocket gopher (Thomomys) is a rodent and looks like a mouse, but with bigger teeth. Mole Damage Versus Vole (Field Mouse) Damage. Vole damage in lawn. Moles primarily feed on grubs, earthworms, beetles and … Mothballs also do not work, and it is illegal to use as it is considered a misuse of a pesticide. Either bury them or place them in plastic bags in the trash. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. You have to sprinkle it all over the tunnel so a mole can grab quickly. These are available in ready-to-spray, hose-end sprayers, or granular formulations. 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