Moles? Voles? Who Knows? Dec. 7, 2011

Tunnels Are Taking Over

I don't know which we have, although I just learned a neat trick to remember which are which.  Moles - start with M - Meat - Moles eat worms and grubs.  Voles - start with V - Vegetarian - Voles eat roots and plants.  Both tear up the yard and can ruin a garden.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension Service recommends spring loaded traps like THIS.  I've heard everything from Juicy Fruit gum stuck down in the holes to car exhaust run through a hose into their tunnels.  Here is a video clip from the Nashville Fox News station about a man there who is making a living ridding yards of moles and voles, and he does it with a dose of good old fashioned home made explosives.  Looks like a cool job for someone with an entrepreneurial streak or an option to add to a lawn service.

Using a raised bed box, seems to have kept the buggers from getting into my garden last year, but my yard is maze of tunnels and soft ground.  We'll see how they do with a more active garden.  I'd rather not have to kill them, but I will go Elmer Fudd on them if they get into my veggies.


  1. I want to credit Kathy at www.dailypress.com/digginblog for the Mole/Vole remembering trick.

  2. I had voles invade my garden one year. I also had raised beds in that garden, but that didn't seem to stop them. They decimated a whole bunch of my perennial flowers. Two things seemed to stop them: 1) I let my dogs into the garden and they were quite good at digging up the voles and killing them (the vet gave them something so they wouldn't get tapeworms if the ate them) and 2) we put a thick layer of crushed gravel all around the outside of the beds and the entire garden. Apparently their skin is very thin and they can't dig through the sharp gravel without getting injured. I suspect that a nice thick layer of crushed gravel somewhere within the bed itself would also protect the plants in the bed, as they dig from beneath and eat the roots of the plant.

    I haven't had voles since. Like you, I was ready for some target practice with my .22 if I ever saw them again.

  3. Thanks for the tip, DodgeTruckMom! My dog will bark his fool head off at a buzzard violating our airspace, but he's never bothered to dig. I'll give the gravel a try under my next raised bed when I put one in.


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