Those @#%& VOLES!!

We woke up one lovely spring morning a few weeks ago to see the snow finally melting from our lawn! "Hooray!", we shouted. "Spring is here!!"

You know that noise where it sounds like someone is pulling the record playing thing across an old vinyl record? Yeah, insert that noise {HERE}.

"What the heck happened to our lawn?", we shouted!

Voles. Voles happened to our lawn. And our raised patio bed. And our compost pile. Oh. My. Heck. Our entire lawn, from our bedroom on the 2nd floor, looks like an out in space photo of earth from NASA.

They are everywhere. Our neighborhood and the entire surrounding area were hit hard this winter with the voles. We have it the worst in our neighborhood, however. I believe it is because we have 2 sides of our property that are surrounded by open prairie. And a meadow pond. And no dogs or cats in our home. Or small running children, for that matter. Mercy. What a mess.

The area beyond our "yard" in the right top corner is full of their trails as well. We are literally surrounded by the nasty little buggers.

So, we called an exterminator to drop poison into their holes (which were everywhere!!), and we also made homemade bait traps from PVC.

And below is from the top looking down into where I put the bait. We used the twist off junctions, and no glue was needed for this application. I also added some peanuts with the bait to try to tempt the voles in for the bait even more. I also bought some large U-shaped pegs at the garden store to keep the traps upright and to discourage kids from picking them up. The traps took less than an hour to make 4 of them, and each one is about 3 feet long total.

We hope that we have at least killed them off now. We started on March appropriate day for killing something, right? (Ides of March...haha). Now to go about trying to help our lawn recover. It looks like all of my perennials and rose roots survived the invasion, but I'm not so certain about the outcome of my hostas. Time will tell.

This is another picture from upstairs showing the side yard. (it appears my windows need a spring cleaning from outside---oh fun!)

And finally, a few close ups of the damage.

And below is our "natural" vole killer....a.k.a. "Sirus", the neighborhood kitty. Normally I stay far away from him because I am very allergic to cats. I'm sure he was confused when I called to him...haha. Hey, I needed a picture of him out hunting in our back prairie!

 So, do you feel my VOLE pain? Have you encountered the nasty voles in your own yard? Tell me how you eradicated them and fixed the destruction they left behind. I really would love to hear your secrets and success stories!


Scott said...

When was this posted? Spring of 2014? We have the same issue. I am in Indiana. Curious how the pac pipes worked. Did you put poison in it?

BusyBee Emily said...

Hi Scott...thanks for commenting!

So, to answer your questions:

The pipes worked great! We do still have the nasty buggers and they did some damage to our lawn again this winter while we had a snow cover. But partly that's my fault for not making sure that the pipes had poison in them all winter!! We will NEVER be without the pests because of our location...we are on the edge of the prairie and we have open space to one side of us that is full of meadow grass and weeds. We still have cats patroling the perimeter, and hopefully they are catching a lot of them.

I will say that with the poison, I found that it was more likely to be eaten out of the pipes when I dropped a few Honey Roasted Peanuts in on top of the bait pellets. I think that the smell really attracted them. I have continued to do that when I put out the bait...I just keep a can with the poison.

Once spring comes on, our lawn fills back in and we don't have much problem with them damaging it because they don't like to be visible to their natural predators.

Good luck!