Voles can be one of the more confusing pests to encounter. However, proper identification combined with the right baits and traps are the keys to success. Let’s review the key points regarding vole traps and baits.
First of all, let’s understand what a vole is and what it is not. A vole is a small rodent that is a relative of mice. There are over 120 different species of voles worldwide with over 20 of those being native to the United States. Since voles are landscape based rodents, select vole traps and baits accordingly.
Voles are not mice
It is important to understand that voles are not mice. Vole traps and baits will coincide with mice but need to be tweaked. Voles are herbivorous and are not likely to squeeze their way into structures. Typically a vole inside is a confused vole who wants back outside. They find their way in through larger openings than mice need. Many traps and baits will overlap between the two, but understanding it is different from a mouse will help hone in the control efforts.
Voles are not moles
It is unfortunate having small furry animals with names that rhyme, but they are quite different. Far too many people buy grub baits intended for moles hoping to kill voles with them while others are buying poison peanuts intended for voles trying to kill their moles. Voles are herbivorous and will, therefore, prefer baits with plant based elements in them.
There is a wide swath of baits that will function for voles. If one isn’t working, double check the placement and clues for identification and then move down the list to the next thing.
- No bait-voles are habitual creatures. Placing a trap in its typical path may be enough to trap it
- Oatmeal & PB
- Bread & Butter
- PB & Molasses
- sunflower seeds
- small nuts
- cherry pits
- poison baits – there are a wide variety of poison baits that consist of a base such as peanuts, grains, rolled oats, wax blocks with scent and flavor content, etc. combined with a poison such as zinc phosphide, warfarin, bromadilone, etc. Be cautious when using poison baits as voles may relocate them to unintended areas and many non-target species have similar tastes in food. Always follow labels and protect bait placements in tamper resistant bait stations.
Realistically, any trap that is designed for a mouse can be used for a vole. Some traps will work better in one situation than another, so select the trap best suited for the situation. Some runways are in too low of a profile for snap traps to complete their motion. Sticky traps do not hold up well to outdoor elements. Multi-catch traps may be more difficult to entice entry. Always consider both directions of potential travel when placing the trap. Ensure it can be effective from both directions. The basic options for traps include:
- snap trap (mouse size)
- live trap
- sticky trap
- multi-catch trap
Experts are available to help with vole baits and traps
Voles are prolific reproducers and suburban areas significantly reduce available predators to keep vole populations in check. In some situations, vole populations may reach hundreds per acre. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the vole excerpts at Rove Pest Control for guidance in identification, product selection, and professional control services. Click here for a free estimate.