Spring is just around the corner, which means you will soon be back into the routine of yard work, such as gardening, lawn care, mulching, and more. And if you want all your hard work to pay off, be sure your property is protected against nuisance wildlife that will be sure to destroy it all. The most common lawn and garden pillagers are moles and voles, which coincidentally, are often confused for the other since not many people are really sure what the difference is between them.
Are voles wild hamsters? Are moles the same thing as a vole? If you want to protect your lawn and garden this spring, continue reading to learn what you need to know about these nuisance animals.
You may be interested to learn that moles are in the same scientific family as shrews and bats. They live a subterranean lifestyle, which means they make tunnels and burrow underground. Moles have also adapted have polydactyl fore-paws, allowing them to easily dig complex tunnel systems below ground. Moles can live in low-oxygen environments because, according to Wikipedia, “(…) their blood cells have a special form of hemoglobin that has a higher affinity to oxygen than other forms.”
As insectivores, they feed only on bugs, usually grubs and other small invertebrates. In fact, their saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes earthworms! They even squeeze the worm first to eliminate all of the soil and waste inside them! Many people think that moles are blind and deaf, or lack eyes altogether; but the truth is, they have very tiny eyes and ears, and use them just fine. In fact, the star-nosed mole can detect, catch and eat prey faster than the human eye can see!
Voles are part of the Rodentia order, which means they are in the same scientific family as rats and mice. If you have ever had a pet hamster, you have basically had a pet vole since they are also part of the same family and order. Voles are also referred to as “meadow mice”, “pine mice”, and “field mice.” Although there are meadow voles, which primarily live above ground, most voles live underground in tunnel systems, just a few inches below the surface. In fact, voles will use mole tunnels too.
In contrast to moles, voles primarily eat grasses, roots, tubers, seeds, fruits, bark, underground fungi, and other plant material. Their biggest predators are hawks, owls, snakes, and even cats, so they prefer grassy, underbrush areas near food sources so they can remain hidden. Voles are also very prolific breeders, which means an infestation can be highly destructive to a lawn or garden. They can produce 4 to 6 litters each year, which can add up to hundreds of voles in one tunnel system.
How to Protect Your Property From Voles and Moles
Regardless if you confuse moles for voles, or vice versa, the strategies to effectively reduce or eliminate nuisance activity is the same for both animals. Moles and voles will both destroy lawns and pillage gardens, making preventative maintenance and animal-proofing a must, especially if you are already aware of their presence. To abate moles and voles, there are a few approaches you can try that are safe for animals and the surrounding environment.
For instance, you can make a homemade animal repellent that will thwart their senses and keep them away from your lawn. Read our article, “How to Make Non-toxic Animal Repellent” to learn what you need and how to get started. You can also hire a local and trusted Michigan wildlife control company to provide the necessary preventative maintenance, as well as, environmental modification and monitoring, to solve the problem. Or, just read our blog, “How to Protect Your Lawn From Mole Damage” for some recommended advice for both vole and mole control.
Michigan Wildlife Removal and Control
Call Wicked Wildlife Removal at 248-621-3673 to get rid of nuisance wildlife in Michigan. We are a licensed, bonded, and insured wildlife control company that offers affordable solutions for nuisance wildlife problems. We serve more than 25 municipalities within the Southeast Michigan areas at the most competitive prices around. Request free information or estimates, anytime.