Q How do I deal with voles?

Garden News (UK) - - What To Do -

Mar­garet Cross­land, by email

AVoles dif­fer from mice in hav­ing short tails and more rounded heads com­pared with the ob­vi­ous snout of mice. Two species of voles com­monly cause dam­age in gar­dens – the short-tailed vole and the bank vole. They can breed rapidly and have ben­e­fited from mild win­ters. Voles at­tack a wide range of seedlings, in par­tic­u­lar peas and beans, fruit and cro­cus corms. They also make net­works of shal­low tun­nels in soil, par­tic­u­larly in­con­ve­nient on lawns.

Voles are not as easy to trap as mice, but non-lethal traps can be use­ful. Bait with carrot or dessert ap­ple. Poi­son baits are not very ef­fec­tive from spring to au­tumn when there’s plenty of food. Only baits ap­proved for out­doors can be used in gar­dens. Fol­low prod­uct in­struc­tions to avoid non-target species. Accidental poi­son­ing of non-target an­i­mals is il­le­gal. When used out­doors, traps and baits should be placed un­der cov­ers to re­duce risk to other wildlife. Non-lethal traps must be in­spected at least twice a day and the ro­dent re­leased sev­eral miles away. Fail­ing all else, get a cat!

The bank vole can cause dam­age in the gar­den

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