Voles Tearing Through Rochester Neighborhoods – Here’s How To Protect Your Yard
Voles are terrorizing my neighborhood in northwest Rochester and I’ve heard from several others that say the tiny little rodents are wreaking havoc in other parts of the city too. I knew I had a problem when I noticed little tunnels in my grass and my wife spotted damage in her garden. I bought some repellent, but unfortunately, that stuff didn’t work. After talking about this today on the radio we received a lot of suggestions from listeners.
If you see signs in your yard you'll want to act fast before your little problem becomes a major issue - One female vole can have 50-100 babies each year and they can do a lot of damage to your yard, landscaping, and garden.
Minnesota’s Most Common Vole Is the Meadow Vole
There are several species of voles in Minnesota, but the most common is the meadow vole. It is small and brown and most often found in yards and fields. These pests are vegetarians and eat everything from grass to small trees and shrubs. Voles build their nests in piles of debris like grass clipping or they'll tunnel 4-5 inches below the ground to build their home.
Signs That You Have A Vole Problem
The easiest way to identify a vole problem is to look for paths through your yard. Voles eat grass to create paths to move around.
How To Get Rid of Voles
The University of Minnesota Extension says there are specific pesticides and vole baits that should help. You can find those at most home improvement stores. The majority of listeners that reached out to me recommended the product pictured below, Vole-X.
Does Castor Oil Work To Repel Voles?
Pests.org says yes, "Castor oil is used in almost every store-bought product to repel voles since they avoid this scent. It may be cheaper to buy your own bottle of castor oil to mix into a spray solution rather than buying a prepared spray from a store." The solution is simple it's one part castor oil and one part dish soap mixed in a gallon of water. The experts at pests.org say the voles don't like the smell of castor oil and other smelly products like garlic and ammonia might work too.
We'd love to hear your feedback. If you've found a product that works comment below or open our app to chat with us.