A New Home Search
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A New Home Search

After several years of diligently saving money, I’m nearly ready to purchase my first home. Because I’ve been thinking about buying a home for so long, I know exactly what I want my house to look like. I desire a place that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I also need a quiet space to set up my home office in. I want a massive, walk-in closet in my master bedroom. My master bathroom needs to have double vanities, a tiled, walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. On this blog, I hope you will discover how to set priorities during your new home search. Enjoy!


A New Home Search

Victimized By Voracious Voles? What Home Gardeners Should Know To Protect Their Lawns And Gardens

Elli Jokela

Voles are tiny but extremely destructive rodents known for damaging or killing many of the plants and trees commonly grown in the home garden or lawn. Sometimes called a field mouse, and often confused with moles, the vole is capable of eating flower bulbs; gnawing on root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes; and killing young trees, shrubs and bushes by chewing on the bark. If your garden is under siege by voracious voles and you are determined to claim victory, the following information can help you do battle and ultimately win the war on voles.

Stop blaming the mole

When homeowners find areas of their lawns where the grass has been decimated and the soil is disturbed, they may immediately blame it on moles, but the damage is often actually caused by voles instead. While moles do create raised areas in the soil by tunneling, they are carnivorous creatures and will not eat grass or other plants.

Voles, however, are primarily vegetarians and often make use of the tunnels created by moles to gain access to the root systems and bulbs of the plants they want to eat. The tender stems of grass in a well-tended lawn are another favorite food for the vole, and their feeding activities create unsightly runways in the grass. Active year round, even in colder climates, voles will happily use snow cover for insulation while they feed and move about in the dormant grass underneath.

Discouraging vole activity

Because voles are a favorite snack for owls, hawks, cats and other predators who commonly eat small rodents, they depend on protective cover to keep them safely hidden from view as they feed and move about. Removing as much of this protective cover as possible is one of the best ways to discourage vole activity. Some easy ways to do this include the following:  

  • raking and removing dead grass and leaves from the lawn and placing these materials in a dedicated composting area or disposing of them well away from the lawn or garden area
  • refraining from using mulch around the base of trees or in flower beds and gardens, where possible
  • when using mulch around trees, remembering to leave a mulch-free ring nearest the trunk several inches in width to expose voles who venture forth to chew on the tree's bark
  • mowing the grass more frequently and triming closely around trees, bushes, hedges, fences, gardens and flower beds to expose vole activity
  • keeping weeds pulled from garden rows to expose bare soil and deter vole activity
  • removing hollow stumps and piles of decaying wood to prevent voles from using these hidden areas for nesting or storing plant matter for food

Chemical-free methods to repel voles

Since many types of owls, including the great horned owl, feast regularly on voles, it is possible to use their likeness to help deter mole activity. Many gardening supply shops sell great horned own decoys that look authentic enough to intimidate voles. To be most effective, place owl decoys on posts, fences or tree branches overlooking areas where vole activity is a problem.

Another non-toxic way to repel vole activity is to allow your cat to hunt them. If you live in an area where your cat can safely be allowed access to your yard or garden, most will work diligently to hunt and catch them. Even voles who are not caught by your cat are often deterred by the presence of a hunter in their midst, causing them to move on to new areas

If your vole infestation is severe, it may be necessary to consult a professional pest control company in your area, such as Cavanaugh's Professional Termite & Pest Services, for further assistance.