Voles: How to tell

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Voles: How to tell

Postby nanny_56 » Mar 20, 2007 7:34 pm

I have a rather silly question for you guy's.

I think a vole is what is commonly referred to as a field mouse. Aside from actually seeing one, are there signs or ways to tell if you have them around????? :roll:

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Voles: How to tell

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Postby LucyGoose » Mar 20, 2007 9:06 pm

Hi Claudia!!

Well, I thought I had them, then I have never had dead plants.....So I think I have the shrew.....They leave these little tracks under leaves or snow.....then of course you loose plants because they eat the roots.....I hope you don't have them!
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 20, 2007 10:27 pm

I was wanting to ask that same question, Claudia. I had things last year that made the raised tunnels like moles...or voles and shrews? In fact the tunnels went from plant to plant in one bed - some plants it did circles around! I was panicked. I thought for sure the "vole" had eaten all my hosta roots. But, no, the hosta all sprouted beautifully! Could it be a shrew? Does anyone have photos of both of them? I have tried to research a little on the internet, but can't find any good pics.
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Postby LucyGoose » Mar 21, 2007 6:39 am

I have some pic's from last year I will get tolater tomorrow when I am off work....they do not make the tunnels....they just go throgh them........
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Postby nanny_56 » Mar 21, 2007 7:00 am

Hey, LG!!

We have all kinds of critters around here so tracks are kind of hard to isolate. Right now I am here but watching out fron window hoping to pic of deer that have been going through the woods across the street last couple ok mornings!

What got me wondering was .... I have been raking leaves in the yard(no small task, think it has been years since anyone did it!!) and there are small hole all over the yard. Especially where leaf cover was bad. I may just have to wait & see...... :roll:

Thanks for your help!

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Postby viktoria » Mar 21, 2007 2:49 pm

Shrews are carnivorous; they do not eat your hostas. They have very long, pointy noses.

Voles have short tails and no visible ears. They "tunnel" in the leaf litter at surface or follow mole tunnels underground.

Moles are also carnivorous. They have pink "piggy" noses and very large forefeet. They are also darker in color than the above two.

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Postby Patrushka » Mar 21, 2007 3:53 pm

Here's a link that might be helpful. :D We had voles several years ago right around the time that I found Hallson's Forums. I thought they were back last year but it turned out to be shrews. I don't think LG meant tracks such as footprints. I think she meant tracks such as runs or trails. For me, they bring to mind an ant farm. :P

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7439.html
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Postby nanny_56 » Mar 21, 2007 4:46 pm

Charla, I think we got our answers!

Don't know what those holes are? To small for moles I think, if I recall right. :hmm:

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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 21, 2007 6:15 pm

I think you are right, Claudia! I looked up the link Pat provided. Pat, thank you so very, very much!!!!

I do not have voles that I have seen. I have cats that are very good, so maybe that has helped. What I have are things that look like that pic that Reldon? posted a week or so ago....a shrew.

So if we have shrews, is that a good thing? If they don't eat my hostas the only problem I have with them is my dogs dig up their runs and leave trenches all over my yard! :roll:
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 21, 2007 6:22 pm

I just found something else on the internet when searching for shrews. It also has great pics of both meadow voles and shrews.
http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/least_shrew.htm

there is a table at the bottom of the page with meadow voles info in the right column. Hope this helps!
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Postby nanny_56 » Mar 21, 2007 8:34 pm

:o Hmmm.... that pic of the ground with holes kinda looks like our yard! :eek:

maybe since I am cleaning up the yard and no plants except what I just put in today.....oh my....

Anyway to get rid of the :evil: things?

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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 21, 2007 11:26 pm

Well, last year I used a spray of castor oil and warm water with a little dish soap. Someone else posted to add 1/2 cup human urine to it. Put in hose end sprayer at about 1T. per gallon, I think.

I recommended it to others who posted as I tried it last year and it repelled my shrews (thought to be voles). I don't remember where the post was though. All the mole/vole repellents I have seen on the market contain castor oil. It's much cheaper if you buy the oil at Walmart or something. But it is a repellent/deterrent. So if they are in your yard or beds, start spraying bands of it toward them, so you can run them the direction you want them to go to get out of your yard. Not sure if I am explaining this in a way it can be understood, but you want to inch them to your property line. If you spray whole area at once it won't run them out, because there is no direction they can go to escape the smell. I think it is the smell, but I have heard other things. Also, I think folks recommend applications of this 3-4 times per year. You may see if you can find the post, it has only been about 7-10 days ago. I will look too. :o
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Postby eastwood2007 » Mar 21, 2007 11:33 pm

Sorry, Claudia, but I can't find that post on voles.... :(
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