Farmers, gardeners, and plot owners have two common enemies which are considered pests : moles and voles. Moles and voles are often perceived to be the same creature but actually they are very much different from one another. The only thing common between the two is their burrowing activities that affects crop production. To be able to implement an effective method for mole and vole control, one should understand first the difference between the two. First, voles are actually small rodents that inhabit mostly fields and shrubs.
Usually, these creatures forage for flower bulbs and stems of woody plants. It also has a taste for chewing roots of plants which is very destructive for a farmer planting root crops. Voles are notoriously known for destroying prize roses and other flowering plants; thus, hobbyists seek ways to control vole. Landscaped gardens are often the favorite habitats of voles. The holes voles dig are smaller than the ones dug by moles, much like the size of a golf ball.
Vole control is usually done traditionally by setting up snap-type mouse traps. Before setting up such traps, it is necessary to make a simple apple sign test first to effectively detect places of mole activity. Once a section is confirmed to hold vole burrows, carefully place the trap in the burrow opening which can be covered by a flowering plant.
The plant attracts the vole that would be trapped instantaneously as it tries to get out of the hole. This makes the trap effective for vole control. It is wise to check daily the trap to see if voles are caught. If the population of voles have been reduced, then don’t expect to catch voles anymore. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to do the apple patch test twice a year so vole population can be monitored.
Control of moles on the other hand is another issue. They are much bigger in size and burrow deeper underneath the surface waiting for earthworms. By doing so, roots of young plants are destroyed , worse, moles make extensive tunnels that can drastically alter the soil in a plot. A trick for mole control is the use of castor oil.
Castor oil mixed with dishwashing liquid and water can be lethal for both mole and vole once they have ingested the solution. If mechanical traps haven’t been effective for mole and vole control, try the castor oil solution. Just be careful applying castor oil solution since it can cause nerve damage even to human beings.