Welcome to a comprehensive exploration of vole population management, a critical aspect of wildlife control and lawn protection. In this in-depth guide, we delve into the world of voles and the essential steps you need to take to safeguard your lawn from their potential damage. As the autumn season approaches, it’s the perfect time to focus on vole population control to ensure a lush and thriving lawn in the coming spring. Join us on this journey as we equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to tackle vole-related challenges effectively.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Living The Wildlife! I’m Stephen Vantassel, your dedicated Wildlife Control consultant. I’m delighted to have you with us today as part of the Pest Geek Podcast family. Before we dive into our topic, let me take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our channel, hit that notification bell, and consider leaving a comment or a five-star rating. Your feedback is invaluable. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, don’t hesitate to contact me at WildlifeControlConsultant@gmail.com.
Chapter 2: Understanding Voles
Today, we’re delving deep into the world of voles, not moles, but voles! As the autumn breeze sets in, it’s the perfect time to explore vole control strategies, ensuring your lawn remains lush and free from unsightly damage when spring arrives.
Let’s kick things off with identification. Voles primarily belong to the genus Microtis, characterized by their small ears. They’re stocky, mouse-sized creatures, but unlike mice, they lack slender features and have relatively tiny ears.
Chapter 3: Economically Significant Voles
In the United States, several vole species hold economic significance. These include the Meadow Vole, Prairie Vole, Montane Vole, Long-tailed Vole, and the Woodland Vole (also known as the Pine Vole in some regions). Understanding these species’ biology is essential, particularly their rapid reproductive tendencies. Some can produce five to ten litters each year, with a gestation period of just three weeks!
Chapter 4: Vole Population Eruptions
Vole populations don’t cause problems every year. Instead, they tend to experience eruptions. While scientists continue to study the exact triggers for these eruptions, one theory suggests that mild springs with early green-up play a crucial role. When springs are warm and wet, females enter heat sooner, leading to rapid population growth. These eruptions typically occur every four to six years, though it’s not an exact science.
Chapter 5: Damage Control and Habitat Modification
Now, let’s talk about damage control. Voles can wreak havoc on lawns, trees, and gardens. During harsh winters, they often gnaw on bark when their preferred food sources become scarce. To prevent this damage, habitat modification is key. Encourage clients to maintain short grass, clear debris, and make bird feeders less accessible to voles.
Chapter 6: Rodenticides and Bait Stations
One highly effective method for vole control is the use of rodenticides specifically designed for these pests. However, always ensure you have the necessary licenses and follow label instructions to the letter. Be aware of any restrictions on rodenticide use in your area, especially if you’re near sensitive environments.
Proper placement of bait stations is essential. Voles do not enter structures, so your bait stations must be within 100 feet of a permanent structure. Measuring equipment might be necessary to guarantee this distance, particularly if there are outbuildings. Consider boundaries, gardens, and other factors when deciding on bait station locations.
Chapter 7: Building Your Own Bait Stations
For those who prefer a DIY approach, you can construct your bait stations, such as inverted T stations. These can be both efficient and cost-effective. They should be properly anchored and designed to reduce spillage. Remember to move them periodically to prevent damage to the grass beneath.
Chapter 8: Vole Population Control
In conclusion, the critical goal is to control vole populations during the fall to minimize damage in the spring. Vole populations typically peak in October and then decrease as winter approaches. By controlling them proactively in the fall, you can significantly reduce their numbers, ensuring your clients wake up to a pristine lawn when spring arrives.
Thank you for joining us on another episode of Living The Wildlife. I’m Stephen Vantassel, your Wildlife Control consultant. We look forward to bringing you more valuable insights in future episodes. Don’t forget to subscribe, and for any questions or suggestions, please reach out to me at WildlifeControlConsultant@gmail.com. Until next time, stay one step ahead and master vole control for a vibrant and healthy lawn next spring!
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Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC
Phone: 406-272-5323 Mtn Time
Helping people resolve conflicts with wildlife through teaching, training, writing, and research Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC’s Living the Wildlife & Pest Geek Podcast Disclaimer Always follow national, state, provincial and local laws when using pesticides and/or other control methods to manage pests. Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC, Pest Geeks Podcast, Living the Wild Life Podcast, Stephen M. Vantassel or their/his affiliates are not responsible for the follower’s use of the information provided here or elsewhere. Be sure to read and follow the label directions for any product you use.