Voles, or “meadow mice,” are rather small, chunky rodents that feed above ground. They tend to be shaggy and charcoal gray in color. Unlike true mice, they have tiny eyes, tiny ears and a short tail. Their burrow systems are typically found in damp/lush areas, rock walls, under low-lying shrubs and under sheds or brush piles. Several species are found in the Pikes Peak Region, with themeadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) being most common. Like mice, voles are very prolific, producing multiple litters from March to September. They are active year-round.
Classic evidence and damage includes distinct trails/runways in sod/grass; severely clipped grass (especially after snow melt); girdling of low shrubs (e.g., junipers); and small, open holes in hummocks, rock walls, damp areas, etc. They often take over and open up abandoned gopher tunnels. Their runways resemble where a garden hose has lain on sod too long.
Vole damage can be effectively controlled using a good poison bait program or lethal traps. Our technicians are well-trained and licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to properly, safely use the best commercial baits available. We use a two-step method that includes manual application of a prebait in vole burrows/runways, followed by a discreet manual application of a flavored pesticide grain bait in 3 to 10 days. The bait we use is 95 – 100% effective and very safe around pets, with little chance of secondary poisoning.
Traditional lethal mouse snap traps can also be very effective when using proper techniques. Traps are useful for homeowner use, small applications, or where poisons are not suitable. Of course, traps need to be checked, tended and eventually removed.
If you need help with a vole problem, call us at 719-636-1014 for an assessment and prices. We’d be happy to help.