Main Menu

voleThere are 23 species of Voles, also called meadow mice or field mice, in the United States. Voles are compact rodents with stocky bodies, short tails and legs. Most vole species are usually brown or gray, though many color variations exist.

Identification
  • Commonly referred to as Meadow Mice.
  • Many species depending on habitat (70+).
  • Length: 4.5”-10”, including the tail.
  • Pear-shaped body with short ears and tail.
  • Dark brown or gray body with silver to gray underbelly.
Behavior
  • Voles are herbivores, typically eating below ground plant parts.
  • Voles prefer to live in meadows with dense vegetation where they can nest and feed.
  • Create elaborate burrow systems that they share with multiple families.
  • Every 4 to 10 years an irruption event occurs increasing populations by up to 100x normal.
Problems
  • Cause extensive damage to orchards, ornamentals, and tree plantings due to girdling of seedlings and mature trees.
  • Girdling damage usually occurs in fall and winter.
  • Field crops (alfalfa, clover, grain, potatoes, and sugar beets) may be damaged or destroyed by voles.
  • Voles build extensive runway and tunnel systems, eating and damaging crops
  • These tunnel systems can cause water displacement and interfere with crop irrigation
Reproduction
  • Females reach sexual maturity at 28 days.
  • Gestation period is 21 days.
  • Voles can have 4 to 6 young per litter, up to 8 litters per year.
  • Breed from March to December.
  • Highest breeding activity May to October.
Control Methods
  • Environmental
    • Predators: Owls, Hawks, Snakes, Coyotes, Bobcats, Foxes, Skunks, Blue Heron.
    • Weather: Freezing weather reduces population.
    • Diseases: Tularemia.
  • Poison Baits
    • ZP AG (Zinc Phosphide) and PCQ Ag (Diphacinone) are both effective treatment for controlling Voles in crop applications
    • Both ZP AG and PCQ Ag are Restricted Use Pesticides
    • See product labels for complete details on allowed applications and species
    • For control in and around structures, most Motomco Rodenticide baits can be used to control Meadow Voles