Frustrated with voles destroying your beautiful garden or yard? As a fellow green-thumb enthusiast, I’ve felt that frustration too and did some digging (no pun intended). This research revealed astonishingly effective methods and prevention tips for vole eradication.

So, let’s dive right into navigating this path together to reclaim our yards!

Key Takeaways

  • Voles are small rodents that can cause damage to your yard or garden by eating plants and creating tunnels.
  • Signs of vole activity include tunnel systems, runways, chewed vegetation, nests, and droppings.
  • You can get rid of voles by using catch and release traps, natural repellents like castor oil or capsacin, attracting predators, cutting off their food sources, or calling pest control.
  • To prevent vole infestations in the future, remove attractants from your yard, plant vole – resistant plants, create barriers, and maintain a clean yard.

Understanding Voles and their Behavior

A vole burrowing through a garden surrounded by plants and vegetables, with people of different ethnicities and appearances.

Voles are small, burrowing rodents that often get mistaken for moles. They have a preference for plant-based diets and are known to be voracious eaters. To effectively tackle a vole problem in your yard or garden, it’s essential to understand their behavior and what attracts them to your outdoor space.

Difference between voles and moles

A photo of a mole creating tunnels underground with piles of soil in a bustling atmosphere.

Voles and moles are not the same. Moles have a long nose and live under the ground. They like to eat worms and bugs. On the other hand, voles look more like mice with short tails. Voles love to eat plants and seeds.

Moles make tunnels that can push up your yard’s soil into piles or ridges. But voles will dig skinny paths on top of your yard’s grass called “runways.” Besides, moles do not hurt your plants’ roots like voles can do by eating them.

Vole diet and habits

A vole eating grass in a vibrant garden, captured in a wildlife photograph with different people and a bustling atmosphere.

Voles are small rodents that have a diet mostly consisting of plants. They eat grass, seeds, fruits, bulbs, and the roots of trees and shrubs. They are active throughout the year and can reproduce quickly, with females having multiple litters each year.

Voles create extensive tunnel systems underground, which they use for shelter and to find food. They prefer areas with dense vegetation or gardens where they can easily find their favorite foods.

To prevent voles from causing damage in your yard or garden, it’s important to remove any attractants like fallen fruit or garbage and keep the area clean and well-maintained. Regular weeding can also help reduce vole infestations by removing their hiding spots.

Factors attracting voles to your yard or garden

A diverse group of people are seen in a lush garden with piles of debris, showcasing voles' shelter preference.

Voles can be attracted to your yard or garden for several reasons. Here are some factors that might draw them in:

  • Vegetation: Voles are herbivores and love to snack on plants, so having a lot of vegetation in your yard can attract them.
  • Moisture: Voles need water to survive, so if you have areas with standing water or damp soil, it could make your yard more appealing to them.
  • Food sources: Leaving out birdseed or pet food can attract voles, as they will happily munch on these tasty treats.
  • Shelter: Voles like to have hiding spots and sheltered areas, so piles of debris, overgrown shrubs, or untended gardens can provide the perfect homes for them.

Identifying Vole Damage and Signs

A photo of tunnels in a garden with gnawed plants and tree trunks, featuring people with different hair styles and outfits.

Look out for signs of vole activity in your yard, such as small tunnels and runways in the grass or soil. Additionally, be on the lookout for chewed plants and gnaw marks on tree trunks, which are common damage caused by voles.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action to repair the vole damage and prevent further infestation.

Signs of vole activity in your yard

A photo of vole tunnels in a backyard, with diverse people and outfits, taken with a high-quality camera.

As a DIY enthusiast, I want to share with you the signs that can help you identify vole activity in your yard. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. Tunnel systems: Voles create intricate tunnel systems just below the surface of the ground. These tunnels are often visible as raised ridges running through your yard or garden.
  2. Runways: Voles use runways to travel between their burrows and food sources. Look for narrow, well-worn paths in your grass or vegetation.
  3. Chewed vegetation: Voles have a voracious appetite and will chew on plant stems, leaves, and roots. If you notice extensive damage to your plants, it could be a sign of vole activity.
  4. Nests: Voles build nests made of grass and other plant materials. These nests are usually hidden in tall grass or under shrubs.
  5. Droppings: Vole droppings are small and pellet-shaped, similar to those of mice. If you come across these droppings in your yard or garden, it could indicate the presence of voles.

Common damage caused by voles

A photo of a damaged garden with uprooted plants, gnawed tree bark, and various people with different appearances and clothing.

When voles infest your yard or garden, they can cause a lot of damage. Here are some common ways voles can wreak havoc:

  1. Gnawing on tree bark and plant stems, causing them to weaken and eventually die.
  2. Creating extensive tunnel systems underground, which can disrupt the root systems of plants and lead to their decline.
  3. Feeding on bulbs and tubers, resulting in stunted growth or complete destruction of the plants.
  4. Chewing on irrigation lines or electrical wires, posing a fire hazard and potential water leaks.

Repairing vole damage

A gardener examines vole damage in a well-lit garden, featuring diverse individuals and various hairstyles and outfits.

Repairing vole damage can be done by following these steps:

  1. Identify the areas where voles have caused damage, such as tunneling or gnawed plant roots.
  2. Remove any dead or damaged plants, as they may attract more voles.
  3. Fill in vole tunnels with soil to prevent further access for voles.
  4. Use wire mesh or hardware cloth to protect the base of young trees and shrubs from vole gnawing.
  5. If plants have been uprooted, replant them securely and water them thoroughly.
  6. Monitor the area for any signs of continued vole activity and take additional preventive measures if necessary.

Effective Methods to Get Rid of Voles

A person sets up a humane trap in their garden surrounded by flowers, with multiple people from different backgrounds present.

There are several effective methods to get rid of voles in your yard or garden, including catch and release traps, natural repellents, attracting predators, cutting off food sources, and calling pest control.

Read on to learn more about these methods and how to implement them.

Catch and release traps

A photograph of catch and release traps set up in an open field to capture voles, with various photographers capturing the scene.

I’ve found that catch and release traps are a really effective method for getting rid of voles without causing them harm. These traps are designed to capture the voles alive so you can safely release them elsewhere.

To use these traps, simply place them near vole tunnels or runways in your yard or garden. Once a vole enters the trap, it will trigger the mechanism and close behind them, keeping them safely inside until you release them in a new location far away from your property.

By using catch and release traps, you can effectively reduce the vole population in your yard while also being kind to these little creatures.

Natural repellents (castor oil, capsacin)

A person using a natural repellent mixture on a vibrant garden with diverse people in the background.

I have found that using natural repellents can be an effective way to get rid of voles in your yard or garden. Here are some options you can try:

  • Castor oil: Mixing castor oil with water and spraying it around the affected areas can deter voles from coming near. The strong smell is unpleasant for them, so they will seek another place to go.
  • Capsaicin: Capsaicin is the active ingredient found in chili peppers that gives them their heat. You can make a homemade vole repellent by blending diced hot peppers with water and dish soap. Then, spray this mixture around your yard or garden to keep the voles away.

Attracting predators

One way to naturally control vole populations in your yard or garden is by attracting their predators. Predators like owls, hawks, snakes, and cats can help keep voles in check. To attract these predators, consider creating habitats that are inviting to them.

Planting tall grasses or shrubs can provide hiding places for snakes and a hunting ground for birds of prey. Installing bird feeders can also entice owls and hawks to visit your property.

By encouraging the presence of these natural predators, you can help keep vole populations under control without resorting to harmful chemicals or traps.

Cutting off food sources

A photo of voles surrounded by a garden fence with no access to food, showcasing different faces, styles, and outfits.

To get rid of voles in your yard or garden, it’s important to cut off their food sources. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Keep your yard clean and free of debris.
  2. Remove fallen fruits and vegetables from the ground.
  3. Store pet food indoors or in secure containers.
  4. Seal garbage cans tightly to prevent access.
  5. Trim back overgrown vegetation and remove weeds.
  6. Install fencing or barriers around areas with vulnerable plants.

Calling pest control

A professional pest control technician examining a vole infestation in a backyard garden.

If you’ve tried traps and repellents but still can’t get rid of voles in your yard or garden, it may be time to call in the professionals. Pest control experts have specialized knowledge and tools to effectively eliminate vole infestations.

They can assess the severity of the problem and recommend appropriate measures to prevent further damage. Professional pest control services can provide a long-term solution for controlling voles and ensuring that your yard or garden stays free from these pesky pests.

Prevention Tips to Keep Voles Away

A gardener holding a vole-resistant plant in a well-maintained yard, surrounded by diverse people with different appearances.

Remove any attractants from your yard, plant vole-resistant plants, create barriers, and regularly maintain and clean up your yard to prevent vole infestations. Interested in learning more about how to keep your yard free from voles? Check out our blog for effective prevention tips!

Removing attractants from your yard

To keep voles away from your yard or garden, it’s important to remove things that attract them. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Keep your yard clean and free of debris.
  • Remove any piles of leaves or branches where voles can hide.
  • Clear away fallen fruits or vegetables as soon as possible.
  • Store firewood away from the house and off the ground to prevent voles from nesting in it.
  • Clean up spilled birdseed or pet food, as these can also attract voles.

Planting vole-resistant plants

Planting vole-resistant plants is a smart way to keep these yard pests away. Here are some options:

  1. Daffodils: Voles don’t like the taste of daffodil bulbs, making them a great choice for your garden.
  2. Hyacinths: These colorful flowers have a strong scent that repels voles.
  3. Marigolds: Not only do marigolds add beauty to your garden, but their strong scent also keeps voles at bay.
  4. Lavender: Voles dislike the fragrance of lavender, so planting it can help deter them.
  5. Alliums: These ornamental onions have a smell that voles find unappealing.

Creating barriers

I found that creating barriers is an effective way to keep voles away from your yard or garden. One simple method is to bury a wire mesh fence around the perimeter of your planting beds.

This will prevent voles from burrowing into your garden and eating your plants’ roots. Another option is to plant bulbs in wire mesh cages, which will protect them from vole damage.

By implementing these barriers, you can discourage voles from entering your space and causing damage to your plants.

Regular maintenance and clean-up

Regular maintenance and clean-up are key in preventing vole infestations in your yard or garden. Here’s what I do to keep my space vole-free:

  1. I make sure to remove any fallen fruits, vegetables, or seeds from the ground. Voles are attracted to these food sources, so keeping the area clean helps deter them.
  2. I regularly mow the lawn and trim back any overgrown vegetation. This reduces hiding spots for voles and makes it harder for them to feel safe in my yard.
  3. I pull weeds and remove any dead plant material. Voles can use these as cover while they tunnel through your yard.
  4. I keep my compost pile secure with a closed lid or wire mesh to prevent voles from accessing it and potentially making a home nearby.
  5. I check for any burrows or tunnels regularly and fill them in with soil or gravel. This makes it more difficult for voles to establish themselves in my yard.


Getting rid of voles in your yard or garden is possible with the right methods and prevention tips. By understanding their behavior and signs of damage, you can effectively tackle the problem.

Use catch and release traps, natural repellents like castor oil or capsacin, or attract predators to eliminate voles. Additionally, cutting off their food sources and calling pest control are effective strategies.

Prevent future infestations by removing attractants, planting vole-resistant plants, creating barriers, and maintaining a clean yard. With these techniques, you can say goodbye to voles and protect your beautiful garden!


1. What are some humane pest removal methods for voles in gardens?

Humane trapping techniques with live traps and the use of nontoxic vole deterrents can help manage garden pests such as voles.

2. How can you prevent lawn damage caused by voles?

You can prevent vole damage to your garden or yard using effective vole eradication steps like castor oil for vole removal and also introducing wildlife control measures.

3. Are there natural ways to get rid of voles?

Yes, you can apply natural vole repellents added with homemade poison alternatives which are safe ways to handle a vole infestation problem in your yard or garden.

4. Can I avoid future infestations of voles in my garden?

Following some simple Vole prevention tips like maintaining cleanliness and regularly checking for signs of their activity such as tunnels and runways could minimize their entry into the yard or the garden area.

5. Are all pest control methods harmful to other animals?

No! There exist harmless vole removal methods too; these include non-toxic deterrents and human trapping techniques that don’t pose risks towards other forms of wildlife.