If you have worked diligently and spent hard-earned money to make your lawn beautiful and are now frustrated because something is causing damage, you may be dealing with voles. These tiny little yard destroyers will cause dead patches in your grass, chewed spots on trees, and unsightly damage to plants. Their tunneling will make raised areas where they have dug, and will leave mounds of dirt scattered about--not to mention the pathways through your grass. But these are only the things you can easily see. Voles present more issues than just yard and tree damage. This article examines four ways that voles are a threat to your yard and your health.
What are voles?
A vole ( Microtus spp) also knows as a field or meadow mouse, is a small rodent that only weighs about 1 ounce and measures around 4-7 inches in length. It has a stocky rounded body, tiny ears and eyes, and a blunt nose. Since voles are rodents, this means that they have a set of incisors that never stop growing. Because of this, they have a constant need to chew in order to file down these teeth, but this is only the beginning of the issues they pose.
Lawn damage caused by voles
A vole may be tiny, but at the rate they multiply and chew everything in sight, they have the power to destroy the most beautiful landscape in no time at all. If they are not eradicated, they can burrow and tunnel quickly, causing dead patches that make your lawn look like it's been scorched by the sun. They also dig multiple entry and exit holes to dot your landscape, leave scattered mounds of dirt, and can make zig-zag patterns that look like lightning all over the landscape. Not pretty at all, and very frustrating if you have put work into having a beautiful yard. If you start seeing the signs of voles, it is best to act quickly and seek the help of a professional before they do significant damage.
Ornamental damage from vole activity
;If you have these fast-multiplying, lawn-destroying creatures eating away at your lawn, chances are you are also seeing significant damage to your plants and ornamentals. Bushes will begin to have dry, brown patches and flowers will die as these rodents chew away at root systems or bulbs. If left unchecked, these problems will continue to multiply, causing more damage.
Vole damage to trees
As rodents that need to wear down their ever-growing incisors, voles will chew on any wood they come in contact with. Because of this, if you have voles invading your property, you will soon notice damage forming on trees. These tiny creatures do significant damage as they remove strips of bark from around the bases of trees. This damage, called girdling, stops the flow of water and nutrients to and from a tree's root system. So, not only does it cause the tree to look pitifully damaged, it will eventually kill it if the voles are not stopped.
Parasites spread by voles
Any wildlife, rodents or otherwise, can bring secondary pests into your yard, and possibly into your home, and voles are no exception. Some of the parasites voles may be carrying include, lice, mites, fleas and ticks. And if you have pets that use your yard, they may pick up those parasites and bring them inside with them. If you have other animals in your yard, such as mice or rats, they may pick up the parasites and get into your home with them as well. And having a parasite infestation in your home presents a whole new set of problems. These parasites can bring scary diseases in with them, such as Lyme disease, which can have lifelong medical implications.
What to do if you see or suspect vole activity on your Colorado property
If you are seeing the signs of voles on your property, to minimize the damages they will cause, it is important to seek professional help from a pest control company. Here at Enviropest, protection from voles is included in our Colorado's Choice Pest plan. Reach out to us today and let us take care of that vole problem for you, before they can destroy your lawn, trees, and ornamentals.
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