Moles, voles and shrew behavior In addition to different physical characteristics, moles, voles and shrews each live in different habitats and have distinct food preferences. Due to their distinct food and feeding habits, the damage caused by voles and moles will be quite different. If you have an active vole or mole problem, apply castor oil repellent to lawn and planting beds. This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. If poison baits are left in place, they have the potential of being washed into water sources. Voles construct well-defined, visible tunnels, or \"runways\" at or near the surface, about two inches wide. Neither of these methods is completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey. Since voles and mice are both around five to eight inches long and have gray or brown fur, it may take a closer look to tell them apart. Most vole damage occurs during the winter months because it is easier for them to obtain their food while being protected by snow cover. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 2366 | Updated: Oct 15, 2020 | Print, A mole is 4-7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws.Courtesy of Mississippi State University Extension Service. Moles are carnivorous so they are hunting for insects, grubs, or worms. They breed with great fecundity and are sometimes seen aboveground. They also frequently create shallow holes in the ground. Moles are usually larger than voles, with very small eyes and ears. Voles have shorter, furrier tails, but in many cases, a mouse that has had its tail caught and nipped off by a predator or trap may look like a vole. Granular grub killers that contain trichlorfon or carbaryl are contact insecticides that should be applied in early July and are spread over the lawn and watered in well. This adaptation allows moles to travel both forward and backward through the soil. One of the biggest ways they differ is in their appearance. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. You can also make your lawn inhospitable to voles. They can be extremely damaging to trees and will often tear through the bark all the way around. Their food sources typically consist of seeds, bugs, tree bark, and plants. Granular products are easier to apply but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. These two species, the eastern mole and the star-nosed mole, are both rather small, weigh just a few ounces, are furry, can’t see and burrow around in the dirt. Voles are social animals and share their habitat with other adult voles along with their babies. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. If you grow fruits or veggies, they will definitely eat those things. To protect an area from a vole infestation, a wire fence with a mesh of ¼ inch or smaller will help exclude them. Snap traps baited with apples or peanut butter and oatmeal are an excellent way to catch voles. Mole Tunnels. Almost all of our customers are able to spot mole … The diet of a mole is different form a vole. Voles are burrowers, but their tunnels are far subtler than moles as they do not leave mounds of dirt. Rabbits dont have anything over this pesky rodent. Again, read and follow the label instructions carefully. Vole Mole Shrew Moles, voles and shrew behavior All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Mole fur is short, soft, velvety, and when brushed offers no resistance in either direction. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backward in the tunnels. However, each are very distinct and cause distinct damage to lawns and gardens. Moles “M” meat-eaters Identification and Diet Moles have enlarged front feet and claws, perfect for digging and tunneling, dense dark grey hair, a long pointed nose, and eyes and ears that are barely visible. A mole tunnels underground, lifting the soil upwards and making your yard “squishy” when you walk on it. • Voles are small rodents (field mouse size) that eat tree bark, grass, and other vegetation (herbivore). Unlike voles, moles are actually not rodentsat all and instead belong to the mammal family known as insectivores. Voles prefer to take bait from under cover.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. When using any type of poison or chemical, carefully read and follow the label instructions. There are many methods advertised for removing moles, such as chewing gum and vibration and ultrasonic devices that are advertised to deter them. Shrews hunt for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. Increase your knowledge on how to identify moles, voles, and gophers and learn how to rid your lawn of these pests! Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. (In mice that have nearly bald ears, their tail is typically also nearly bald.) The biggest problem with voles is that they will eat almost anything. This makes concave little passageways open to the surface. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. Vole Control. In mulch, voles make paths by pushing the mulch out of the way. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. 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