Moles and voles are classified as pests because of the damage they can do to lawns, landscaping and trees. Both creatures do most of their work underground leaving evidence that they have burrowed underneath, destroying root structures and leaving potentially dangerous holes.
Moles and voles have very different habits. It is difficult for a homeowner to identify which pest is tearing up your yard.
Moles tend to leave two types of tunnels- on top of the grass and underneath the grass.
Moles eat eat the blades of grass aboveground.
The other method of travel is underground in tunnels. The moles create a system of tunnels that connect underneath the lawn. The tunnels run together close to the surface of the ground. They are close to the surface of the ground to ensure the moles can catch their prey. Earthworms live at the top of the soil making them an easy grab for a quick mole. They store the morsels of food they have collected in their tunnels.
Voles, however, are mostly vegetarian consuming grass roots and blades, seeds and leaves. They will sometimes eat insects, typically storing them underground.
Voles are not as commonly known as their counterparts but can be even more destructive. Voles do damage by gnawing on the roots and trunks of trees and shrubs, quickly causing bushes and plants to lean to one side or die. Voles are known to enjoy flower bulbs and certain garden foods such as potatoes. They can also leave visible runways on your lawn.
The biggest danger of having moles and voles in the yard are the holes they create. These holes can be significant in size but not easily visible. They can cause people to trip and fall and injure themselves.
These pests might seem small in quantity but are often part of a large family. Voles have litters of three to six babies with three to twelve litters a year. Voles can start breeding as early as three weeks of age and can multiply year round. While there may be evidence of a few creatures, families of 500 voles are common.
If you have determined that you have a mole/vole infestation, pest control is needed to kill off the colonies. Consult with a local extermination company to ensure the varmints are effectively removed.