I have been fighting moles and voles for some time now and I have not had very effective results. I have tried the baiting, smoking them out, traps of all types and yet I seem to have a knack at growing the population. They are concentrated around our bird feeder so I believe it is the seed they are after. However I carefully bait the holes, cover them so as not to disturb the ground any more than needed.
Enclosed is a picture of current damage in the area. What would you suggest short of getting rid of the bird feeder? If you look at the records of what I have purchased over the last 3 years to get rid of these unwanted guests, I have been serious at it. I have at times abated their numbers. However, I think feral cats may have helped more as well as a fox or two, and a number of snakes. I have moved the feeder to a location so the lawn in front of the holly plants can become lawn again but, it has been a slow process. So what would you suggest? Thanks.
What the pictures show is most likely VOLES. I had these under my bird feeder too and not surprisingly, I had local cats and coyotes harvesting the voles too! I also started attracting CHIPMUNKS which present a whole new array of potential issues. Here’s what I did to alleviate the problem.
I first installed what I refer to as a “catch tray”. This is a small pie pan thats wider than my feeder and hung from the bottom. Basically it catches the seed which feeding birds miss or push aside. I use a wild bird seed mix and every species of bird seems to like some but not all of the seeds available. That means there is a lot of waste being pushed to the ground and based on the pics you sent, it would appear the same thing is happening to you.
Once I installed the catch tray, I found most of the seed started getting caught. Cardinals and other birds learned to use the tray so this turned out to be an efficient way to handle the messy seeds and prevent unwanted varmints from coming around.
But I also knew it wouldn’t take care of the active voles and chipmunks still around. For them I went with the TUNNEL TRAPS listed in our article. They’re ideal for this application but a little tricky. For most people, getting 5-6 MOUSE TRAPS with the expanded trigger will prove easier to use. Don’t use the ones with the regular metal trigger – only the expanded trigger will work for voles. If you bait them with PECAN PASTE and then drop seed over them, you’ll be making a set no vole can refuse.
Now I know you’re probably thinking this will be a hazard to the birds and you’re right. So to prevent birds from being caught, all you have to do is place a garbage pail lid or box over the traps. Remember, this is not a permanent situation so eventually all these items will be removed. But for the time being, the traps and cover will be needed. And using the lid will really help here because voles don’t like light. By covering their holes you’ll get them to surface and feed almost immediately too so you should get ahold of the problem right away. Start checking the traps once a day, like every morning, and you’ll soon catch them all.
Once you don’t catch any for 7 days, you can proceed with sealing their tunnels because at that point you will have gotten them all. Before you do, pour at least 1 pint of RED FOX URINE down the tunnels and then dress them out with top soil making sure all the voids, dens and tunnels are filled. The urine won’t bother the birds but will definitely deter moles, rats, mice, voles, chipmunks and most any small animal from coming around. And with the catch pan catching most any seed that falls, there should be little to no chance of re-infestation.
Tunnel Traps: https://bugspray.com/traps/snap-snare-and-tunnel/mole-tunnel-trap-4-pk
Mouse Traps: https://bugspray.com/traps/snap-snare-and-tunnel/mouse-trap-expanded-trigger
Pecan Paste: https://bugspray.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Red Fox Urine: https://bugspray.com/repellents/liquid/red-fox-urine
I have one (what we think) is a vole inside of our motorhome which is also our winter home. We have traps out in different areas of the motorhome where we have seen dropping and other signs of either a mouse or vole. A mouse I don’t think will dig in dirt but our house plants are being dug in. Any other suggestions? Is it possible there are babies and where would be the best place to look for him? We have been looking and fighting to get him for about a month. I can hear sounds like he is scratching or chewing on the wood/paneling. Hope you can help.
Tech Support says
There are many animals that will move inside a home and once inside, cause damage and leave sign of activity throughout the residence. The short list includes mice, rats, voles and shrews. Now if I was to guess, I’d say you most likely have a shrew active based on the pattern of behavior you’re reporting. I say this because they’re quite smart, can cover a large area and will readily feed on a wide range of food.
As for the other animals? Well, mice tend to be very localized and won’t forage far from where they live. Plus, most mice won’t want to be digging in plant dirt.
Rats tend to be “high” in a structure meaning they tend to stay in attic spaces above living rooms.
Voles will generally only live and nest in the plant containers and not leave the shelter of the soil but shrews, well, they can use all of these areas and commonly do so once inside any kind of home. On top of this, shrews are small and cunning so for now, I’d assume it’s a shrew.
Regardless of which animal it turns out to be, the best method of catching it will be with the use of a live trap. And the one to use will be the LT3310.
This trap is small enough to capture any of these animals and it’s easy to deploy. Now it will take a few days to get one from us so while you’re waiting for the trap to arrive, here’s what you need to do.
As soon as possible, you need to start “pre baiting” a few locations around the home with something you think this animal might want to eat. If you have a pet, I would say to use pet food. Dry pet food used for a dog, cat, gerbil, rabbit, etc. are all great baits and no doubt this animal would readily accept any you offer (don’t be surprised if they’re already eating some if you have any around the home!). So if you place out 3 small pieces in 3-5 locations around the home and then monitor the placements by looking at the locations once a day to see if any is taken, you should be able to quickly find a spot where this animal will be eager to feed. And once the trap arrives you would then set it up at the location where the food was being taken.
Now if there is something else you’ve found eaten (like bird seed, cookies, bread, etc.), use this as the bait. Remember, the trick to successfully trap an animal is to find what it is they want to eat. And once you know what they want to eat and you have the right trap, the rest is easy. Give us a call if you have further questions; our toll free is 1-800-877-7290.