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.
Pecan Paste: https://bugspray.com/traps/lure/pecan-paste
Red Fox Urine: https://bugspray.com/repellents/liquid/red-fox-urine