It is small, quite cute and can become a serious threat to your plants: The vole. This is a rodent with large, sharp teeth that digs tunnels under the ground and feeds on plant parts found there. In this article you can find out why the vole is so dangerous for tree nurseries, fruit plantations and the home garden and what you can do against this pest.
WHAT DO VOLES EAT AND WHY ARE THEY OFTEN THE CAUSE OF CROP FAILURES?
Voles feed mainly on bulbs, tubers and young roots. These components are essential for the plant’s survival – if they are too badly damaged or even completely destroyed, the plant will inevitably die. In this way, voles regularly cause crop failures, which in turn results in major economic damage. Tree nurseries and orchards are particularly affected, but vegetable crops such as carrots, asparagus and celery are also not safe from voles.
MOLE OR VOLE: WHAT OTHER DIFFERENCES ARE THERE?
It is not always possible to clearly identify the uninvited guest in the garden. However, it is still relatively easy to distinguish between them: take a close look at your plants and check whether there is any damage caused by eating. Unlike voles, moles only feed on beetles, worms and other small animals – they do not touch plants.
WHAT CAN I DO AGAINST VOLES?
If you want to effectively protect your beds from voles, you should play it safe when planting. With the help of special wire baskets, you can prevent voles from getting to the roots and damaging them. If there is already an infestation, there is no harm in using one or the other natural pest controller: For example, if you have a cat in your garden, you have a persistent hunter to keep the population in check. Owls and buzzards can also help with vole control – why not put up some inviting perches to attract the birds of prey.
VOLE TRAPS SHOULD ONLY BE USED BY A SPECIALIST!
Do-it-yourself stores, garden centres & co. offer various mousetraps, most of which are only suitable for controlling voles to a limited extent. But beware! Basically, the following applies: Both impact traps and live traps may be sold from a DIY store etc. and purchased by a private person, but without exception, the setting/arming of the traps may only be carried out by a specially trained, tested and commercially operating person – e.g. the pest controller! The setting/arming of traps by private persons/laymen is strictly forbidden according to animal protection law!
GETTING RID OF VOLES WITH GAS OR TOXIC BAIT: A TASK FOR THE EXPERT
Voles can also be treated with gas or toxic bait. However, there is a risk of improper use, which can have serious consequences not only for the pests but also for the layperson. Therefore, it is better to get a professional pest controller on board who will take care of your vole problem quickly, effectively and professionally.