Vole Burrowing Can Disrupt Root Systems
June 21, 2017
Voles spend most of their time burrowing in their elaborate, far-reaching den network, although they can sometimes be seen running along above ground as well. One of the clearest telltale signs of voles in your yard is the appearance of well-traveled, above-ground routes or pathways that connect one burrow opening to another.
However, these paths can sometimes prove difficult to spot, as they’re commonly covered with a protective layer of grass or foliage, which is usually adequate to protect the runway from sight. These burrow openings, which can appear suddenly and in worrying numbers, are usually about one and a half to two inches in diameter. Further evidence of voles, apart from their burrow openings, is the appearance of fresh grass “clippings” or small droppings which are usually greenish in color. As these droppings are exposed to oxygen, they tend to turn brown or grey over time.
Voles are active throughout the year and can operate even in frozen climates. In the winter, they have the ability to burrow layers of snow up to the surface. Vole populations tend to fluctuate from year to year, but under favorable conditions and with access to enough food, their numbers can increase rapidly and they can quickly become pests. Several families can occupy a single burrow system, and the size of the system depends largely on the availability of food in the area.
Voles can and typically do breed through the year, although peak mating times often occur in the spring. Females mature very quickly, usually in about thirty-five to forty days, and can give birth to up to ten litters a year. Litters usually consist of about three to six young, although it’s uncommon for voles to live longer than a year in the wild.
Most voles usually will not venture inside human habitations; most of the damage they cause will be outdoors. During prime vole breeding seasons, outbreaks of vole populations can lead to fairly serious economic issues, as voles have been known to destroy crops and gardens, and their burrowing disturbs the roots of many other kinds of plants.
Moreover, they can also cause costly damage to landscaping, which may have to be replaced completely. Although voles are poor climbers and prefer to remain underground, they can sometimes climb up on low-hanging tree branches and cause damage to trees off the surface of the ground as well.
Cantu Pest & Termite is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer our Cantu Green Service pest services to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal while minimizing the use of pesticides.
If voles or other pests have made unwanted appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced vole removal experts.