Voles


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Recognize voles

Before you fight voles you first have to identify them as the cause of the damage in the garden. The vole is also called Schermaus, Wollmaus or Erdratte. In her nest, a female gives birth to up to 25 offspring each year in three to four litters. The vole creates a branched ground system under the earth. If you discover a pile of earth in your garden, first check that it is indeed the work of voleurs. Moles also pour large piles, but are subject, in contrast to the voles of the federal species protection ordinance. This means that you can drive away the animals, but not catch or kill.
If a pile of earth comes from a vole, the hole is not in the middle under the pile, but is slightly offset laterally. The mound often contains roots and plant parts and is usually not as high as a mole heap. Vole ducts are at least eight inches wide and highly oval, while moles create smaller, round to broad-oval aisles. If you have clearly identified your opponents, you can determine with the so-called Verwühlprobe if the corridor is still inhabited. Lay it free in several places to about 30 centimeters in length. If the polluters still use the building, they close the corridor again within a few hours. Moles would not do that, but undermine the open area.

Preferred plants

Voles are vegetarians and quite choosy. They do not eat everything - but still enough to cause great damage in the garden. They prefer to eat Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, celery, tulip bulbs and tender root bark of roses and fruit trees.

The best fight time

Basically you can fight voles all year round. However, the chances of success are greatest from autumn to spring. The reason: The animals are also active during the winter months and find out of the garden season less edible, so that baits are better accepted. Measures during the summer months are therefore less effective. The best control periods are the late autumn, as long as the ground is open, and the early spring, before the proliferation of voles begins. Since young voles colonize new areas throughout the growing season, not only individual plots of land but also all areas of a small garden or residential area should be included in the fight.

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The Sugan vole trap is a plastic box trap. It is equipped with a bait inside

Traps, when used properly, are the most effective way to fight voles. Proven fishing gears include the classic tongs trap, the Bavarian vole trap, the patented SuperCat trap or box traps such as the Sugan vole trap by Neudorff. For animal welfare reasons you should prefer box traps, because the other models occasionally fall victim to moles.
You must be systematic in the trapping method: It is best to start in a garden corner and equip each active aisle with one or more traps. Check the gears several times a day and keep repositioning them in the same place until you catch anything. For an average garden size of around 500 square meters you will need around 20 traps to deal with a vole plague.
Tip: Voles are very sensitive to odors. Therefore, only handle traps and baits with old gloves and rub new devices thoroughly with earth. New metal traps are often covered with a thin film of oil. Wash it with the most odorless detergent possible (for example, with unscented curd soap) before rubbing the traps with soil.

Suitable baits

As bait for vole traps, peeled carrots or pieces of celery have proven their worth. The baited and taut trap is placed in front of the exposed gang, then it is sealed light-tight. Basically, you can set up vole traps without bait, but the catching success is higher if you attract the rodents with a treat. After setting up the trap, you can either cover the hole with a wooden board or with a black bucket. Since box traps have only one entrance, it is best to place two traps in each course close to each other, with entrances facing away from each other.

Tuber of a celery

Celery works well as bait for vole traps

Special vole baits (for example Quiritox or vole bait Arrex) from specialist retailers poison the animals.The use is allowed, but not for everyone.

Chemical preparations

Chemical preparations are only conditionally recommended for controlling vole mice. Poisonous wheat and other baits are eaten by the voles, as already mentioned, only in autumn and winter in sufficient quantities, if no fresh food is available.
Vole gas (for example, DELU vole gas) is released from carbide chunks as soon as they react with the moisture in the soil. It does not kill the rodents, but expels them by its smell. The effect is limited to sandy soil because the gas escapes through the soil pores from the ductwork. In this case, environmentally friendly smoking products (for example vole gas from Neudorff) based on castor oil are more efficient.

Use of poison gas

Organic farming uses special fumigation equipment: by burning charcoal, they produce poisonous carbon monoxide, which is channeled through hoses into the rodent aisles. Such elaborate methods are not practical in the normal home garden. Some fruit growers poison the voles in a similar way with the exhaust gases of their vehicles. This method is of course illegal because the combustion residues of the fuel pollute the soil.

Home remedies against voles

There are plenty of home remedies that will displace voles through odor or noise. They all do not look reliable, but we do not want to leave them unmentioned. Hobby gardeners have made more conflicting experiences with ultrasound probes: in some cases, they have actually evicted the voles, in other cases, they had little effect. Here, too, the soil condition seems to play a major role. Tight, loamy soils transmit the sound waves much better than loose sandy soils.

Crown Imperials

The tubers of the imperial crowns smell of garlic. Nevertheless, they do not reliably expel the odor-sensitive voles

In order to fight voles, some hobby gardeners use defensive plants to keep the rodents away: These include imperial crowns, cross-leaved spurge, garlic and dog's tongue. Since the tubers of Jerusalem artichoke are among the absolute favorite foods of vultures, some hobby gardeners plant specifically Jerusalem artichokes in order to distract the animals from the other garden plants.
In order to drive off the odor-sensitive animals, some strongly smelling plants such as Thuja branches or walnut leaves enter the aisles of the voles. Also, human hair should have a very deterrent effect on voles (if you do not want to sacrifice your own hair, just ask the next hairdresser).
With a special root protection basket made of close-meshed wire mesh you can protect your plants sustainably against voleurs. Surround your flower bulbs or fruit trees with them right from the plantation. Caution: Plastic baskets do not help, they are effortlessly bitten by the rodents.

Fighting with noise

According to ticking mechanical alarm clocks, they have a certain effect if they are buried in a tin can in the ground. Even with small windmills that rotate a capsule filled with nuts or glass marbles and transfer the sounds directly to the ground via a metal bar, you can keep part of the garden vole-free. Just as for the expulsion of moles, you can even with a vole plague with the opening upwards diagonally dig into the ground. The wind creates a whistling sound in it, which is supposed to set the animals to flight.

Natural enemies of the voles

Hobby gardeners can also get four-legged help: Young, motivated cats, for example, easily keep a vole colony in check. Dogs, on the other hand, dig half the garden in hunting fever, if you are not careful.

weasel

Mauswiesel in Angriffshaltung: The smallest martens in Europe are good allies in the fight against voles

If you live in a rural area, you should set up wooden poles with a short crossbar in the garden as hunting harbors for buzzards and other birds of prey. A wild corner with heaps of dead wood or stones lures other vole enemies like the mouse weasel. Even the fox is a very efficient field and vole hunter. He likes to roam the gardens in search of food at night in the outskirts of the village.

Video Board: How To Identify If You Have Gophers, Moles, Or Voles Digging Up Your Yard..

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