As the seasons change, you may start to notice voles scurrying around your yard. These small, mouse-like creatures can be a real nuisance, and if you’re not careful, they can do some serious damage to your gardens and lawns.
Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to get rid of voles using only natural methods.
What Are Voles?
These are small rodents that look a bit like mice.
They are mostly herbivores and will eat roots, tubers, grasses, seeds, bulbs, and plant leaves and stems in your garden and yard. They will also eat the bark of young trees, often in the fall or winter .
Voles can also create tunnels in your lawn, making it look unsightly and ruining your curb appeal.
How to Get Rid of Voles Naturally
If you have voles on your property, it’s important to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are a number of natural ways to do this, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
1. Castor Oil
You could consider using castor oil to repel voles. It is a natural repellent that will keep them away.
The recipe is simple. All you have to do is get a half gallon of water and combine it with 3 ounces of castor oil and 1 tablespoon of liquid soap.
To use, mix one ounce of this solution with one gallon of water. Finally, spray it all around your garden and other affected areas.
2. Live Traps
These traps are great for trapping voles and are designed to capture them without causing them harm.
Moreover, live traps don’t involve as much effort as some of the other methods.
You can usually purchase them at your local home improvement store or online. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before setting up the trap.
Fencing can be a great way to keep these critters out of your yard, but it needs to be done right.
If you choose to put up a fence, make sure it’s at least a foot high and six inches below the surface of the ground. You should also make sure there are no gaps in the fence that the voles can slip through.
A 0.25-inch stainless steel wire mesh fence is ideal.
4. Hot Pepper Spray
You could also try a natural deterrent like hot pepper spray.
The method is simple: blend two hot peppers in a quart of water, then add a little liquid soap to make a hot pepper spray.
Once the mixture is ready, place it in a spray bottle and spritz it on areas where you’ve seen voles. The smell will drive voles away.
5. Clean Up Landscaping
Another way to deter voles from settling in your yard is to keep the area clean and free of debris.
Start by mowing your lawn regularly and removing any dead vegetation, such as fallen leaves and branches. Keeping an eye out for any stumps or other hiding places where voles might nest is also a great idea.
In addition, it helps to remove any overgrown grass, weeds, and shrubs from around your property. This will not only help reduce potential nesting sites but will also eliminate food sources for voles, like plant roots and berries.
Removing mulch can make a big difference too. If you have piles of leaves in your yard, clear them away as soon as you can.
Garlic is regularly used in pest management by organic farmers, and its strong odor can be effective at deterring voles.
To use garlic, crush some cloves and place them in each vole hole.
You can also make a garlic spray by combining minced garlic or garlic powder with water. Strain it into a spray bottle and apply this homemade vole repellent to the soil around your plants.
7. Remove Hiding Places
As you know, voles like to hide in thick vegetation and grassy pasture-like areas. So, if you want to prevent them from coming around, you need to remove all the hiding places around your garden and yard.
You can start by removing piles of logs, moving mulch away, and removing any overgrown ground covers. This will help discourage voles from living near your home.
Also, make sure that your lawn is neatly trimmed on a regular basis and that the grass is kept short to create an environment where these small animals are not comfortable.
They will look elsewhere if they cannot find an ideal hiding spot.
8. Predator Urine
One of the most overlooked but effective natural solutions to scare away voles is predator urine.
The scent of predator urine creates fear among these rodents and makes them believe they are being hunted by a predator, so they look for safer places to nest.
You can purchase products containing fox, coyote, or even wolf urine. You might want to try a few to see which one works best for your vole situation.
Just keep in mind that it wears off after a while, so you’ll have to reapply it every few weeks or so.
9. Wrap Tree Trunks
One way to keep voles from damaging your trees is to wrap the tree trunks with chicken wire or hardware cloth.
The metal wire will protect the tree bark from being gnawed on. This is a simple, easy solution that you can do yourself.
10. Encourage Owls
Owls are also natural predators of voles and can help keep their population under control . You can encourage owls by putting up a bird house or nesting box in your backyard.
11. Remove Food Sources
Another simple thing you can do to permanently keep these critters away is to remove their food sources.
If there’s no food for them to eat, they’ll go somewhere else. So secure crops they’ll likely feast on, wrap tree trunks, etc.
12. Baking Soda
Baking soda is effectively used as a DIY rat poison when combined with ingredients such as sugar and flour.
You can therefore try the same formula to make homemade vole poison. Just combine equal parts sugar, baking soda, and flour in a small container.
You can also add a little cocoa powder to the mixture. Finally, place the container where voles come and go.
13. BONIDE MoleMax
If you are looking for something a little more potent, then BONIDE MoleMax might be the solution for you. It is made from natural ingredients, and it is safe to use around children and pets.
The active ingredients in this product are castor oil and Fuller’s earth, which have long been used as natural repellents for small animals such as voles, gophers, armadillos, and moles.
Apply according to the product instructions.
In conclusion, if you are having problems with voles, there are several humane DIY methods that you can employ. Try one of these methods or a combination of them, and you should see a decrease in the number of voles in your yard.