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Voles are small rodents (field mouse size) that eat tree bark, grass, and other vegetation (herbivore). Most vole damage occurs during the winter months because it is easier for them to obtain their food while being protected by snow cover. When the weather warms up and the snow melts, you’ll see the damage. It looks like a 2″ wide, above-ground trail where the grass blades have been chewed off. The trails are not soft and the sod has not been raised, like it is with mole damage (see below). Also during this time of year, more predators (snakes, owls, haws, etc.) are abundant so the vole damage will diminish as they look for other places to hide.
The voles will make their way out of your yard when the snow melts. But if you have a few that are still lingering around, you can buy anything that you would buy to get rid of a mouse, such as traps, and place them through the yard (be careful if you have outside pets). Then, once they’re gone, thoroughly rake through the area to get rid of the chewed off grass. The good news is that the voles do not KILL the grass.
They just stunt it for a couple of weeks. Give it a couple of weeks to recover and it’ll be caught up with the rest of the yard.
Moles are rodents that feed on insects, earth worms, and grubs underground (insectivore). They forage for those insects by digging and pushing themselves through the dirt; making an underground tunnel. In doing this, they sever the grass roots & raise the sod causing the grass above their tunnel to die. So the damage looks like a 4” wide tunnel with dead grass on top. The tunnel is also soft; so soft that it can be pushed back down by stepping on it.
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