How to Control Meadow Voles

Written by brittany tucker
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How to Control Meadow Voles
Meadow voles can destroy your lawn and garden. (Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Voles, also known as meadow mice, can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. Voles that are left uncontrolled can multiply quickly and do significant damage to your property. Controlling meadow voles, with the use of toxic bait, is crucial if you want to protect your property.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Lawnmower
  • Poison
  • Sanitary gloves
  • Plastic bags
  • Predator urine
  • Mesh wire/hardware cloth cylinders

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Remove all tall grass, brush, weeds and vegetative cover from your property by mowing your lawn regularly. Meadow voles thrive in areas covered by dense vegetation.

  2. 2

    Locate the meadow voles underground burrows or tunnelling system. Voles spend the majority of their time below ground in their burrow system, which is usually hidden behind protective layers of grass or other ground cover. The burrow opening or entrance is about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and can be found by locating and following the pests well-traveled, above-ground runways.

  3. 3

    Exterminate the meadow voles with poison. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommends using anticoagulants, as it's the safest type of rodent bait for use around homes and gardens. The bait has to be consumed by the meadow voles five or more days to be effective. Spread the correct or recommended amount of bait inside the voles burrow and tunnelling systems evenly. Re-bait every other day for maximum results. You can purchase anticoagulants or toxic bait at hardware, gardening and agricultural stores.

  4. 4

    Remove all visible meadow vole carcases from your property immediately. Pets or other wild animals that consume the vole carcases can become sick, and even die as a result. Place protective sanitary gloves on your hands and put the voles in secure plastic bags. Bury, burn or throw the bag away immediately.

  5. 5

    Repel meadow voles from your property by placing repellents, like predator urine, in and around the burrow and tunnel system. Meadow voles do not like the strong odour prevalent in predator urine. Re-apply the repellent on a regular basis and after every rainy day for lasting success. You can purchase predator urine at hardware and gardening stores.

  6. 6

    Place wire mesh garden fencing or hardware cloth cylinders around your garden and around the base of all young trees. Meadow voles gnaw on and regularly damage fruit, vegetables and the bark on trees. The mesh should be 1/4 inch or less in size and 12 to 18 inches in height and should be buried at least six inches below ground level, to keep voles from burrowing under the cylinders or wire and destroying the produce or trees. You can purchase wire mesh garden fencing or hardware cloth cylinders at hardware and gardening stores.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't want to exterminate the voles from your property, focus on solely repelling the pests from your property instead.
  • You can use live-traps instead of toxic baits to remove meadow voles from your property. Captured voles can be released at another location, depending on your state laws and wildlife regulations, or exterminated.
  • If you have a severe infestation of meadow voles, you may need to get additional help from a licensed professional.

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