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How to Kill Voles and Moles

Updated February 21, 2017

Moles and voles are two rodents that are commonly interchanged in conversation, but these two critters are quite different, especially in regard to the damage they cause. Moles do most of their damage by creating an intricate tunnel system that can kill plants and collapse surface soil. They are insectivores, so your garden will not be on their diet. Voles are the more destructive rodent since they are herbivores. These dietary differences will change the strategy you will have to use to get rid of these garden pests.

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  1. Identify the rodent as a mole first. Moles are either dark brown or grey in colour and about six inches in length. Its most recognisable features are its long nose, webbed feet that are shaped like paddles and eyes that are not visibly apparent.

  2. Use a long, thin metal rod to poke holes in the soil to find the mole's tunnel system. You will feel the pole drop in the soil suddenly when it hits a tunnel.

  3. Place mole bait at the openings of the tunnels and where you were able to poke a hole through the tunnel system. Only use mole bait since moles will not be attracted to any other rodenticides like rat poison. The mole bait has poisons that should kill the mole in several days.

  4. Wait three days and then reapply the mole bait. Continue this until the tunnels stop expanding under your garden. Only then will you know for sure that the moles have been killed.

  5. Identify the pest as a vole. A vole is roughly five inches in length, has eyes and ears that are visibly apparent, is brown in colour and closely resembles a mouse.

  6. Locate the openings of the vole tunnels and place rodenticides inside and around the area. Voles are voracious and will eat just about anything. Common rodenticides like rat poison will easily attract a vole.

  7. Continue applying the rat poison around the tunnel openings until it is no longer being eaten or when damage to your garden has stopped. These two signs indicate that the voles have been exterminated.

  8. Tip

    Moles are shy creatures that rarely venture to the surface. You can be sure it is a vole problem if you actually see rodents destroying your garden. Cats are also excellent mole and vole deterrents.

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Things You'll Need

  • Thin metal pole
  • Mole bait
  • Rodenticide

About the Author

David Montoya is an attorney who graduated from the UCLA School of Law. He also holds a Master of Arts in American Indian studies. Montoya's writings often cover legal topics such as contract law, estate law, family law and business.

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