This is an update on my continuing effort to clear my yard of voles.
If you read my first post on this subject, you’ll know that I have already attempted to live in harmony with the voles. There has been little harmonizing going on in these parts, I can tell you. Of late, I’ve tried to trap the critters so I could deliver them to some other part of the universe.
I purchased a Jt Eaton 420CL Repeater Multiple Catch Mouse Trap (see photo) at Menards for $9.98. It’s a metal box about 10 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 1-1/2 inches deep. It has a clear plastic window in the top for viewing what’s inside. What’s inside is an open area with two short enclosed tunnels containing springed ramps. If a mouse or vole enters either tunnel, the ramp goes down as the animal passes across it. When it is through the tunnel, the ramp flips up high enough to block its escape.
To entice the voles, I added a dollop of peanut butter inside the trap. The peanut butter is visible in the photo. After two weeks, nothing entered the trap except a few assorted insects and a small spider. The “trap and remove” option seems not to be working, at least with this trap. I’m not spending any more money on traps. The peanut butter was still in pretty good shape, so I finished it off on a Triscuit.
Having given up on trapping and transport, I am now in full “drive them away” mode. I purchased a container of Messina Wildlife’s Animal Stopper granules for $14.10. This stuff is supposed to keep most mammal pests away. I poured some into and around each of the vole holes in the yard and also along the vole runs. After visiting the Messina Wildlife web site, I discovered that they make stuff specifically for voles and moles. Oh well.
For good measure (just in case Animal Stopper stops nothing), I poured a total of a half gallon of white vinegar into the same vole holes. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t like waking up to strong vinegar fumes in my cave.
I’ll keep watch over the next few days and apply more of the treatments. I have to stock up on vinegar. Perhaps I’ll try cayenne pepper if our daily downpours taper off. I’ve heard that cayenne is disliked by most yard pests. I found a recipe for cayenne pepper repellent. All you need is a pan, some water, cayenne paper, and dishwashing liquid. Sounds like a recipe even I might be able to follow.
I’ve also heard about people using moth balls as a repellent. Coyote urine is supposed to work too. We do have coyotes in the neighborhood. Maybe I can glamour one into doing my bidding and teach him how to pee in the vole holes. That would have to be cheaper than any of the methods I’ve tried so far.
More vole updates will follow.