Moles vs Voles

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Barbara Lloyd, May 24, 2009.

  1. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Anacortes, Washington, USA
    It is my understanding that Moles eat meat, such as worms, grubs, bugs and such,
    and that Voles dine on vegetable matter such as, bulbs, korms and so on.
    Squirrels eat bulbs and such or just move them around to confuse me.
    Is this correct or not? I need to know who eats what to stop the damage on all levels.....barb
     
  2. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Location:
    Stewiacke Nova Scotia, Zone 5A
    Okay , Moles eat worms, grubs, meaty stuff, that is correct. Voles or also known as field mice or meadow mice, disturb roots and bulbs etc, but eat the stems and leaves of the plants,and mostly grass blades, their burrowing does most of the damage below ground, not their teeth. Squirrels are usually the culprits if you find eaten bulbs, they're basically the only ones big enough with knawing teeth to do any damage to bulbs, tubers or korms. Any rodent that makes runways below ground can disturb bulbs that get in their way.
    I've been dealing with all these little critters since I moved out to the countryside 15 years ago. I'm still learning what plants are best to plant and where to plant them to keep them away from the ones I want them to stay away from. Confusing, yes! Good Luck.
     
  3. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

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    I have a horrible problem with voles. They tunnel under my hostas, roses, and I can literally pull them right out of the gorund with no roots. I have tried natural remedies and now have had to go with Mole Tox and it seems to have helped. I was raking this spring and my hostas just came right out of the ground...if they had been allowed to mature then the deer would have got them!
     
  4. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Location:
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    I had to use other methods besides toxins because I have a mini schnauzer who is a ratter, great catching day time critters but moles and voles are normally nocturnal, and I also have neighbouring cats to help. some other methods I've imployed are planting daffs around the circumfrence of my beds, the bulbs are not very tasty and are toxic as well, For one area of hostas I have dug down around the cluster, about 8" deep and inserted a wire mesh around it and burried it. it won't rust because it's calvenized, it was hard work but it's paid off. I've been able to retain 94% of my plants and though I still have both voles and moles around I've managed to rid the yard of squirrels. (I rid most of the squirrels with my pellet rifle, I was a markswoman with my cadet corps, it only took one good aim. no cruelty involved)
     
  5. rosemary marsh

    rosemary marsh Member

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    Location:
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    Well maybe it's been the squirrels that have been eating my bulbs. I thought it was the moles but now know they do not eat bulbs. We probably have voles as well. Whatever they are they burrow under the ground and leave little mounds of dirt in the grass or wherever. My cat has caught a few of these little critters, they have pointy noses. We have squirrels though and with the cold winter we had they probably ate a lot of my bulbs as I had very few tulips and no daffodils this spring and I planted quite a few. Oh well maybe I have to give up on those bulbs. They don't seem to bother the big lilies I have except the Foxtail ones. Happy gardening.
    Rosemary (Foxglove lady #2)
     
  6. MannieBoo

    MannieBoo Active Member

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    Location:
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    Daffodil bulbs are toxic so they could've just died, nothing eats them, the pointed nose critter your cat caught was probably a shrew, The mounds of dirt, I liken them to mouse size volcanoes are typical of star nosed moles. Here are a few web sites I found with pics of these three, the 1st is a starnosed mole, #2 is for the Vole and #3is the common shrew.

    http://www.animaldiversity.ummz.umich.ed/site/accounts/pictures/Condylura_cristata.html

    http://www.fotosearch.com/AGE054/j21-169348

    http://encarta.msn.com/media_461517283/common_shrew.html


    The Voles will eat the roots off most plants that are buried but not the bulb/tuber itself, but then we all know that a plant without roots doesn't do well.
     
  7. rosemary marsh

    rosemary marsh Member

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    Location:
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    Hi MannieBoo
    Thanks for the reply. The mole picture wouldn't come through but I saw the other two and they were not what the cat brought home to me as a little gift so it must have been a mole. Perhaps the daffodil bulbs do not like my soil. The tulips do come up but not as many as I plant so I will stick with them. Thanks so much.
    Rosemary (The Foxglove Lady)
     

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