1. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    A few days ago several holes appeared in my lawn overnight, about 6" deep and 2" across, as straight as if created by a drill bit. Then I started seeing some small critters running around in the daytime. I now have a photo of one of them. Do I have voles?

    upload_2020-9-6_10-36-46.png
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @soccerdad good evening, the holes you describe are typical of voles, but the photo of the animal you have supplied appear to me to be a young brown rat.
     
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  3. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    A double whammy!
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I'm afraid so !!!
     
  5. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Agree with @Acerholic!
    Voles have much smaller ears, shorter tail and blunt nose.
     
  6. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Maybe I can leave a dead vole around with some rat urine and get the voles to think they are being attacked? Could start a war where they destroy each other!
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @soccerdad good morning, Rats will win everytime !!! IMO rats are the worse of two evils. They knaw through cables and wooden structures etc etc, causing far more damage than Voles.
    The thing to think about if you have tbe room is set up an Owl box. I prefer natural predation if at all possible even time.
    Your local Raptor/ Birds of Prey sanctuary can advise. There are some online that you can contact in BC.
    Just a thought!!!
     
  8. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I would love a raptor. I have a very large lot by urban Vancouver standards - 47' x 120' - but I doubt that is enough and there is an enormous tree nearby that attracts dozens of crows and you know how they harass raptors.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @soccerdad thats a shame, but it was worth a shout. But naturally when the Vole or vermin increase so do the predators. Yes you are right Crows and Raptors do not mix well.
    So it is down to the other controls, for the rats at least.
     
  10. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Rent a terrier dog :)

    I think if it was my house - I would be calling the rodent control registered reliable service - I forget how to look up the pest control license - it’s a govt BC website somewhere in the maze.

    Obviously you can go to hardware store yourself and set up rat size traps (snap traps) w cheap peanut butter in the bait zone

    To stop the traps tipping over you mount each one on a board and use them several times

    Use gloves obviously

    Deer mice (virus) are common in SW BC and are a risk to humans potentially so read up before you go cleaning out your garage or shed etc - this is an old known viral risk (pre covid)

    Careful You are not catching native Douglas squirrels or a family pet or a toddler or a blue jay — I suppose an overturned dollar store plastic basket w a brick on it would alleviate some risk

    I would never suggest poison (warfarin for example)

    My experience with a truly professional rodent control service at a commercial building is they make an assessment including looking for risk and entry points - then place traps then you are on a sched for trap check etc —- and this is the « rats move in » time of year —-

    I hope it resolves soon — I have replace wires and the entire attic insulation and more damage on top of that. In a fairly new and well maintained house in BC. Horrid and expensive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  11. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks, but my problem is my yard. My house is quite rodent proof and I have never had rats or mice there to the best of my knowledge.
     
  12. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Regardless, @Georgia Strait 's point is that it is worthwhile to hire a professional rodent control service. I can vouch for that. Even though your house may be quite rodent proof now, a professional assessment would help ensure it continues that way.
     
  13. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    I can't resist the opportunity to share a vole story from 2 years ago when I met my first vole. It was in the bottom of one of those tall plastic buckets that grape juice for wine-making comes in. I will be forever baffled by how it got in there. I released it.
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Soccer dad - yes it’s true the rodents seem to be outdoors now — but they often quickly move indoors to stay cozy during winter here in BC ... they also like to chew wires etc under the hood of your nice warm car

    Mom rats have babies frequently (gestation time for rat?) so before you know it, rat-o-mania!

    You can set up those traps outside — maybe as previously stated I would put an upturned basket w brick to weight it so all you catch is mouse / rat. I think likely best to contact pest control contractor

    If you have bird seed stored in your carport / garden shed, it needs to go., even if it’s in a storage bin.

    Also - if you have a bird feeder (yr round or winter only) - the rats will be there to partake of the feast. They are born survivors.
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It may be that we have so many places for our many rats to go in the city that they don't need to do such a destructive number on a single property. I'm sure they're everywhere. I posted a photo of Rattus rattus last year munching away on the leaves of a tree in a friend's back yard as we were watching: Rat in the Rose of Sharon.
     
  16. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    If you are hiring a rodent control service make sure they are not using bait stations with rodenticide. These secure 'bait boxes' are commonly used around commercial buildings and are causing the deaths of countless raptors in the lower mainland. District of North Vancouver halts use of owl-killing rat poisons
     
  17. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Totally agree with @dt-van, Raptors must be protected from these poisons. If they are allowed to flourish they will predate the rats and voles naturally.
     
  18. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    I agree w above recent comments.

    I had a house pet that sniffed around a poisoned rodent (at neighbor property) and it was unhealthy outcome for all.

    I think if they do set outdoor traps (snap traps) — then cover with a upturned basket wide enough for rodent access but not your dog paw or snout.

    Obviously you have to work with professional service for input on this.
     
  19. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    After digging many holes in one night, the voles vanished. No more holes appeared. I set both rat traps and mouse traps just the same but the cheese was taken, and the trap snapped, in all cases ... with no rat/mouse/vole biting the dust.
     
  20. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    In this area there is no shortage of eagles, turkey vultures, owls and hawks but I'm afraid they are not able to predate the rats, mice, voles and rabbits to a
    satisfactory degree. Where there are lots of big trees, shrubs and other vegetation, it is difficult for such large birds to swoop down unhindered.

    This is not to say that I support the use of poisons; just that depending on raptors is not enough.
     
  21. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Voles are pretty good at emptying traps from bait without triggering the trap. You may be more successful if you use a piece of a carrot as a bait, and tie the bait to the trap with a thin wire.
    Rat traps are not so good for catching voles, as voles are much lighter than rats and won't trigger the trap.
     

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