Voles are field mice that create tunnels and dens under the ground. They are often first noticed when snow melts in the spring and “trails” are seen in the grass where they fed during the winter. Often holes will also appear, and can typically be distinguished from other rodent holes by the lack of a mound around the holes. They vary in length from 3″ up to 9″ long, and typically have a stubby tail. They can produce 10 litters of 5-10 young, which can begin having babies in a month. They typically live 3-6 months, but can live up to 1 year. Due to extensive tunnel networks, smoking out or flooding out moles and voles is largely ineffective.
Moles can burrow under your lawn, causing damage to landscaping, sprinkler systems, wiring, etc. Technically, they are not rodents. Their mounds help identify them. They typically grow to 6″ – 12″ long. Unlike voles, they survive primarily on worms, and do not eat the roots of plants. They can produce 1 litter of 2-5 young annually (typically in the Spring), and can live up to 6 years. Since they are solitary creatures, and do not eat roots, their mounds can typically be filled in or covered and they can be ignored until they move on.
Gophers grow up to 14″ long. They can damage landscapes, underground wiring, sprinkler systems, etc. Unlike moles, they will eat roots and bulbs. They can produce litters of 2-5 young. They are typically solitary animals, with just one gopher per tunnel system, except during breeding seasons. Their mounds are usually larger than mole mounds, and are “lopsided”, with the burrow in the direction away from the dirt pile.
How can I protect my home and yard from rodents?
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MORE ABOUT RODENT CONTROL
There is nothing as devastating to business image, and comfort of home as the words “rodent infestation”. One mouse alone can cause complete dread in the hearts of women everywhere and the idea of rats is death to business. And the truth is there is no time to wait for a rodent infestation to go away on its own, rodent infestation is the kind of problem intent on making itself right at home in your home or business.
The longer rodents are around, the worse it gets. Rodents reproduce quickly and voraciously, reaching sexual maturity within 2 months, and can have offspring as often as 9 times a year; one pair of mice can have over 200 offspring in less than 4 months! Another well-documented hazard rodents bring is damaging the structural integrity of buildings; eating through electrical wires, insulation and even walls. Finally and most seriously, rodents are a serious health concern and a danger to those under attack. It is unwise to try to take on a rodent infestation on your own! Touching them with your bare hands, even cleaning up their droppings once they’re gone all too often causes further serious contamination.