Damage to Lawns and Gardens Caused by Moles and Voles

We are most familiar with moles, which are mouse-like creatures that can do so much damage to your lawn. What about voles? Well, their names might sound alike, and voles are also often mistaken for moles. These creatures, however, are different from each other. Whereas voles are rodents, moles are not. They also have different characteristics and food preferences. But both animals can wreak havoc to your garden and lawns.

The Mole – How It Destroys Grounds

Moles are insectivorous. This means that they won’t eat your precious tulip bulbs. Instead, they’ll feed on insect larvae, grubs, and earthworms. So, how do they cause damage to your yard? It is seldom to see moles crawling on the grass. They are always underneath the ground. These creatures create tunnels that they use to get to food sources. Oftentimes, moles create berms or mounded hills when forming their runways. So, while going on their merry way in search for their favorite worms, they also spoil your lawn.

The Vole and the Damage It Causes

Unlike moles, voles are vegetarians. They target seeds, bulbs, and roots. When food is scarce, such as during winter time, it’s also pretty common for voles to eat shrubs and tree bark. Because they like plants, they can cause considerable damage to gardens. Your prized plants are surely not safe if there are voles around. Just imagine all of your hard work going down the drain once voles start snacking on your precious dahlias or your succulent tomatoes. Won’t that make you feel really frustrated?

Voles can make tunnels if they need to. However, they often choose the easy way, and that is exploiting the tunnels that have been created by moles. In case they choose to build underground runways, they do not create berms. Nevertheless, they produce damage under the ground, which could also weaken the integrity of the top soil.

Keeping Out Moles and Voles


1. Keep grounds well-maintained.

Voles are attracted to lush vegetation, and they grow particularly emboldened when there are tall grasses or deep mulch that keeps them hidden. So, one way to discourage these critters is by ensuring that your lawn is maintained well. Mow grass regularly, and get rid of weeds. When putting mulch, keep the layer thin and not too deep.

2. Wrap tree trunks in metal wires.

Because voles eat bark, it’s best to protect the base of trees. Get some metal wires or mesh wires and put these around the bark of trees. Also, keep mulch and dense vegetation away from the base of trees.

3. Use traps and other methods to eradicate voles.

You can use humane mice traps to catch voles. There are also poisons and other substances that can be used to repel or kill voles.


1. Control the insect population in your garden.

Since moles are attracted to all sorts of worms and insects, be sure to keep the insect population in your lawn under control. By keeping their food sources scarce, they won’t be encouraged to live in your lawn or to go back to your garden every time they’re hungry.

2. Utilize traps to capture moles.

There are all sorts of traps that you can use, such as harpoon, scissors or choker mole traps. If you prefer a more humane way to get rid of moles, check out the Havahart traps, which are live trapping devices. But you have to be find a place far from your property where you can release the animal you’ve trapped.

Final Note

Critters pose a problem and a challenge to most homeowners. If you want to get rid of pests but you don’t know how, consult a professional. Experts will suggest what sort of methods you can use. They can also propose eco-friendly and safer options so that you won’t have to expose yourself, your kids and your pets to dangerous chemicals.

Attached Images:
  •  License: Creative Commons – Hackworth. “Bloody moles! 3 September 2007”. September 3, 2007. Online image. Flickr. December 5, 2012. image source

Claire Lassiter is a freelance writer who frequently blogs about pest management. She covers many topics, including rodents, roaches, stinging pests, and other damaging bugs. She provides material for Rove Pest Control, a company that specializes in eradicating several kinds of destructive pests.

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