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Voles are chubby, looking creatures that live underground. They are 5 to 7 inches long with short legs and tails, and a plump body. Their upper color can be yellowish to brown or gray.
These rodents are known to live in places such as in underground burrows in orchards and woodlands.They can create substantial tunnels that can be 5 centimeters deep. These burrows are commonly connected above ground so that they can have easy access outside.
Voles are active throughout the year and they can be on the move day or night. They cannot be seen easily because they are ground-dwellers. This creature can create different underground tunnels with different entrances. However, some voles, such as the meadow voles live above the ground. These rodents can populate and peak creating large infestations depending on their species, food quality, climate, stress, genetics, and the likes. An acre may contain 15 to 500 voles inside it, which can also multiply if left unchecked.
Voles are herbivorous, feeding on plants, plant roots, tree roots, fruits, grass, moss, soft seeds, leaves, and the likes. They can also sometimes eat snails, insects, worms, and eggs. Voles are known pests since they can infest and encircle the trunk and roots of trees that may eventually kill it. They can also affect the amount of harvest and the time for new plantings to produce.
Voles are prolific breeders. But, compared to their other rodent cousins, voles have a shorter lifespan. Smaller voles can live for three to six months while fully matured voles may live longer than 12 to 18 months.Although voles gestation period takes 17 to 21 days that produces three to six young, with also the possibility of producing four to five litters per year, and the ability to mate and become pregnant at three weeks of age, the early death of voles is contributed by predators, such as owls, foxes, weasels, and kestrels.
An infestation can easily occur when their population are not controlled.
Other Information and Tips
Voles are considered pests, especially when they are harboring in orchards and tree plantings. They can create extensive damage by girdling trees and can cause damage to crop fields as they create extensive runway tunnels. To control these pests, exclusion or trappings can be done, especially for low population. For large infestations, repellents and toxicants can be used. However, if you are not certain and do not feel confident on how to handle voles, you can get the help of a wildlife pest control specialist to get rid of them.
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