How do I get rid of Voles?

by Terri
We've tried everything we know of & nothing has worked so far. They are mainly killing our grass, and some flowers in my flower beds. No pets so we have tried a poison to eliminate these critters, so another kind of poison is an option. They are in the whole yard...front, sides & back. We possibly have a gopher and some kind of work, too! We're desperate, so please help! Thank you!
This either a gopher hole or something we type of worm. At least that's what a varmint control person told us.
Vole hole...they're everywhere.
  12 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 04, 2018

    Try Alum in the holes, then pack the hole with dirt. As the critters come back out, they get Alum on themselves, lick it off, and without ready access to water, their throat swells shut. Alternatively, set traps or fire gas canisters for this purpose down the holes. If you have moles, you probably have grubs in your yard. Voles are attracted to seed heads from tall grass, bird feeders, etc. Eliminate any seed sources. For moles, apply Grub X using a drop spreader, to dry grass, then water in. You may not see good results until next year. You can also try dousing your yard in garlic spray, clove and citrus essential oils mixed with water, applied heavily. These critters can attract skunks, which will become yet another headache. If your yard has many weeds, your soil is too acidic. Apply lime, this fall. You may need to dethatch your lawn, and aerate, prior to liming.

    • Terri Terri on Jul 04, 2018

      Thanks, Olivia! Appreciate these other options and will give them a try!

  • Jerry Jerry on Jul 04, 2018

    Try bubble gum or Juicy Fruit gum. Find the entrance to the burrow or probe with a metal rod to find the tunnel, then drop in a piece of unwrapped gum and seal the probe hole or entrance. The voles/gophers/moles are attracted to the sweet gum, will eat it, cannot digest it, and will die underground. No mess to clean up.

    • Terri Terri on Jul 04, 2018

      Thanks, Hal!! Your suggestion is definitely the easiest and we will probably try it first. Something had to work! These critters are destroying our yard!

  • Carol Tate Carol Tate on Jul 05, 2018

    We have a horrible issue with voles! I read somewhere to use instant mashed potato flakes. Pour them in the holes and the critters will eat them, the flakes will expand in their stomachs and kill them. I bought the flakes but haven't tried yet as we need to mow the lawn and it's been too hot. I assume the potato flakes would affect pets or other critters in the same way so I want to be sure to get them in the vole holes and reduce risk of affecting other animals.

  • Lynne Lynne on Jul 05, 2018

    I used Poison Peanuts to get rid of the moles in my yard. It worked great and haven't seen one in years. I think I bought it at Lowes, or Home Depot.

    • Jennifer Sergeant Jennifer Sergeant on Apr 14, 2021

      Poisoning rodents leads to killing birds of prey like hawks and owls, and fox, raccoon any predator that hunts. Please don't use poison.

  • Judy Simons Judy Simons on Jul 05, 2018

    I have the same problem in my yard, Terri and I have been working on the grubs and bought the solar thing that are supposed to run them out of your yard, don’t waste your money, they do not work. I will try these new suggestions.

    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Simons Judy Simons on Jul 05, 2018

      I have moles and I am going to try juicy fruit gum and potato flakes and see if I can find poison peanuts. They are ruining my yard. They are after the grubs so I am working on that, also. I have also used Milky Spore to kill the grubs.

  • John John on Jul 05, 2018

    I got rid of moles in my yard by getting rid of what they eat, I spread a grub control on my lawn every spring.

    • Terri Terri on Jul 05, 2018

      Thanks for the info John. I think we mostly have Voles instead of Moles though. At least that's what a "professional" has told us. Lots of tunnels & air holes, but only two holes have the dirt mounded.

  • Linda Duval Linda Duval on Jul 28, 2018

    Seriously, get a cat. We had voles until we got a cat. 2 weeks they were gone.

    • Terri Terri on Jul 29, 2018

      Linda, I would get a cat but my husband does not care for cats. If the owls would just come back...

  • Heather Kuder Heather Kuder on Jul 28, 2018

    Ok I have one of these issue critters so how do u know which ones u might have?

  • Terri Terri on Jul 29, 2018

    You can tell by the holes (no dirt mounds around the holes). Google voles vs moles. I think we have both in our yard, as well as worms. We are trying the “gum” method.

  • Rick Rick on Feb 23, 2021

    This article focuses a little more on prevention.

    If you have voles you can either trap them with regular mousetraps baited with peanut butter and birdseed. Many people will drill a hole through the center of the trap and drive the trap into the ground with a nail. A vole is a bit larger than a mouse and this makes the trap more stable when it snaps. The other option is poison using a secure bait station. Commercial poison works better than most. Sometimes it's helpful to use different types of poisons. Voles can get used to one type of poison and simply ignore it.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Apr 30, 2021

    In small areas, trapping may be an effective way of reducing vole populations. Try Havahart live vole traps situated perpendicular to the widest vole runways or near the nesting sites at the base of trees and shrubs. Bait traps with peanut butter. Set baits midday to early evening when voles get more active.

  • Libbie B Libbie B on Jun 23, 2021

    We tried the gum method, and it worked! IT took a while, and we had to be diligent.