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Closeup of the center and partial petals of a deep yellow sunflower.

Voles & Moles in Your Lawn

Vole and mole damage is most visible in the spring and fall, often damaging lawns and ornamental landscapes with their feeding/burrowing activities.
Voles often create shallow tunnels on the surface of the lawn that become visible as snow melts (see above photo). Voles are plump little critters and eat grass, bulbs, and tree/shrub bark as well as other plant material. Left unchecked, voles can girdle small trees and shrubs and make a lawn look like their own private subway system. I have found simply using a mouse trap baited with peanut butter is a very effective control method. Set the mouse traps around surface feeding tunnels and in mulch beds where recent activity has been seen.
By contrast, moles are looking primarily for earthworms below the lawn surface, creating an occasional volcano by pushing up large amounts of soil. Moles have shallow subsurface feeding tunnels and deeper interstate-type tunnels for safe travel to distant locations. Moles are generally more destructive to lawns than voles, and more difficult to remove. We offer a very effective bait worm that is dropped directly into active feeding tunnels.
Since spring is the breeding season for both, action is prudent if activity is visible during this time frame to avoid more of these pests! Sometimes the activity of mowing or using the lawn can cause these squatters to move on to quieter residences. In the event these pests persist, contact your lawn care professional for more information.
For more information, tips on prevention and a photo of mole damage for comparison vs the vole photo above, please see my post