- Posted by Ashley Sugg
- On March 10, 2020
- 0 Comments
It may have started out as a little hill in the garden, or maybe a soft, sinking spot as you walked in the grass, but now you’re seeing tunnels zig-zagging the yard and you’re, wondering, do I have moles? Or maybe voles? And you’re also likely wondering — what’s the difference between them anyway?
The Triad has both moles and voles in large numbers. They are rodents with similar-sounding names that burrow in the ground, but otherwise, they are pretty easy to tell apart by both their tunneling behavior and their appearance. If you suspect that you have either moles or voles in your yard, read on to find out which and how to solve the problem.
Difference in tunneling behavior
Both of these pests do make tunnels, but you should be able to see the difference between the two rather quickly. Moles dig tunnels deeper in the ground that they use to hunt earthworms and grubs. Sometimes they’ll push dirt up to the surface to create a “molehill,” but generally their activity is deeper down and less noticeable.
Voles on the other hand make shallower tunnels just deep enough to get at roots of plants, which is their main source of food. They can kill a small tree by eating its entire root system, but they tend to go for smaller plants. The tunnels are often visible because they are shallow and can become unsightly quickly.
Difference in appearance
Moles are evolved to live underground virtually full time. They don’t see well, with skin over their eyes, and their limbs are built specifically for digging. Mole fur is very soft and velvety compared to voles. Both rodents are of a similar size though — four to five inches.
Voles look similar to a hamster, because they are close relatives, and while sometimes called field mice or meadow mice, they are of a slightly different family of rodents than mice. Moles are found alone or maybe with one other mole, but voles are very social and have big colonies. A female vole can birth dozens of offspring in her short lifespan of under six months.
Need more help?
Knowing is half the battle. Once you’ve identified what is burrowing in your backyard, you likely want them gone too. Critter Control of the Triad, which serves Forsyth, Alamance and Guilford counties, can fix your problems with moles or voles quickly and humanely. Call (336) 370-0445 today, and we can discuss what is likely on your property and how to best deal with it.