Pest Away Tips

8 Effective Ways to deal with Vole Holes in Your Lawn

Dealing with Vole Holes in Your Lawn

Have you ever wandered into your garden or lawn and stumbled on small burrows or surface tunnels that make it appear like it’s been attacked by tiny moles? It’s possible that the cause of these holes is a little-known critter known as the vole.

Voles are small, burrowing rodents that dig underground burrows and form extensive networks of trails that can make your lawn look unsightly and reduce its health.

In this article, we outline how to identify vole holes and tunnels, the best ways to fill in the holes, and tackle the importance of filling in these holes.

We also take a look at ways to prevent the reoccurrence of vole holes, creating a physical barrier, and using tree guards to protect saplings. Lastly, we will touch on natural vole predators, which can help control the critter population in the garden.

Why Voles Dig Holes

Voles, also called meadow mice, are prolific diggers and burrowers. They create surface tunnels and burrows to access food and water, hide from predators, nest, and socialize.

The primary food source for voles is grassroots and other vegetation, so they prefer areas with population concentrations of these nutrients, such as garden beds and lawns. Their tunnels can be mistaken for those dug by moles, but little round holes about the size of golf balls usually reveal their presence.

How to Identify Vole Holes and Tunnels

Before beginning to fill in vole holes, it is crucial to identify them properly. The most common indication of vole activity is small holes that range from 1-2 inches in diameter.

The holes can be distinguished from mole openings by their smaller size and resemblance to golf holes. Voles also create surface depressions on the ground that are raised in separate spots, making them easier to spot.

Observing clips on the grass tips, debris, and delicate plant roots can also assist in determining vole activity. Their burled highways may resemble mole tunnels, running through lawns and other areas.

Best Ways to Fill in Vole Holes

After identifying the voles’ activity, the next step is to fill in the holes promptly. It’s essential to fill in active holes as soon as possible because voles are active year-round, and their continued presence can destroy the health of your lawn or garden bed.

To fill in vole holes, start by raking the area flat and removing any debris. Then, fill in the holes with topsoil followed by overseeding.

This will help to strengthen the lawn that may have been harmed by vole activity. After overseeding, add some compost for organic nutrients, use a compactor to eliminate air pockets, and incorporate grass fertilizer to encourage growth and restore lawn health.

Importance of Filling in Vole Holes

Not filling in vole holes can attract other critters like mice, pests, and insects, as they love burrowing in existing holes. Lawnmowers may get damaged because of voids created by voles in your yard, leading to higher mowing costs.

Continued vole activity can cause grass roots to dry up, suffocate, deform, and in severe cases, make your lawn or garden bed eventually become barren.

Preventing Reoccurrence of Vole Holes

After filling in the vole holes, it’s crucial to apply effective methods to stop their reoccurrence. Here are some tips that can assist in preventing the reoccurrence of vole holes in your lawn or garden.

1. Remove Sources of Cover

Voles are tiny creatures that often find cover in grass, mulch, and weeds.

Keeping your garden or lawn clean by regularly mowing, eliminating debris, removing mulch, and keeping vegetation-free zones will help to discourage voles from establishing their burrows. 2.

Create a Physical Barrier

Voles can gnaw through rubber, plastic, and wood, but they have a hard time gnawing through metal hardware cloth or plastic mesh. Therefore, installing a mesh around your garden beds or lawn can help keep the voles out.

The mesh should be dug about six inches into the soil and four inches above the ground. Periodic checking can help verify that the mesh still in good condition and doing its part as a barrier.

3. Use Tree Guards

Voles can cause significant damage to saplings and young trees by gnawing off their bark and killing the plant.

Using tree guards will help to stop voles from approaching your treasured trees and saplings. Periodic checking is always recommended so that the guards are still preventing vole damage.

4. Encourage Natural Predators

Natural predators can help regulate and control the population of voles in your garden.

One of the ways to do this is by creating open spaces in your garden or lawn, which voles tend to avoid as they prefer to operate in covered areas. Some of the natural predators you can encourage include birds of prey, domestic cats, weasels, and snakes.

Another method is using kite scarers to trick voles into thinking that there is a bird of prey in the sky. In conclusion, keeping voles under control is essential, as they can wreak havoc on your garden or lawn’s health.

Foiling their attempts to establish burrows and networks through removing sources of cover, creating physical barriers, using tree guards, and encouraging natural predators can all be effective methods for keeping them at bay. Remember, filling in vole holes takes the first step towards getting rid of them, but preventing their reoccurrence will help to keep your garden or lawn healthy and sustainable.

Voles, also known as meadow mice, are small burrowing rodents that can cause significant damage to lawns, gardens, and crops. They are prolific diggers and can form extensive networks of burrows that can damage the root systems of your plants, leading to dehydration, reduced plant growth, and eventual plant death.

In the previous section, we outlined the steps for identifying vole holes, filling them in, and preventing their reoccurrence. In this section, we will delve deeper into these topics and provide more detail on the steps involved.

Steps for Filling in Vole Holes

Filling in vole holes is a crucial step in preventing further damage to your lawn or garden. Here are some steps you can follow to fill in vole holes effectively:


Activity Checks

First and foremost, it’s vital to determine whether the vole holes are still active or not. Active holes have fresh clippings and soil debris around them.

You can test whether the holes are active by covering them with dirt and observing if the soil is disturbed after a day or two. If the soil is disturbed, then the holes are still active and need to be handled.

If not, then the holes can be filled in. 2.


After identifying the active holes, the next step is to rake the surrounding area. Raking removes debris and excess clippings around the holes, providing a clear working space.

3. Topsoil and Overseeding

The third step is to fill in the holes with topsoil and overseed.

Topsoil is necessary as it provides the right nutrients for healthy plant growth, whereas the overseed helps replenish grass on areas where the vole activity destroyed it. To add topsoil, scoop it out and apply it to the hole, then smooth it over with a rake or shovel.

Afterward, apply the overseed and mix it with the soil, then pack the soil down and water it regularly.

Ways to Prevent Reappearance of Vole Holes

Preventing the reoccurrence of vole holes is essential because it saves you the time and effort of having to fill in the holes continually. Here are some ways you can prevent voles from digging holes in your lawn or garden:


Removing Sources of Cover

Voles love to hide in tall grass, debris, and other forms of cover. To prevent their reoccurrence, keep your lawns short and weed-free.

Remove any debris or waste around the area including clipping and branches. You should also create vegetation-free zones around your lawn or garden as voles avoid crossing open spaces.

2. Physical Barriers

Physical barriers, such as mesh and fencing, can help prevent voles from accessing your lawn or garden bed.

They work by making it harder for the voles to gnaw through the material. When using a physical barrier, ensure that the material is dug at least six inches into the soil to make it harder for the voles to burrow under and four inches above the ground to prevent them from climbing over it.

3. Tree Guards

Voles love to gnaw on trees’ bark, especially young saplings, eventually causing them to die.

Using tree guards helps prevent this by physically stopping voles from getting to the tree. The tree guards should be at least two feet in length and made of mesh or fencing material and should be installed initially when planting young saplings.

4. Encourage Natural Predators

Encouraging natural predators is another effective way to reduce and prevent vole population levels in your lawn or garden.

Domestic cats, snakes, birds of prey, and weasels are all excellent vole predators. By creating open spaces in your lawn or garden, such predators are more likely to spot and hunt voles.

Mechanical devices, such as motion-activated sprinklers, can also be used to scare voles away. In conclusion, voles can cause significant damage to your lawn or garden if left unchecked.

Filling in vole holes and preventing their reoccurrence can help keep these critters under control and save your lawn and garden. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your garden stays healthy and thriving, free from the destructive habits of voles.

In conclusion, voles can cause severe damage to gardens and lawns, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you can prevent them from wreaking havoc. Identifying vole holes and tunnels and filling them in promptly is essential for maintaining the health of your lawn or garden bed.

Preventing the reoccurrence of vole holes requires vigilance in removing sources of cover, creating physical barriers, using tree guards, and encouraging natural predators. By taking these steps, you can enjoy a healthy, thriving, and vandal-free lawn or garden bed.

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