Learn Interesting Facts About Voles in Denver, CO (and How You Can Protect Your Lawn Against Vole Damage)

Now is the time to start protecting your lawn so that it can be lush and full of life this Spring. You may have noticed some unsightly tracks running through your grass after the last major snow storm… Or maybe your evergreen shrubs appear to be dying for no apparent reason. This could mean that you have voles living on your property and feeding on your foliage.

Here are a few fun facts about voles in Colorado:

  • There are 8 different types of voles in Colorado.
  • The height of breeding occurs Spring-Fall.
  • Voles can have up to 12 litters per year and most litters produce 3-6 young.
  • Reproduction typically begins at 3 weeks of age and gestation ranges from 20-23 days.
  • Vole populations may range from 14-500 voles per acre.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that voles are not active during the winter months. However, snow cover provides excellent protection from predators and voles are able to travel underneath of the snow unscathed. Since other food sources are scarce during the winter months, voles will harm trees and bushes by girdling the roots and bark. They can also create deep veins and runways in the grass – leaving beautifully landscaped lawns in ruins.

Here are a few things you can do to help limit vole populations on your property:

  • Keep your grass trimmed short during the spring and summer months to limit voles access to cover from predators.
  • Avoid planting evergreen shrubs such as junipers and/or remove them from your property.
  • Attempt to keep bird seed from falling on the ground and providing a food source (especially during the fall and winter months)
  • Clean up any fallen fruits or vegetables from fruit trees and garden areas regularly.

Professional pest control assistance may be needed to maintain vole populations. In most situation, the goal will be to control the vole population so that damage does not occur to your landscaped areas. It is rarely possible to completely eradicate an entire vole population (especially if your property borders open space, fields, or the whole neighborhood has activity) It is also important to remember that rodent populations can move (front to back yard etc) or fluctuate.

Click here or call (303) 683-9283 to learn more about Whitmore Pest & Wildlife Control’s vole mitigation services.

*Some information has been adapted from http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/natural-resources/managing-voles-in-colorado-6-507/