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In response to Marilyn Blanzy's comments about voles, 5-6 people had seen signs of voles in their yards and were concerned about how to get rid of them. Jill Hieronymus said that their cat managed to keep the voles away. Also, a friend of mine said that he had a man come out and place some kind of toxic stuff in the vole holes (hey, that rhymes!). Rick has elaborated on this approach with the following:

"Yes, you can put d-Con in the hole but be sure it is away from any pets. The vole population in Champaign area has exploded in the last 2 years. The Idea Garden on Lincoln has been using some traps but have not solved their problem. I garden for a lady in the Ponds of Windsor area and a cat came and stayed around the outside of her condo - voles gone. Other friends of ours had them and they put d-Con in the holes, voles gone.

(d-Con can by purchased) "in mouse packages at any hardware store or grocery store, put on gloves and carefully open the angled container. Pour the contents into the hole being sure that nothing is on the ground. If there are pets in the yard I would not use the poison."

A similar but more extensive report on how to get rid of voles is found on the internet.............

Voles eat roots. Poison, sonic devices, cats do not work. What to do?

Plants in woodland and gardens on my 30-acre VA property are destroyed by millions of root-eating voles. There is habitat for predators of voles (weasels, foxes...). How can I attract or introduce them? * 3 years ago

Best Answers - Chosen by Voters

Natural Pest Control Measures Against Voles
A vole pest problem is most likely to arise in yards where voles have abundant amounts of vegetation and debris to hide under and build their nests. If you keep your garden weeded, avoid planting dense ground covers such as creeping junipers, and keep your lawn mowed, you're less likely to have to worry about voles in the first place. That's rule #1 of integrated pest management (IPM): preventing pest problems through foresight, rather than waiting for damage to occur and then killing pests as an afterthought. I can see this would be a major problem to clean up and keep 30 acres like this. Maybe if you could keep the portions closest to the house it might help.

But it's not just vegetation that voles take shelter under. Because vole gnawing will cause damage to trees and shrubs, you have to be particularly careful about applying mulch too close to trees and shrubs. Voles will be emboldened by the presence of a deep layer of mulch. Even in winter you're not home-free with respect to potential vole damage; voles will use snow as cover to perpetrate a furtive attack on your landscaping. So try to keep snow cleared away from shrubs and young trees. You can also protect young trees by wrapping the lower trunk with wire mesh.

Supplies for Do-It-Yourself Extermination: Poison Baits, Mouse Traps
If you select extermination, you must then decide between poison baits (rodenticides) and traps. Zinc phosphide-based products such as ZP Gopher Bait are commonly used home rodenticides for vole control. But the two best-known brand names in the poison bait industry, d-Con and Rodex, are Warfarin-based. Warfarin is a blood anticoagulant, causing internal bleeding and hemorrhaging leading to death.

Poison baits are, of course, potentially hazardous to other wildlife, children and pets. If you place the poison bait directly into burrow openings, the hazard is reduced. Another tactic the do it yourselfer should consider to make poison baits less hazardous is to place them in bait containers.

Trapping Voles With Mouse Traps
Mouse snap traps can be used to trap voles. Situate the trap perpendicular to the vole runway, aligning the trap's trigger with the very path the vole must take in using the runway. Peanut butter is an excellent bait for trapping voles. The best time to trap is either autumn or late winter. Like poisons, however, these traps can be dangerous for other wildlife, children and pets. To minimize the risk, place the traps under boxes.

The key to success in trapping is determining where the voles on your landscape are most likely to be passing by -- that's where you want to locate the trap. The widest vole runways are indicative of heavy traffic. Another good indicator is if a runway is heavily soiled with vole urine and feces. Use these same indicators for ideal placement of your poison baits.
As far as attracting natural enemies I found two idea's:
I've been told that a good way to attract foxes is to fill a jar with earth worms, put the cap on the jar and leave it in the sun. Once the worms turn to mush, remove the cap and supposedly the odor from the rot will pull foxes from miles around.
Leave bones out for the fox every night, this one is grey being a town fox, comes most nights !

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