General > RHS Question & Answer



Jeffy- weffy:
Any body know how to get rid of voles /shrews from the garden
Not sure which it is but I know it's not rats
Burrowing just below surface bit never where I think they are

Jeffy- weffy:
Don't think they drive

Hi welcome to A4A.

They like compost bins, so turning them regularly might dislodge them.  There is a cat who pounces on things, presume it is the voles.   We used to have kestrals which kept them in check.

Actually I do not mind them too much, they do not seem to do much damage.

Rats dig big holes so you know if they are about.  Voles do rather like broadbean and pea seeds so I put plastic bottles over them.  And they are not very worried about me, and just stare back at me. 

If you put up turned buckets around the place they will nest under them, so you can then evict them, but I am not very good at murdering baby voles.

Sorry no experience of shrews.  They would be beneficial because they are carniferous and eat things like slugs.

If you see 'tunnels' under grass, just above the earth then 90% certain you've field voles. They are the most common rodent in the northern hemisphere, and therefore, not endangered.(Except by gardeners!)
They not only take delight in chomping off any plant material they fancy, but cause frustration in then only eating the juciesty bit, leaving the remainder as proof they are around. You will find that they are "friendly" (?), and its not uncommon to feel you are being watched, only to turn and see a pair of voles sitting, just feet away, watching (where you plant? ,no I've become PARANOID!).
Sadly, its difficult to co-exist and some measure of population reduction will help.
Good housekeeping, short grass, nothing laid flat on the ground ;will expose them to natural predators but in enclosed spaces(cold frames, tunnel cloches, polytunnels) the judicious use of little nipper traps baited with a small piece of apple or a single "monkey nut" peanut in shell will account for surprising numbers. It is imperative that you check traps at least daily and bury corpses; they are likely to consume the victims, and leave just a skeletal outline.Also, secure the trap with a strand of thin wire, otherwise the trap is likely to disappear, only to be later found several feet away. The Nipper rat trap is also suitable, on one occasion I found two voles side by side within one such trap.


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