[NAFEX] vole explosion

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sat Aug 30 09:30:59 EDT 2008


It seems many rodents periodically have population explosions and we seem to
be in the midst of such an explosion of squirrels, voles and chipmunks this
year here in the northeast.  For voles I have had success maintaining about
fifty traps and moving them around my 3 acre nursery starting in early
fall.  I use plastic traps that are more expensive but easy to set from
Gemplers who give a quantity price.  Raccoons may have to be trapped out of
the property as well to keep them from disturbing the peanut butter baited
traps and it may be useful to include some rat traps in the mix if they are
also present.

I place the traps under large black plastic trays which help melt the snow
and provide a shelter for the rodents before their last meal.  Rocks can
weigh down the trays.  Check the traps every few days.

If you think meadow voles are a problem you should see what pine voles can
do.  They completely girdle the root system of even fairly mature fruit
trees and leave a loosely anchored dead skeleton of a tree.  If I fail to
control these vermin they can destroy scores of trees in a winter.

Of course, most commercial growers bait their orchards with restrictcted
rodentcides but I think it's worth going to the trouble to protect other
wildlife from direct or indirect poisoning on my small operation.
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