Friday, May 31, 2013

We've Got Voles!

Vole in one of my new gardens.
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of these mice-like creatures hanging around. That's one of the reasons my dad asked me to get some cats for his barn. I always see them out in our bushes or in the yard grazing. I even see them inside my house sometimes...

They've been nibbling on Shiner's dog food that we keep in the laundry room. I occasionally catch a glimpse of one in there. Just the other day I saw one just chillin' right next to Nibblet's cage. Nibblet was asleep in one of her boxes. I'm not sure if the thing was trying to make friends or what. I tried to catch it, but was unsuccessful.

They don't seem too scared of people and will hang out even if I'm watching them at a fairly close proximity. The thing is, I've been wondering what the heck they are? My first though was mice. Then I realized that they are too big and fat to be mice. And they are too small to be rats... plus they don't have a rat's tail. So, I started to Google things and found a creature that I've never even heard of before.


They are voles. Apparently, there are lots of different types of voles and mine are probably either prarie voles or woodland voles. Have you ever heard of a vole before? They like to make intricate burrows in the ground, sometimes destroying roots of plants which makes them a real nuisance to gardeners. They eat roots, fruits, nuts, and sometimes insects. Whatever they can get their paws on pretty much. A vole is able to reproduce rapidly, but they only have a lifespan of maybe 6 months or so.

A vole scratching itself.
Photo via Peter Trimming 

When our old cat, Kitty Kitty Meow Meow, was around we never had any vole (or mice or rat) problems. She was pretty hardcore. Her prey of choice was rabbits, but she also liked other small rodents like mice. Since she passed away last fall, I guess the voles have decided that it's safe to take up residence in these parts.

At least they are cute... well to me anyways, but I know some people aren't so fond of little rodent creatures like I am.

36 comments:

  1. well the are cute but to many can be a problem

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    1. Yes... not good! Got to get rid of them...

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  2. No way they are cute. So its time to get a cat or cats. Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Well, I did get cats... one passed away and I just don't think the other is a very ample hunter... hope the snakes and owls and hawks can take care of them some...

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  3. Lucky you! We have burrowing voltes or moles in our yard. Not sure which one cause I haven't seen them but they are very destructive for being cute lil boogers. Good luck with em!

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    1. So I've heard... hopefully they don't stick around long :(

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  4. Those look tasty....maybe we'll come over and bat some around for a while!

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  5. LOL you need Goose over yours. He is a pawsome vole catcher. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  6. They are cute - but if I smell or see one - then the back yard is a battle field!

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  7. We have voles, but ICK! not in the house :-0 Rosie and our cat, Skeeter, like to hunt them and boy, that makes for a digging mess!

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    1. Maybe I need to hire Rosie and Skeeter to come out and dig them up over here.

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  8. I agree with you, they are cute little things!!!

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  9. We have voles in an old wall at the top of our garden. We don't mind them there though. Occasionally we have them bu the bird feeder and they make little tunnels underneath it.

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  10. They sure are cute. We've never seen them in person (other than at the zoo).

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  11. frank lee shiner...looks like lunch ore a slite wee snak ta us !!

    hope everee one haza grate week oh end !

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  12. Yes we get a lot of voles, but they are tiny and Austin catches a lot of them too!!

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    1. Austin - you're hired! When can you start?

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  13. I've heard of voles but have never seen one, at least not until I read your post and saw photos. I think some folks at this house would FREAK out if they saw one in the yard...there are some here who get squeamish when a rat runs by. Eek! Have a great weekend!
    Oz

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    1. Lol... well they don't really bother me, but I definitely don't want them in here messing up my house and such...

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  14. Hard core is one word for your old cat! Taking down rabbits! Whoa! :-) sure she's chasing them just as hard now. I am from a coastal town - we have a LOT of issues with "city dwellers" who think its really cute to feed seagulls - until it attacks them for their food. But I do agree - they are cute!! :-)

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    1. Haha.. I was gonna say "badass" but wasn't sure if I should lol. If she is chasing them down, it's over the Rainbow Bridge ;)

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  15. TW loves to do crossword puzzles and vole is a common answer so she's heard of them. Bet if I was around I could catch them and they'd taste better than that Gut Rot. MOL!

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    1. Hahaha... maybe I should send you some vole if I ever catch them? I'm sure it's like a filet mignon for cats.

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  16. We've got voles too! There's one that hides under the bush in our yard. Too bad we can't get out there and get him!

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    1. The one I always see lives under the bush in our yard too!

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  17. Aw, those little voles are cute! They look like they would be excellent for chasing too ;)

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  18. They are cute, but they're a lot like chipmunks, so I suspect they're fun to chase but impossible to catch - at least if you're a yellow labbie.

    Garth

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  19. Mom and I think they are cute too but they do lots of lawn damage in our area.

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  20. They are very cute :) I had heard of voles but have never actually seen one!

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  21. Not a fan of voles. Cat or exterminator needed asap. :)

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    Replies
    1. Cat really needs to learn to hunt... of Shiner... one of the two!

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