Most folks that have never seen a mole, which are pretty elusive anyway, may not know the difference between them and voles. There is actually quite a contrast with the two: moles are essentially eyeless with huge front paws and voles have eyes like a house mouse, with smaller feet and a slightly longer tail. Aside from physical appearance, the most notable difference is the damage they create. Moles are insectivores meaning that they have a diet of worms, grubs and the occasional beetle. They don’t eat plant roots or stems but in order to hunt for their food source, they need to tunnel through the ground…YOUR LAWN! Your yard can help show some differences between the two species as well. Most moles will create a mound of dirt, which is to release the loose soil the mole has created for their tunnel system. Another, indication of the mole, is they may create raised trails or rows in the yard. This is there way to search for a good food source. The vole, on the other hand, is similar to the field mouse. They will create many little holes in the yard. This can give your yard a Swiss cheese look. They will also take over abandoned underground tunnels and adapt them as their own.
On the flip side, voles are plant-eaters and will actually consume your lawn and perennial-flower roots; even seeds and bulbs. During winter months when herbs are dormant and the ground is frozen, they gnaw the bark off trees and shrubs. Voles vary in length but are usually about 5 inches long. Knowing some of the distinctions between these two species can help in a big way. The most noticeable, is how to remove them from your property. For example, a mole is an insectivore, baiting them with poison peanuts, grains, or other poison seeds and plants may not give you the success you were looking for. The mounds may stop showing up, but this is usually temporarily and normally the mole will return to their tunnel system. This works on the flipside to the vole. They eat plants, roots and seeds. You would not try to poison them with worms or grubs.
With as much damage as these two critters can cause. It is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible and with the best opportunity of success. The #1 most effective way to reduce or eliminate the multiplying population is by trapping. Choosing the correct trap for the correct determined rodent is half the battle. If you believe the critter you have is a mole, check out our CINCH Traps.