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In the winter, many pests go underground searching for warmth. However, some pests, such as voles, rise to the occasion. These pests are blind, and as a relative of the mouse, can be found in meadows and other open areas of land. Yet sometimes they're found in places they shouldn't be. They aren't afraid of a little snow, and may burrow through it to get to warmer, safer areas. Sometimes these places are houses or basements. Consider these tips to keep voles out of your home this winter.

Why voles enter homes?

Like many pests, voles are vegetarians, the University of California-Davis noted. They are known for damaging gardens and feeding on many different types of vegetables, including artichoke and brussels sprouts. Though they can do serious damage to a garden or vegetable patch, it's less common for them to try to wiggle into a house or a basement as they have difficulty climbing. Yet these animals sometimes wind up in houses, mainly when the area is overpopulated with moles and the pest begins to grow desperate. In good conditions, these pests are known for multiplying quickly, which could lead to major problems for any homeowner. Once inside, they often will try to make a nest out of insulation, similar to their relative the house mouse.

How to keep voles out

  • Make them uncomfortable
    Voles thrive on densely vegetated areas, Wildlife Animal Control noted. They love long grass, plenty of trees and gardens that they can tunnel through and hide in. However, if you take these things away, voles will have nowhere to go and may feel extremely exposed. Cut back tree branches and remove cut grass from the yard. As a result, they won't feel comfortable populating and they won't stick around long.

  • Get a fence
    Fences can also help keep voles out. You don't need anything fancy - a simple wire fence will do the trick. Attach mesh to the fence to block out smaller voles, and place the fence underneath the ground at least 10 inches so that voles can't sneak through using a burrowing technique.

  • Trap them
    One easy way to get rid of voles is to invest in a few snap traps. Place the traps in areas that you know the vole travels. Check these traps frequently and remove any old voles and replace the snack, which can be something like peanut butter crackers, once you set it again.

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management. Abell is proud to announce its 90th year of providing quality pest control services to North America. Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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