Moles and voles are common garden pests that can cause serious damage to lawns and gardens. Predator urine uses the highly-developed sense of smell in these rodents and their instinct of predators to persuade them to avoid areas that might be too dangerous for them to inhabit. A 1997 study on meadow voles from National Wildlife Center in Fort Collins, Colorado showed a 30 percent avoidance of areas treated with bobcat and red fox urine.
Moles, which are classified as rodents, have cylindrical-shaped bodies, hidden ears and small or covered eyes. They grow 6 to 8 inches long, and weigh 3 to 6 oz. Their main diet is earthworms, but they also consume grubs and ants. Moles can create long tunnels in lawns and gardens and dig up lawns and vegetables as they seek out their food. In the wild, the bobcat is the natural enemy of mole, and use of bobcat urine will deter moles from occupying any area where it is placed.
Voles are another type of rodent. They are often called field mice or prairie mice. Voles have a stocky body, short legs, short tails and their ears are partly hidden. They grow 3 to 5 inches long and weigh 1 to 2 oz. Voles are herbivores, and will eat leaves, grass, seeds, roots, fruit or fungus. They are prolific breeders and can produce a large population in a very short time that will consume vast amounts of vegetation. Foxes are the natural enemies of voles, and fox urine has been shown to be effective against meadow voles. Bobcat urine has also been shown to be effective.
Animal Urine as Pest Control
Environmental scientists and pest control product manufacturers have sought new methods of controlling lawn and garden pests without chemicals. Predator urine was made commercially available to fill this need. Because animal behavior depends so much on scent, using the urine of animals that prey on moles and voles fools them into thinking they are in dangerous territory, so they feed and build their nests elsewhere.
Types of Animal Urine Commercially Available
Coyote, bobcat and fox urine is most widely available to gardeners and homeowners interested in using these products. They come in powder or granulated form, and are sprinkled on the perimeter of the area you wish to protect from pests twice weekly. Bobcat urine most effective on moles. Bobcat and fox urine have both been shown to be effective on voles.
Safe Use of Animal Urine Products
Predator urine products are 100 percent natural, will not pollute the environment and is non-toxic to pets. As with any garden product, however, you should wash hands carefully after handling. Place the predator urine in any obvious tunnels the moles have dug. To repel voles, you must place the predator urine around perimeters near vegetation where they have been feeding.
- Photo Credit garden image by Pity from Fotolia.com
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