How to Trap Voles


Voles are a common rodent that feeds on vegetables, fruits and tree roots. They differ from mice and shrews because they have small eyes, tiny feet and stubby, short tails. (Shrews are denoted by their pointed noses and sharp teeth.) Large trees have been the victims of these small creatures, as well as many cultivated farm lands and gardens. The most efficient way to capture these creatures is with a repeater trap that flips the vole into a separate holding chamber and allows for more than one to be caught at a time.

Things You'll Need

  • Repeater trap
  • Cardboard box, cooking pot or pan
  • Work gloves
  • 5-gallon bucket with water
  • Granny smith apple chunks, pea-sized

Catching and Killing Voles

  • Set up the repeater trap near a vole hole at dusk.

  • Place apples inside the holding compartment of the trap and at the entrance to the vole hole.

  • Cover the trap with the cardboard box or cooking vessels while still leaving room for the trap to work. This creates a darker space, and a place where the vole is more likely to enter.

  • Let the trap sit overnight.

  • Check the trap in the morning for live voles.

  • Put the vole into the 5-gallon bucket of water to kill it, dispose of the corpses deep in the woods or tightly wrapped in a sealed trash can.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try digging a trench around your vegetable garden down to harder soil. Voles are usually unwilling to cross an unfamiliar trench. If you dig a trench and find a vole hole, that is an optimal place to bait for them. Voles seldom go off of their trails.
  • If you choose to release the voles instead of killing them, open meadows are the optimal place to do so. Do not release them in cultivated farm land or orchards. If you catch a shrew, be careful when releasing. Shrews are known to get hostile toward large animals and humans.

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