Voles cause considerable damage to garden plants by feeding on underground bulbs and succulent roots, as well as foliage and plant shoots above ground. Gardeners can detect vole damage by girdling and 1/16- to 1/8-inch gnaw marks around stems and roots; angled clipping or larger gnaw marks indicate rabbits or deer. Although repellents have less consistent results than trapping and poisoning, they are more humane than most methods. Some vole repellants are also effective against rabbits and deer.
Eliminate vole hiding places and habitats to make your yard less desirable to voles: keep grass short, and remove excess vegetation or wood piles in the area. Border your yard or garden with crown vetch, a plant voles find unpleasant. Circle individual trees or plant beds with ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth that extends 18 inches above ground and 6 inches below.
Hot pepper repellent effectively protects young trees and shrubs from vole damage, and may protect other garden plants. To make this repellent, chop a yellow onion and a jalapeno pepper and boil them with 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper in 2 qt. of water. When the mixture cools, strain it through cheesecloth and transfer it to a garden sprayer or spray bottle. Spray the repellent on plants, and respray every three to five days.
The scent of chicken eggs may be effective in preventing vole damage. To make the repellent, break eggs and remove the membrane from the yolk to prevent clogging the sprayer. Blend a 20/80 solution of eggs and water, and transfer the solution to a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Spray the repellent on target plants, and respray every month. Egg repellent is water-resistant and less labor-intensive than making the taste repellent, but it can be smelly.
According to the University of Illinois Extension, the most effective vole repellents contain both taste and odor deterrents. To make a combination repellent, break four eggs and remove the membrane around the yolk to prevent clogging the sprayer. Blend the eggs with 2 oz. red pepper sauce, 2 oz. chopped garlic and 3 cups of water. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, and transfer it to a garden sprayer or spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your plants, and reapply once a month.
- Photo Credit David De Lossy/Valueline/Getty Images
Urine to Repel Moles & Voles
Moles and voles are common garden pests that can cause serious damage to lawns and gardens. Predator urine uses the highly-developed sense...
Garlic to Get Rid of Voles
Voles--little rodents with gray to brown fur--destroy gardens and lawns by feeding on plant materials and creating tunnels in the soil. Some...
How to Make Mole Repellent
A digging mole aerates the soil and devours harmful pests, but it can also leave unsightly humps in the yard or uproot...
How to Control Voles or Moles
Voles, also called field mice, orchard mice, or meadow mice, are controlled using steps similar to ordinary house mice. They are ground...
DIY Mole & Vole Extermination
People often confuse moles with voles, but the two critters aren't the same. Moles dig through your yard eating grubs, which in...
How to Get Rid of Foxes Eating Chickens
It can be discouraging to any poultry owner to discover that a fox has gotten into their hen house. Owners who are...
Homemade Raccoon Repellent
Raccoons may be cute but they are also destructive and intrusive when they enter into a human's domain. Nocturnal by nature, raccoons...
Homemade Mole Deterrent
Garden moles can be hard to get rid of, and can cause damage to your garden by destroying plants and digging tunnels...
Vole & Mole Removal
Moles and voles can cause major lawn damage. Not only is the landscaping unattractive with moles and voles digging their way across...