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How do you control voles?

diggerdee zone 6 CT
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

So this year I'm having some serious vole issues. I've lost three plants this summer, and two of them were in a bed that I was hoping to add stuff to this fall.

I've done some internet research and the advice seems to be at odds with gardening. Number one is remove vegetation. Well, that doesn't work if you are planting a garden lol. Number two is don't mulch. Again, nope. Fencing, nope, can't do that (and honestly don't think it would work!). Plant in cages. One year I planted bulbs in chicken wire and practically had to go to the doctor for a tetanus shot lol. Not worth it to me.

I HAVE planted with crushed oyster shells in the past. Not sure if that worked or if I just didn't have a significant vole population to begin with. Would all those oyster shells affect the nutrient content of the soil?

Lastly, I see using castor oil is recommended. My question with this is, that seems to be a topical application. If the voles are underground chewing on the roots of my plants, will that topically-applied (and expensive) castor oil treatment even affect them?

Does anyone have any effective control they have had success with? I live in a very wooded suburb, lots of patches of woods and fields from old farms. I don't think trapping would work - it would be a never-ending battle. So I'm looking more for deterrence.




P.S. Years back I put down BT to help with grubs. I won't go into how mind-numbing it was to walk over half an acre putting down a tablespoon every two feet lol. But just wanted to say I've done that too, to try to help with moles and reducing mole tunnels.

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