Return to Wildlife

    

Vole feeding damage occurs during winter and is particularly intense when there is a snow, weed, or mulch cover that hides voles from predators. Injury to trees results when voles eat bark off roots and lower tree trunks. Three different vole species damage and kill fruit trees in Kentucky: pine vole, meadow vole, and prairie vole. All have short tails which differentiates them from longer-tailed mice. Voles have a high reproductive capacity, allowing populations to build very rapidly.

Vole injury (Bachi, UKY)
Vole injury.

(Photo: Paul Bachi, University of Kentucky)

Vole damage to root stock (Strang, UKY)
Vole damage to root stock.

(Photo: John Strang, University of Kentucky)

Vole tunnels at the base of a tree (Strang, UKY)
Vole tunnels at the base of a tree.

(Photo: John Strang, University of Kentucky)

      

Management:

  • Commercial baits
  • Covered snap traps
  • Destroy fallen fruit
  • Keep area beneath trees bare or relatively vegetation-free during winter
  • Maintain grassy areas and fence rows to eliminate over-winter cover

    

Return to Wildlife