If you’re an avid gardener, voles can be a real nuisance. These small rodents can quickly destroy your carefully cultivated plants, leaving you with a garden full of unsightly holes and gnawed roots. While there are many chemical methods available to control voles, these can be harmful to the environment and other wildlife. Luckily, there are also many natural vole control methods that are safe, effective, and won’t harm your garden or the ecosystem.

Key Takeaways

  • Natural vole control methods provide a safe and effective way to protect your garden without harming the environment.
  • Voles can cause significant damage to your garden by chewing on plants and creating unsightly holes and tunnels.
  • Chemical vole control methods can be harmful to other wildlife and the environment, making natural methods a preferable option.
  • Natural vole control methods include planting vole-resistant plants, creating physical barriers, and encouraging natural predators like owls and snakes to inhabit your garden.
  • By implementing natural vole control methods, you can create a harmonious environment where your plants can thrive without causing harm to the ecosystem.

Understanding Voles and Their Impact on Your Garden

Before we explore natural vole control methods, it’s important to understand the behavior of voles and their impact on your garden. Voles are small, mouse-like rodents that can cause significant damage to your plants, particularly during the winter months.

According to research, voles can have a significant impact on both the quantity and quality of crops in your garden. They can cause damage to roots, bulbs, and tubers, as well as consume the stems and leaves of your plants.

One study found that voles can reduce the yield of crops by up to 50%, leading to significant financial losses for farmers and gardeners alike.

If left unchecked, voles can also attract predators such as owls and hawks to your garden, disrupting the ecosystem and potentially causing harm to other wildlife.

Characteristics and Habits of Voles

Voles are known for their small size and gray or brown fur. They are active throughout the year, but are especially active during the fall and winter months.

They are primarily herbivores and feed on a variety of plants, including grasses, sedges, and flowers. They also enjoy feeding on tree bark and roots, which can cause significant damage to your trees and shrubs.

Voles are also prolific breeders, with females capable of producing up to five litters per year. This can lead to a rapid increase in their population, making it even more important to take steps to control them before they cause too much damage to your garden.

The Signs of Vole Damage

There are several signs that voles may be present in your garden. These include:

  • Visible burrow systems in your lawn or garden
  • Chewed bark around the base of trees and shrubs
  • Damaged or missing plant bulbs, tubers, or roots
  • Trails or runways through your lawn or garden

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action to control the vole population before they cause too much damage.

Expert Tip

«The key to controlling voles is to take action early, before they have a chance to reproduce and cause significant damage to your garden. Additionally, removing excess vegetation and clutter from around the edges of your garden can help to reduce vole populations, as they prefer to live in areas with lots of cover.»

— John Doe, Master Gardener

Natural Vole Control Methods

If you’re a gardener, you know that voles can be one of the most frustrating pests to deal with. These small rodents may look cute, but they can wreak havoc on your garden by eating roots, bulbs, and other plant parts. Fortunately, there are several natural vole control methods that you can use to keep them at bay. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ones.

Plant Vole-Resistant Plants

Planting vole-resistant plants is an excellent way to prevent voles from attacking your garden. These plants have natural compounds that voles don’t like or are too toxic for them to eat. Some of the most popular vole-resistant plants include daffodils, allium, and fritillaria. By incorporating these plants into your garden, you’ll create a natural barrier and reduce the risk of vole damage.

Vole-Resistant Plants Description
Daffodils Produces a toxic chemical that voles don’t like. Can be planted in borders or containers.
Allium Produces a strong odor that voles find unappealing. Can help protect other plants nearby.
Fritillaria Contains alkaloids that are toxic to voles. Can be planted in fall or early spring.

Create Physical Barriers

Another effective way to control voles is to create physical barriers around your plants. This method involves placing a mesh barrier or hardware cloth around the base of your plants to prevent voles from burrowing and feeding on their roots. You can also use raised beds or containers to create a more controlled environment for your plants.

«To protect your plants from voles, make sure the mesh barrier is buried at least six inches deep and stands at least two inches above the soil surface to prevent the voles from crawling over it.»

Use Natural Repellents

Natural repellents can also be useful for controlling voles. These repellents use natural ingredients such as castor oil, garlic, or predator urine to keep voles away from your garden. When applied correctly, they can be an effective way to deter voles from burrowing and feeding on your plants.

  • Castor Oil: Mix one-part castor oil with two-parts water and spray it on the affected area.
  • Garlic: Crush garlic cloves and mix them with water to create a spray. Apply it to the affected area.
  • Predator Urine: Spray predator urine around the perimeter of your garden or on affected plants to deter voles from approaching.

By using one or more of these natural vole control methods in your garden, you can effectively protect your plants without resorting to harmful chemicals or methods that harm the ecosystem.


In conclusion, natural vole control methods offer a safe and effective solution to prevent vole damage in your garden. By using natural methods instead of harmful chemicals, you can protect your plants without disturbing the balance of nature.

Understanding the behavior of voles and implementing natural control methods such as planting vole-resistant plants, installing physical barriers, and using natural repellents are crucial steps to keep voles away from your garden.

Remember, voles can cause significant damage to your plants, but it’s important to approach the problem with a holistic and environmentally-friendly mindset. By following the methods discussed in this article, you can create a balanced and harmonious garden environment where both your plants and wildlife can thrive.


Is it safe to use natural vole control methods in my garden?

Yes, natural vole control methods are safe to use in your garden. These methods avoid the use of harmful chemicals, ensuring the safety of your plants, the environment, and any other animals in your garden.

How do voles impact my garden?

Voles can have a significant impact on your garden. They feed on the roots of plants, which can lead to wilting, stunted growth, and even death of the plants. In addition, their tunneling activities can damage the soil structure and create unsightly burrows.

What are some natural vole control methods?

There are several natural vole control methods you can try in your garden. Some effective options include planting vole-resistant plants, using physical barriers like mesh or fencing, creating habitat modifications to deter voles, and introducing natural predators like owls or snakes to the area.

How do I plant vole-resistant plants?

When planting vole-resistant plants, it’s important to choose varieties that voles are less likely to eat. Some examples of vole-resistant plants include daffodils, hyacinths, and lavender. Additionally, you can create a protective barrier around the plant’s root zone using wire mesh or planting them in containers.

Can I use mulch to deter voles?

Yes, mulch can be used as a vole deterrent. By spreading a layer of coarse mulch, such as gravel or crushed stone, around the base of your plants, you create an obstacle that makes it difficult for voles to reach the roots. This can help protect your plants from vole damage.

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