Voles ripping up yards across Winnipeg – MetroNews Canada

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on April 25th, 2017

They have small beady eyes, tiny ears and a penchant for frustrating anyone who likes their lawn; theyre voles, and theyre about to have a banner year in Winnipeg.

The mousey critters may look harmless, but the damage they do to the ground this time of year is unsightly, and a local pest expert says theyre going to wreak havoc this spring.

The newer areas of the city have definitely been hit hard, said Taz Stuart, Director of Technical Operations with Poulins Exterminators. But really, they are causing problems all over because the heavier the snow, the better they can survive the winter.

Stuart explained predators cant hear them scurrying under all of that snow, and Winnipeg became a vole haven following heavy snowfall in late December.

Typically, voles welcome spring by creating visible tunnels, or "runways" at or near the surface that are about two inches wide by eating grass blades and zipping back and forth on consistent paths.

Stuart said he and other exterminators have seen the number of complaints about mice, squirrels and voles in particular explode over the last several years, and the population is reaching new heights.

But fear not, theres an easy way for any Winnipegger with a vole-marked lawn to take action.

Snap traps leading into the entrances of their pathway is definitely one method, advised Stuart, adding prevention is likely the best way to avoid a problem in the first place.

Make sure that the last time you cut your grass in the fall, you go really short and do a thorough clean-up of the yard like removing as many leaves as possible, he said.

Dog owners have an even easier time controlling volesStuart said a pooch plodding about their yard as much as possible in the fall will pat down the ground, and the canine presence helps, too.

I have a dog and I dont have a vole problem, he laughed. Cant say the same thing about my neighbour.

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Voles ripping up yards across Winnipeg - MetroNews Canada

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