Psycho cannibal voles

I have quite the vole infestation in my greenhouse. The ground is polka-dotted with tunnels as they sweep through, eating every earthworm they can find. This weekend, I decided to fight back, and set out traps.

When I first went out, one trap was sprung, and the other was…missing. I finally found it several feet from where I’d set it. It was wedged into a fresh tunnel, sprung, but empty. Or so I thought.

When I opened the trap, there was the head of a vole, neatly trimmed off to the edge of the plastic trap. All I can conclude is that one of its fellows dragged it (trap and all) to the tunnel, where it was eaten by its brethren.

Or perhaps they just took as much of it as they could for a proper volish burial. But somehow, I’m more inclined to believe voles are just nasty little carnivores.

I caught two more that afternoon and threw them out immediately. I haven’t checked the traps in over 24 hours, though, and I’m wondering what I’ll find when I go out there tonight…



  1. Ed Schenk said,

    January 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Unfortunate situation but it’s part of the natural world.

    • Emily said,

      January 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Doesn’t seem all that unfortunate to me. Just makes me glad I’m not a vole. 🙂

  2. January 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    The ultimate recyclers! Note how they left the head so as to avoid mad vole disease (MVD / VSE) from the brain tissue. They obviously have advanced scientists on this case unlike the angry cows who believed everything they were fed. :}

    I was looking at a hole in the stonewall today and I wonder if voles might be who inhabits it. They left a trail of dirt across the snow for a little ways which is what had attracted my attention.

    • Emily said,

      January 15, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Well, at least there’s that. The last thing I need is a bunch of irate zombie voles wandering around the greenhouse…

  3. FARM-I said,

    April 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I am doing research right now on how to get rid of our vole infestation. they are driving me nuts!! from my research,it seems as though you may have a mole problem and not a vole problem? they say moles are carniverous and voles herbivorous. just a thought. at any rate, we have talked about getting some cats just for the greenhouse. i think i will start with setting traps first though. thanks for this post!

    • Emily said,

      April 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      Huh! Now that is curious. Maybe I’ve been calling these by the wrong name. They are grey and velvety, like a mole, but they don’t have the big earth-moving feet or squashed noses of a mole. They are definitely not rodents – no sign of the big rodent incisors.

      Anyone know what they are?

  4. Roni Dorris said,

    December 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    They dislike having open tunnels, so if you open one up, they will not only close it again, they will fill it in with dirt. This could make it difficult to get the tunnel again. Oh, and did I mention that voles are nocturnal?

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