Areas across the City are experiencing a seasonal increase in vole activity.

Voles are small rodents related to mice that usually live in meadows, fields and woodlands.  Their populations generally rise and fall in 3-5 year cycles based on food availability, predation, snow cover and winter temperatures. 

The current population boom is caused by crops left on the fields last fall which has the voles moving into urban areas searching for places to nest and bear their spring litters, as well as avoid flooded areas. 

The population cycles are natural and do not last long. A corresponding increase in predators such as merlins and foxes combined with lack of food once crops are picked up will cause levels to naturally drop again.

To keep voles out of your yard, the following recommendations are advised:

•   Remove all potential food sources such as feeders, fallen fruit, dead flowers and piles of grass clippings or leaves.

•   Trapping is safer and more effective than poison. Place traps around the edge of your property along the fenceline, as that is where voles most frequently travel. This will also keep you from luring them further into your yard.  Placing traps near nesting sites such as gaps under sheds or decks, or near woodpiles is also recommended. 

•   Some repelling devices have been reported as being effective, but have not been confirmed, such as predator decoys or sonic repellents. 

For questions or more information, contact parks@cityofgp.com.