Combatting Voles In Your Yard

combatting voles in your yard

Now that spring has sprung and the snow has melted off your lawn, you’re probably wondering why it looks like a tiny tunneller has ransacked it. Well, as you may have guessed, you have a vole problem. Though prominently abundant in the prairies, they also pose a considerable challenge to Calgary yards.

Nevertheless, if you’re having trouble combatting voles in your yard these varmints can be impeded and stopped when taken care of properly. At Martin’s Pest Control, we know precisely how to get the job done.


Voles are coming out, we offer vole control

Voles are often mistaken for mice as they have a very similar appearance. They are small brown-grey varmints with black beady eyes. Though these creatures may look similar to the house mouse, they are stockier in build with stubby legs, ears, and tail.

Voles are also often confused for moles as well because of their underground nature. In fact, voles are more similarly related to the muskrat.

Knowing the difference can help in catching the culprit that’s causing your yard problems.

The Big Issue

Voles are known for tunneling, which is where the problems start. When they tunnel, they damage the root systems in your yard causing most plant life to die. They also eat the vegetation in your yard, which does significant damage to your landscaping when they dig for bulbs and root vegetables.

These varmints are known for tunneling and leaving haphazard tracks through your yard, since they live, breed, and store their food underground. They will gnaw at the roots of trees and shrubs, eating your gardens, in turn causing you thousands in damages to your yard.

They Are Sneaky
Combatting voles

Voles are quite sneaky though. Many times they are never seen by the homeowner. In fact, most homeowners don’t realize they have a vole problem until spring arrives. This is because voles cause the most damage during the winter months when the ground is too frozen to tunnel deeper down. Voles stay close under the surface of the snow using it as insulation.

Not only is the snow insulation for them to survive the harsh weather but it’s also the perfect cloak to cover up any mischief happening to your landscaping.

Stopping Them In Their Tracks

Stopping voles is not an easy job. They are primarily outdoor pests. They don’t sneak into your house through cracks or live in the shed. This makes it tricky to track them down when there are fewer entry points or core corners to trap them in.

vole trap

The best way to catch a vole is by setting up a live cage vole trap where you can see high activity in your yard. The tunnels, AKA “runways”, are well defined and close to the surface and typically around two inches wide. The larger the runway indicates a spot of constant traffic, which is would be a prime location to set a trap.

Voles typically don’t stray too far from their burrows. Since voles breed so frequently as well, having 5-10 litters per year that yield 3-6 babies. Since those numbers add up quick it’s best to set up between 12-24 traps to even begin making a dent on the population.

Blackhole traps are also very useful in that they go in a pre-existing vole hole in the ground and go undetected by the vole. Upon re-entering their dwelling, they will become trapped.


When setting out traps it is a good idea to bait them. You want to coax the voles into entering. It is best to bait in the trap in and around its perimeter.

The best bait to use on voles is:

  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Small nuts/seeds
vole bait peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Bread and butter crumbs
  • Gumdrops
trail mix vole bait
poison control for pests to combat voles
Warning: poison bait and traps are potentially threatening to pets, children, and other wildlife. Use with caution and care. 

You can also poison the vole bait to kill them off at the source. You may want to set up rodenticide bait stations near the tunnel entrances and higher traffic areas. Be sure to continue refilling them for 5-10 days or until you begin to see no more signs of voles, indicating they are dead.

Top 3 most effective vole poisons:

  • Motomco Tomcat All-Weather Bait Chunx
  • JT Eaton Bait Block
  • Sweeny’s Mole and Gopher Poison Peanuts

Vole Prevention & Repellant


The best solution to the problem is to prevent them altogether, no need for traps if they never enter your yard. So, if you hear they have moved into your neighbour’s yard, you’re just being cautious, or have dealt with these pesky critters before you know it’s best to stop it before it happens and get some form of deterrent.


Choose a repellent that has the active ingredient capsaicin in it, the intense heat will draw the voles far away from your yard. You can use granular repellent and sprinkle it around the perimeter of your yard. But, if you have ample space to cover, the liquid works better.

Thiram is another useful deterrent, though it is typically a fungicide for your plants and crops it will also rid the voles. The sulfur smell deters them, and if ingested, can cause issues over time, eradicating them.

The Harm Free Method

Home Remedies
combatting voles

If you prefer not to harm the animal or use harsh chemicals, or poisons you can instead make your own repellant. Using ingredients such as eggs, red pepper sauce or any hot sauce, garlic, and other pungent ingredients to spray around your yard can work.

Another non-toxic repellant to use is a predator’s urine. The voles are very off put by the scent and won’t approach for fear of being low on the food chain. Fox, wolf, or coyote urine can be purchased at trapper supply stores, online, or even yard stores like Home Depot.

combatting voles

Another thing that will stop voles from entering your property is by weeding, keeping the lawn mowed, and having little to no dense ground coverage. It also may be useful to consider fencing off your gardens.

You can even use fence wiring 6 inches underground to wrap around plants such as seedlings and bushes or shrubs. This ensures the voles can’t gnaw at their root systems. If the Voles have no food sources, they will be ready to leave you alone.

Getting rid of these varmints, voles especially can be a hassle, but if you find yourself struggling to do it yourself, we can help.

Contact Martin’s Pest Control. We specialize in pest management; including vole control, deterrent, and vole infestations. Our professionals can inspect your property to know where the voles are living to get to the source of the issue so they can be removed safely and stay gone.

Martin’s Pest Control is a family owned and locally operated Calgary business. We believe in providing exceptional customer service while building trust and offering peace of mind. Our professional Calgary exterminators are Alberta licensed and receive on-going training.

Airdrie Pest Control Services

Pest Control In Airdrie, mice

Are you are having issues with pests in your home or business? We get the struggle and can help rid you of those pesky critters. Martin’s Pest Control is one of the leading extermination and pest control companies in Calgary, but did you know we also have a location in Airdrie?

Our Airdrie location provides the same quality service as our Calgary location. Day or night, we can get you the help you need to get rid of unwanted pests fast. You can reach our team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

gopher on rock, Airdrie pest control

Why Choose Martin's For Quality Pest Control?

Our pest control technicians offer a range of services so your pest problem can become a thing of the past. Whether you are dealing with bed bugs, mice, roaches, or anything in between, our licensed and certified technicians can help you fix the problem.

Each of our Airdrie pest control technicians has the skills to identify the pest and get to the root of the issue. Not every pest is the same. They need to be dealt with differently to make sure they stay gone and you can go on with your day worry-free. Not sure what kind of critter is taking over your home or business? We developed our own pest guide to help you correctly identify your pest.

We take the same approach when first attending a home or business. This allows us to quickly assess the problem and from there create a customizable plan specific to your home or business.

Our ‘Personalized Protective Program’, aka P3 approach, acts as a guide for our technicians. We base it on numerous factors including pest type and entry points. The following two factors allow us to decipher how to treat the problem and give you a pest-free environment once more.

First Factor: Knowing What Pest You Have

bees, Airdrie pest control options

We Offer A Range Of Services To Deal With Every Type Of Airdrie Pest:

  • Mouse Control —  To Rid You Of Alberta’s Two Most Common Critters, The Deer Mouse & The House Mouse.
  • Insect Control — To Rid You Of Spiders, Bees, Ants, Centipedes, Moths, Roaches, Beetles, Fleas, Flies, Hornets, & More.
  • Bird Control — For Pigeons & Other Winged Wildlife That Are Messing With Your Home Or Business.
  • Rodent Control — To Make Sure No Bats, Rats, Gophers, & Bigger Rodents & Vermin Such As Skunks & Raccoons Stop Coming Around Your Door.

Second Factor: The Point Of Entry

cracks in foundation, Airdrie pest control options

How these pests are getting in will determine what action needs to be taken to stop them from entering again. Homes and businesses often have many vulnerable cracks that can form over time. This is why our Airdrie pest control technicians will need to complete a full inspection to make sure you are being protected.

The Next Step: Getting The Proper Treatment To Eradicate The Pest Problem

Whether you need structural pest control, exterior rodent control, landscape pest control which includes trees & shrubs, fumigation structure, or grain exterior rodent control we can assess the situation and decide how to direct our team. We use the best technology and equipment for the task at hand to ensure our clients only receive the best and friendliest service.

Once the job is done, we clean up so you can almost forget those troublesome pests were ever there to begin with. We believe in giving you full professional service in a world where so many are cutting corners. At Martin’s Pest Control we have built a loyal following based on our integrity and relationships!

ants, Airdrie pest control options

Whether these pests are bugging you at home or work, Martin’s can get the job done. We offer quick, efficient and friendly pest control services in Alberta. We deal with residential pest control, commercial pest control, and fumigation. Including everything from urgent emergency pest control services, to inspection, and reliable maintenance packages.

Not only do we service Calgary alongside our Airdrie office, we also provide pest control services to Balzac, Okotoks, Chestermere, Strathmore, Cochrane, and more!

Call us today to talk to a specialist about getting rid of your pest problem!

(403) 460 – 7213

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Pest Control For Homeowners

pest problems bank vole

Problem-Solving Help For Pest Issues

When you have a problem, you don’t usually want someone taking over and telling you what to do. You want a helping party to listen and support your decision-making processes, leaving you in control of the situation. After all, this problem is your problem, not theirs.
There are problem-solving formulas that can be followed to find good solutions.
Can these formulas be used to deal with a home pest problem? Absolutely.

Steps to reach pest control solutions:

Accepting You Have A Pest Problem

Most people are very good at looking the other way or denying they have a situation until it becomes serious. You may have noticed a few bugs in the basement, or ants in your cupboards and thought, oh they will go away in the winter. When you find they didn’t, and now you are seeing them everywhere, it is time to accept that you may have a pest problem.

Remove Emotion & Anxiety From Your Problem-Solving

People often get anxious or frantic when they encounter a problem they don’t know how to solve. It can prevent you from focusing on the problem and finding reasoned, logical solutions.

If you have called one of Calgary’s best pest control specialists, like Martin’s Pest Control, their staff will listen while you tell them about your pest problems and your emotions related to those problems. They will give you information to help you lower your anxiety so that you can find solutions to your problems.

Ask For Help

For many people, pride or shyness prevents them from seeking help for their problems. Sometimes they feel they will be judged or forced into actions they don’t want to take. A reputable pest control company will not judge you for your housekeeping skills or blame you for having pest problems.

They will offer you information and leave the decision up to you on the action you would like to take. They’ll also offer advice on steps that can help reduce the reoccurrence of pest problems. So the first step is to phone a professional pest control company and talk about your homeowner pest infestation.

Gather Information

This step will help you calm down and consider the facts around your pest problem and identify steps you can choose to make an action plan. Look up local pest control near me on the internet. Call each one.

The pest control professional that takes your call will ask a lot of questions to get a complete picture of the problem. Often they will ask you to send in a picture of the pests or will offer to come out and identify them. Additionally, they can give you the info on them if you aren’t even sure what pest you have.

Then they will outline the various options open to you to deal with the pests. If indeed you only have a minor pest problem, they can tell you what products to buy at a store and how to use it. For more severe issues, they will suggest having a pest infestation officer come out and treat the problem. They will also tell you about the cost of the service.

Choose A Pest Control Company

Ask for written or email information you covered with the pest control professional and review it before making a decision. You may want to break it down into categories.

For example, list several pest control companies you have contacted and compare prices, effectiveness, time needed, green pest control practices, and health protection methods. Remember, you don’t have to contract the first one you contact.

You have the control here to make an action plan that fits your needs. Do not be pressured by a company to sign up right away. You want to do your research and see if there are complaints against them or good reviews that will support their service records. 


If you need help with a pest or insect problem, reach out to Martin’s Pest Control today. Also check out our other blogs for more useful tips, including how to hire the right company for your pest concerns.