The control of voles, or meadow mice, can include barriers, repellents and certain garden practices. Baits and traps can also be used, and the voles' natural predators, such as owls and snakes, can be encouraged.
One way to discourage voles is to place a cylinder of hardware cloth around a newly planted tree. The cloth must be 6 inches in diameter and 18 inches high. Because voles tunnel, the cylinder must be buried in the ground. The lower trunk of young trees can also be wrapped with wire mesh.
All weeds and groundcover within a 3-foot radius of a planting also need to be removed. The grass around the plantings must be kept mowed to remove any protective cover for voles.
Gravel barriers also discourage voles. The gravel needs to be at least 6 to 8 inches deep to keep voles from tunnelling. Some types of sharp-edged gravel also repel voles when the gravel is placed in planting holes.
The gardener can use poison bait traps to exterminate voles. The traps need to be set out carefully to avoid injury to children, pets and animals that are welcome in the garden. Gardeners can also use mouse traps baited with peanut butter to reduce the vole population.