How to Get Rid of Moles & Voles Around Fruit Trees

Overview

Moles destroy fruit trees by digging trenches around the trees root system. Moles do not feed on the trees or fruit but prefer to subsist off insects. Voles damage fruit trees and kill young fruit trees by feeding off the roots and bark of the tree. They also eat the fruit and destroy it. Voles will commonly girdle a young tree by consuming the bark all the way around the tree, killing it. Both moles and voles can be controlled by trapping.

Trapping Voles

Step 1

Place a minimum of 25 spring/snap mousetraps to catch voles in a half acre orchard. Spread the traps liberally around the area to successfully eradicate the voles. An acre orchard should have a minimum of 50 spring/snap mousetraps. Utilizing 25 traps per every half acre will kill off the mole population over the course of several days.

Step 2

Bait each spring/snap mousetrap with a mixture of 75 percent peanut butter and 25 percent oatmeal. Apply a small amount to each trap spring plate.

Step 3

Place the traps at a right angle to the runway tunnels. The runway tunnels are the main tunnels that the voles use to reach the fruit trees. Place the mousetraps into the actual runway path by sticking the mousetrap down the vole hole.

Step 4

Remove all dead voles daily and dispose of the bodies so animals are not attracted to the site. Place fresh bait on the traps and reset. Continue this practice until all voles are gone. Destroy the holes and runways so new voles do not move into the location. Mow the grass closely around the fruit trees and make sure there is no accumulation of thatch to attract more voles to the area.

Mole Trapping

Step 1

Locate a main mole runway by stomping down the soil on a runway tunnel. Wait until the next morning to see if the moles have dug out the dirt that was stomped down and repaired the tunnel.

Step 2

Dig a hole approximately 18 inches from a mole dirt mound into the main runway. Make the hole just big enough to slip the harpoon or scissor trap into. Form a mound of dirt in the bottom of the hole for the strike plate to rest upon. Form a dirt plug mound which will allow the strike plate to lie level so the mole will easily step on the strike plate to set off the trap.

Step 3

Set the safety on the trap and gently lower it into the hole. Make sure the trap plate fits snugly over the dirt plug mound. Fill in the hole with loose dirt up to the dirt level mark on the trap. Release the safety mechanism.

Step 4

Check the traps every day. Promptly remove all dead moles and reset the traps in a new runway. Remove when you are certain there are no more moles in the area.

Step 5

Repair the tunnels around the fruit trees so the trees roots do not become exposed and damaged. Walk along and push the tunnels in using your feet and a shovel. Fill in the holes where the tunnels were with surrounding soil or bring soil in to fill up the holes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep all pets and children away from mole and vole traps. Always wear gloves when disposing of mole or vole carcasses. Hose off the traps if they contain blood particles. Dry the traps with a dry cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • 25 spring/snap mousetraps per half acre
  • Scissor killing mole traps or harpoon killing mole traps
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Dry cloth

References

  • North Carolina State University: Moles and Voles
  • University of California: Moles (meadow mice)
  • University Of Rhode Island: Meadow and Pine Voles

Who Can Help

  • NS State University: Voles in Horticultural Plantings
Keywords: vole trapping, mole trapping, killing voles, killing moles, vole control, mole control