Stopping Voles From Eating Daffodil Bulbs

Overview

Voles resemble mice but have a short tail instead of the mouse's long tail. Voles are also subterranean creatures, in contrast to mice, and live in a wide range of habitats. One of the vole's favorite foods is flower bulbs, especially daffodils. Voles can cause harm to other types of plants as well, even large trees, so if you discover voles in your yard, take steps to get rid of them. You might not be able to eliminate all of your voles, but it's possible to scare many of them away by using some simple, natural methods.

Getting Rid of Voles in Your Daffodil Bed

Step 1

Insert steel wool into the vole's tunnels. You will notice holes in the ground with runways connecting them. The runways are elevated strips of soil that the voles cause when they dig their tunnels.

Step 2

Keep your garden areas clean to reduce the number of areas where these animals can hide. Keeping your lawn and any grassy weeds cut short can help, as can pulling weeds. If you have used mulch around your daffodil bed, pick it up and leave the soil bare to prevent voles from hiding underneath it.

Step 3

Put commercially available chemical repellents into voles' tunnels. Zinc phosphate and capsaicin, derived from hot peppers, are said to be helpful in controlling voles. Repeat your application of these products according to package instructions.

Step 4

Bait mousetraps with oatmeal, peanut butter or apple slices and then place them into the voles' runway openings. Insert these traps so the end with the trigger is pointing into the tunnel. Check your traps daily and dispose of any voles that take the bait.

Step 5

Rototill areas where you have seen tunnels, if it is possible to do so without damaging your daffodil bulbs. This will destroy the voles' tunnels and it will take them some time to rebuild them.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool
  • Lawnmower
  • Weed whacker
  • Rototiller
  • Chemical repellents
  • Mousetraps
  • Peanut butter

References

  • Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management: Techniques to Control Damage by Voles
  • Vole Control: Identifying Voles by Forage Type
Keywords: vole pest, daffodils protecting, rodents controlling

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.