11 Natural Ways to Get rid of Voles [Step by Step Process & Precautions]

Voles are infamous for chewing up anything and everything they can find in your garden. They are plant-eaters, which means they feed on roots, bulbs, grass, and tubers.

They can also chew through bark and tree roots in the winter when food is scarce. This makes it impossible to grow anything in your garden if a vole is present.

Fortunately, they are pretty easy to spot and also quite easy to get rid of. You do not need to use any harsh chemicals or call an exterminator since there are many home remedies and natural ways to get rid of voles from your garden. 

11 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Voles Naturally

1. Castor Oil

Castor oil is the best solution for most rodent problems since the pungent smell and the bitter taste can easily repel them.

You can use castor oil pellets or pure castor oil. This is a great method for getting rid of a large number of voles at once. It is also good for repelling the voles from your garden. Additionally, this method is safe for your pets and 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix 2 cups of castor oil in 1 gallon of water. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap to the mixture. 
  • Mix the contents thoroughly until the solution becomes foamy. Add more dish soap if needed. 
  • Pour this mixture into a watering bucket and spray the mixture all over your garden. Focus on the areas with the most vole activity. 
  • Repeat this process every week at least once. Within a month or so all voles will be gone. 

Precautions:

This method requires repeated applications for success. Keep spraying the mixture regularly to get rid of all voles. 

2. Cayenne Pepper

The strong smell of cayenne pepper is enough to keep voles at bay. Additionally, it can cause discomfort to the voles, encouraging them to leave the garden. This is a great home remedy and can be used for any number of voles. This will also be able to keep the voles from coming back. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Add 1 part cayenne pepper to 4 parts water. Transfer this to a spraying bottle. 
  • Add a few drops of dish soap into your mixture and mix until it is foamy. Add more dish soap if necessary. 
  • Spray this mixture along any vole tunnels that you find. You can also spray it around any young plants that you want to protect from the voles. 
  • If you see a vole, you can spray it directly onto them as well. 
  • Repeat this process every 3 to 4 days for a month to ensure that all voles are gone. 

Precautions:

Cayenne pepper can cause burning sensations in your eyes, nose and any other sensitive areas, so take precautions while using the mixture. 

3. Peppermint

Peppermint is a great solution for repelling and driving away several pests. Voles are no expectation.

Peppermint causes irritation to the voles and the strong smell will distract the voles. This is a great solution for a vole infestation, as well as a small number of voles. It is also safe for pets and children. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Add 1 cup witch hazel to 1 cup water in a spray bottle. 
  • Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil into the mixture. Mix well. 
  • Mix again before using the mixture. Spray it in the areas that are heavily affected by voles. You can also spray it along the vole tunnels in the ground. 
  • Additionally, you can spray the mixture on any plants that are young and vulnerable to vole damage. This will prevent the voles from eating the young plants. 

Precautions:

Peppermint oil can burn your skin, and cause severe irritation in your eyes, nose, or any other sensitive areas, so use with ample protection on your hands, eyes, and nose. 

4. Coffee grounds

One of the most commonly used home remedies for getting rid of voles is coffee grounds. If you are a regular coffee drinker, do not throw away your coffee grounds and instead use them to repel voles from your garden.

This home remedy works because the strong smell of coffee is not attractive to voles and they avoid the areas with the specific smell. 

Required Material:

  • Coffee grounds 

Step by Step Process:

  • Always use fresh coffee grounds. Old coffee grounds do not have the same strength as fresh ones. 
  • Sprinkle some coffee grounds around the areas that have been recently affected by voles. You can also sprinkle some around the perimeter of your garden. 
  • Do this every day for a week or so, and voles will start to go away from your garden. 

Precautions:

Coffee grounds can attract other pests like grubs, so ensure that you have a method for getting rid of them before using this method. The voles may also avoid the coffee grounds since they are small particles, so spread evenly. 

5. Garlic

Garlic has a strong smell that can repel a number of insects and pests. Voles hate the smell of garlic, they even hate it when you have garlic plants in your garden.

Needless to say, this is a great solution for getting rid of these pesky pests. The best part of this method is that you can completely make it at home without using any chemicals at all. 

Required Material:

  • A whole garlic
  • Water 
  • Spray bottle 

Step by Step Process:

  • Grind a whole garlic with a cup of water. 
  • Leave the mixture in the fridge overnight. Strain the mixture and add it to a spray bottle. 
  • Optionally you can add cayenne pepper powder to make it even stronger. 
  • Spray this mixture in the areas where you see the most vole damage. You can also spray it on specific plants to protect them from voles. 
  • Spray this mixture every day for a week or so. The voles will be discouraged by the smell and go away after a few days of repeated treatments. 

Precautions:

Spray it every day. If you stop spraying after one or two days the voles will come back. 

6. Used kitty litter

Cats are natural predators to voles, so if you have cats at home, instead of throwing out the used kitty litter, use them to repel the voles instead.

The smell of cat feces will scare the voles away as they will think that a cat is nearby. Although this is not an extremely effective way, it is surely an easy way and a way to recycle kitty litter. 

Required Material:

  • Used kitty litter 

Step by Step Process:

  • Use a glove to handle used kitty litter. Sprinkle the used kitty litter in the areas where you find the most vole damage. 
  • The kitty litter has a strong scent of cat feces, which makes the voles think that a cat is nearby. So they will start to go away. 
  • Repeat this process every few days for a month or so, you’ll see that the voles have gone away. 

Precautions:

Always use a glove while handling used kitty litter.

7. Ammonia

Voles just like any other animals are annoyed by the smell of ammonia. In fact, the strong smell of ammonia can make humans sick as well. However, it is a safe solution to use for your garden since it is earth-friendly and mixes in with soil quite well without leaving any residue.

This method is extremely effective against voles and can be used for large infestations. However, it has to be used correctly to make sure it works properly.  

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix 1 part ammonia with one part water to create a diluted solution. 
  • Pour this mixture into all the vole tunnels you can find. 
  • You can also spray this mixture around your garden to further repel voles. 
  • The strong smell will discourage the vole from staying in your garden and you’ll see that the voles have disappeared after a few days.  

Precautions:

Always wear a mask, gloves, and eye protection while handling ammonia. 

8. Predator Urine

Predators such as foxes and coyotes usually mark their territories by urinating in a particular area. This lets the smaller animal know that a predator is nearby. Voles can also sense this, so if they smell fox or coyote urine, they will soon leave the area to find a safe spot. This is a completely natural solution and does not require a lot of effort, yet it is quite effective at driving away voles from your garden. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Do not dilute the predator urine and also use gloves while handling it. 
  • Simply spread a few drops of predator urine around your garden in different areas. 
  • You can also spread a few drops in the areas that have been recently affected by voles. This would scare the vole away from your garden. 

Precautions:

Always wear gloves while handling predator urine to avoid getting the smell on your hands. 

9. Live Trap

Live trapping is a humane way to deal with voles since you are ensuring their safety along with your own. If you are live trapping voles, always make sure to check the laws about releasing the animal in the wild.

This is a good method for those who need to get rid of one or two voles. However, it is not a good way to get rid of too many voles from your garden. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Live traps for voles are usually quite small, so set it up properly. 
  • Use some peanut butter on bread as bait. Break up the bread to create crumbs. 
  • Spread the crumbs around the trap, and also place a bigger amount inside the trap. 
  • Leave the trap in an area that the vole frequents. 
  • Check back after every few hours to see if you have caught the vole. If you have, take it and release it far away from your home in a wooded area. 
  • You can reuse the trap now for catching more voles. 

Precautions:

Live traps only work for a small number of voles, if you have a vole infestation, use additional methods to get rid of all of them. 

10. Noise

Voles depend upon their auditory senses alongside their olfactory senses, so if they hear a loud noise, they immediately run away from the area. To use this to your advantage, you can hang some wind chimes or hang some pie foils on your fence or trees.

The wind will sway the foils or the windchimes and create a loud noise that will scare away the voles. This method is not foolproof since it highly depends on the strength of the wind, however, it is an easy and quick solution for a small number of voles. 

Required Material:

  • Windchimes 
  • Pie foils 
  • Strings 

Step by Step Process:

  • Attach pie foils with strings and hang them on the side of your garden fence. 
  • Hang wind chimes on trees or on poles in an area that gets ample wind. 
  • The pie foils will hit against the fence and create loud noises. The wind chimes will also create sound when the wind hits them. 
  • These noises will drive away the voles from your garden. 

Precautions:

This is not a foolproof method since it highly depends on the speed of the wind, so use additional methods to get rid of voles. 

11. Rake your Garden

If you have voles in your garden, chances are that the voles have created tunnels and burrows all over the topsoil.

To stop the voles from using these tunnels, you can simply cover them up and fill up the tunnels. This will discourage the vole from staying in your garden and they will move elsewhere. 

Required Material:

  • Soil 
  • Rake 

Step by Step Process:

  • Fill in any burrows by pouring in dry soil. Pack it in tightly. 
  • Use a rake to disperse the soil in your garden and to break up the vole tunnels. This way the voles will not be able to find their way. 
  • Continue doing this every few days, covering up any new burrows and raking away any new tunnels. Eventually, the voles will go away. 

Precautions:

Always use preventative methods along with this method, otherwise, the voles will return back again. 

6 Effective Ways to Keep Voles Away Naturally

1. Encourage Owls to nest in your property

Owls are predators of voles. If an owl spots a vole, it will instantly try to catch it, so voles are quite afraid of owls. You can use this to your advantage by allowing owls to nest in your garden or property.

Install a few owl boxes and let them come inside your garden. If you leave them alone completely, they may actually attack the voles and kill them. 

2. Keep your lawn trimmed

Voles like to dig through the ground to find plants to eat. However, if you remove most of the vegetation, then the voles do not have anything to eat. This is why keeping your lawn trimmed can prevent voles from being attracted to your garden in the first place.

They may still enter and try to eat any remaining vegetation, but they will not attack your entire lawn, thus keeping it free from vole tunnels. 

3. Put up a fence

Voles do not dig very deep into the ground, so it is unlikely that a vole would be able to dig through a fence. They are also not great climbers, so a small fence, about 2 to 3 feet high is enough to keep these animals at bay. 

4. Use wire mesh for plants

Since voles are usually attracted to young saplings and small plants, you will commonly see that voles have chewed through them. To prevent this from happening, you can protect your young saplings and small plants by putting up a wire mesh around them.

Voles also eat the bark of young trees when other food is scarce. So if you’re noticing any vole damage on your trees, you can use this same method to protect them. A 2 feet tall wire mesh is enough to keep out these tiny animals. 

5. Plant vole-repellent plants

Although voles are primarily vegetarian and eat through most plants, there are certain plants that voles do not like. Plants such as garlic, daffodils, hyacinths, can easily repel voles from your garden.

Make sure to plant these plants in the ground directly, and not in pots. This way the smell of the plants would be stronger and would help discourage the voles from coming near them. 

6. Replace your lawn with artificial grass

Artificial grass is always a great solution for preventing any type of burrowing animals. Moreover, if you replace your real grass with artificial grass, the vole does not have anything to feed on.

This not only prevents voles from creating tunnels in your garden, but it also discourages the voles to come into your garden in the first place. 

Top 5 Natural Repellents to Get rid of Voles

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of voles, check below listed best Natural/Organic Repellents.

Final words:

Voles not only destroy your garden, they leave trails all over the soil letting you know that they have been there. This can totally destroy the look of your garden. Therefore, it is safe to say that you want to get rid of these rodents.

You can always use traditional techniques such as poison but it can damage your garden in the long run. It can also pose a threat to pets and yourself. So we hope that the natural methods in this article will help you get rid of these pests without having to worry about your safety.