Voles are field mice that eat your plants in the fall, and winter.
I have had the worst vole problem for years… Since I started collecting plants… They come in the winter and eat all the roots and crowns of my perennials.. Have you ever had a 10’x20′ section of host just disappear? That’s how bad my problem was…
I have tried many products that have claimed to work. Some do for short times, then I have to re-apply or all my hostas would get eaten away. Since then I have found a combination of things that will actually send the nasty little mice packing.
Castor Oil: I apply this right before the ground freezes. I use a hose end sprayer and water my gardens with it. Once a year. You can also grow a castor plant in the worst areas. Careful as all parts of this plant are poisonous.
Wind Mills: Or anything that will blow in the wind and make a little noise/vibration in the soil. This drives them nuts! I use the $1 pin wheels that Dollar Tree sells in the spring time. Make sure you buy enough to have 1 about every 20′ or so in the garden bed. Also remember they might not last all year. So buy enough to last through the winter!
Wood Chips: Common single chipped hardwood or pine bark mulch. Or any wood chips that aren’t so chipped that they will eventually form a carpet. The idea here is for them to stay loose . The voles will have a very hard time diggin, or maintaining their tunnels which they need! Wood chips will also add organic matter to your soil, conserve moisture in your soil… Hey, I dont have to water as much!
So with these 3 things going for me, I haven’t lost any plants to voles! YAY!