Voles are mouselike rodents. They are active day and night, year-round. They dig short, shallow burrows and make underground nests of grass, stems, and leaves. In winter they burrow in and through the snow. They may be considered pests when they damage garden and landscape plants. They are often a serious problem in orchards.

vole in hand
Voles have short legs, short tails, small eyes and partially hidden ears. Fur varies from brown to gray. They are about 4 to 8 inches long, including tail, and less than 3 ounces in weight.

vole damage to tree bark
Voles feed on a wide variety of plants, including garden and landscape plants. They gnaw the bark off trees below snow cover.

vole tunnels in grass
An indication of voles is a series of runways, 1½ -2 inches in diameter, which connect burrow openings and are usually hidden beneath a protective layer of grass or other ground cover.

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[Photos, left to right: Washington State University Extension; USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station Archive, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Washington State University Extension]