Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Ask the Expert Button
Home > Other Critters > Voles


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

Click on images to view full-size


Identification and Control Information (each will open in a new window)

More Information (each will open in a new window)


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

It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.