How much does it cost to hire a vole exterminator?
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Vole Exterminator Cost Guide
Updated: November 11, 2022
Voles are small, mouse-like rodents that inhabit gardens and lawns. Although they are generally harmless, they can cause significant damage to plant life. Voles consume large amounts of grass and other vegetation. Their grazing can quickly destroy a lawn. They also burrow through the soil, creating underground tunnels that weaken plant roots and make them more susceptible to damage from wind and water. So, it is important to contact pest control and exterminate voles before they cause serious damage to your property. Exterminating voles can be difficult, but it is essential for protecting your plants and ensuring a healthy lawn.
The national average cost to exterminate voles is between $200 and $600. Most people pay around $400 for two visits to inspect the area and exterminate a nest of voles with traps. At the low end, you can spend $100 to exterminate one or two voles using poisonous bait and remove them from your property. At the high end, you can pay up to $3,000 to inspect the area, exterminate a large infestation of voles, and hire landscaping services to repair the damage they caused.
Vole Pest Control Cost
|Vole Extermination Cost|
|National average cost||$400|
Vole Removal Cost by Method
Depending on the method used, the vole removal cost can be anywhere from $100 to $700 per treatment. While they are relatively easy to exterminate, getting rid of voles can be challenging. The most common methods are baits, traps, or exclusion tactics. The best method to remove voles from your home will ultimately depend on their location, how accessible it is, and the severity of the infestation. Below is a table with the most common vole removal methods and their costs per one-time visit.
|Method||Cost per Treatment|
|Bait||$100 - $500|
|Trap||$200 - $700|
Exterminating voles with bait costs between $100 and $500 per treatment. This method involves baiting the voles with food that contains a poison that is deadly to the voles. The food should be something that voles like to eat, such as oats, corn, or sunflower seeds. Various chemical products kill voles, the most common ones being Warfarin and Zinc phosphide. The pest control company professional will choose the most adequate toxin for your home and place bait at several locations. Baiting is used by homeowners that want a quick, affordable way to eliminate the voles on their property. However, it is important to note that there is no humane way to get rid of voles with bait because the bait is poisonous and kills the vole. In addition, the poison used to kill the voles can also harm pets and children, so homeowners should be extra careful when using it.
The cost of vole extermination with traps is $200 to $700 per treatment. Pest control companies use two types of traps to remove voles from your home. The first type of trap lures in voles and kills them instantly. The second type is a no-kill trap that cages the vole before relocating it. The second type is a more humane way to eliminate voles that will not harm them but removes the pests from your property. Trapping is less effective than baiting because it requires regular checking of the trap and can only be used in smaller areas.
Vole Exterminator Cost by Severity of Infestation
Depending on the severity of the infestation, the vole extermination costs can be $100 to $1,500 per treatment. A small infestation means you likely have one to two voles, which would be easier to kill. A medium vole infestation could mean a family has built a nest in your yard. A large infestation may have two to three families of voles living in your yard. A small infestation may cause minimal damage to plants and trees. However, if you are facing a large vole infestation, you will notice significant damage in your yard and garden. This can cause serious problems for farmers and gardeners because voles can devastate crops and ornamental plants. Here is how much your costs will be to exterminate voles based on the severity of the infestation.
|Infestation Severity||Cost per Treatment|
|Small||$100 - $250|
|Medium||$200 - $600|
|Large||$500 - $1,500|
Cost to Exterminate Voles by Frequency
Depending on how often professionals come to your home to exterminate voles, your annual costs with a contract range from $200 to $1,200. Pest control companies also offer one-time visits, which are not included in the contract, for $250 to $600. Pest control companies offer plans with recurring visits to ensure voles will be permanently eradicated and kept away from your property. The pest control plans are most commonly for moles, gophers, and voles. The recurring visits can be a one-time visit, seasonal, which is typically every six months, quarterly, or every three months, and monthly, or 12 times per year. The table below shows how much a recurring plan would cost per year based on the frequency of visits.
|Frequency||Cost per Year With Contract|
|Once||$200 - $500|
|Seasonal||$400 - $650|
|Quarterly||$500 - $750|
|Monthly||$600 - $1,200|
Cost to Get Rid of Voles by Company
Based on the company that does the extermination, your costs range from $200 to $700 for vole removal treatment. While several companies specialize in vole extermination in the U.S., the most popular ones are Terminix and Orkin, present in almost every U.S. state. Orkin is a company with over a century of experience in residential and commercial pest control services. Orkin’s vole extermination tactics include bait and traps. However, they also provide services for placing vole repellents and habitat modification that keeps them away. Terminix’s vole control services have been on the market for over 95 years. The company mostly uses bait but sometimes relies on natural methods of exterminating voles, depending on the individual case. Below is a table with the cost to exterminate voles with each company.
|Pest Control Company||Cost per Treatment|
|Orkin||$200 - $600|
|Terminix||$300 - $700|
Vole Damage Repair Cost
Depending on the extent of damage the voles have caused, repair costs range from $0.02 per sq.ft. for lawn aeration and go up to $10,000 if your foundation needs repair. Aside from the unsightly appearance of lawns, grassy areas, and yards, voles can cause other damage in homes across the U.S. Voles tunnel underground, creating extensive burrow systems that harm the roots of trees and shrubs. They also eat the roots and bark of plants, which kill young trees and disrupt the growth of established ones. In addition, voles are known to eat bulbs, tubers, and other underground storage organs, which can devastate a garden in a single season. To repair the damage caused by voles, homeowners will likely need landscaping services. The professionals will give the lawn a gentle rake throughout the entire surface to break up the debris and excrement left from the voles. If the voles have left holes, the landscaping service will cover them with topsoil and, if needed, plant the area with new grass by seeding or sodding. They may apply lawn aeration to return the lawn to its old shine.
In addition, voles often eat the bark of young trees and shrubs, which requires homeowners to prune and fertilize the trees and shrubs that have been damaged to help them regrow. Sometimes, the voles compromise the quality of young trees, requiring you to remove them completely and plant new ones in their place. Finally, the extensive burrowing of voles interrupts the freeze-thaw cycle under the foundation, allowing water to seep into it and damage the foundation of the house. Below is a table with the most common damage voles cause in your home and the cost to repair it.
|Lawn Aeration||$0.02 - $0.10/sq.ft.|
|Lawn Reseeding||$0.10 - $0.22/sq.ft.|
|Sodding||$0.85 - $1.75/sq.ft.|
|Landscape Repair||$5 - $20/sq.ft.|
|Tree Replanting||$200 - $550/unit|
|Tree Pruning||$350 - $650/unit|
|Tree Removal||$400 - $1,100/unit|
|Foundation Repair||$5,000 - $10,000/repair|
Signs of Voles in the Yard
Several signs will tell you if voles have inhabited your home or yard. The most common ones are visible above ground. One of the most obvious telltale signs of voles in your yard will be paths in the turf surface. Shallow runways and tunnels in the grass or fields can be seen, and the grass will appear shorter. The stems of woody plants and young trees may have gnaw marks because voles tend to bite on the bark. If the voles have burrowed underground and eaten the plants’ roots, the plant will have no root structure. So, if you notice dead plants in your yard, it is likely caused by voles. Finally, if the fruits you planted in your yard have delayed fruiting, this may be caused by voles biting the roots.
All About Voles
Voles are small, mouse-like rodents found in fields, gardens, and woodlands across North America. Depending on the species, they usually have brown, black, or reddish fur. The voles’ breeding season covers most of the year, with peaks in spring and fall. They reproduce quickly with several litters per year. A single pair can produce up to 20 offspring in a year. As a result, their populations explode rapidly if left unchecked. Typically, vole populations range from 10 to 250 voles per acre. These pests are particularly active in early spring and fall but can be a problem year-round in some areas.
What Does a Vole Look Like?
Voles have short, stocky bodies and blunt noses. Their fur is typically brown or gray. While they are similar in appearance to mice and hamsters, voles have shorter tails and legs, and their ears are much smaller. Voles are also proficient burrowers and often build extensive tunnel systems beneath the ground. In wintertime, these tunnels provide shelter from the cold and help voles avoid predators.
What Do Voles Eat?
Voles are primarily herbivores but will also eat small insects and grubs. Their diet is very diverse, but it mainly consists of a variety of grasses, roots, fruits, carrions, leaves, and seeds. However, they will also eat insects, snails, and other small animals. In the winter, voles remain active and eat the bark of trees and shrubs, their roots, and seeds, which permanently damages the plants. While voles are tiny and weigh only 3 to 5 ounces, they are capable of eating their entire weight in food each day.
Types of Voles
Voles are small, mouse-like rodents found in many parts of the world. There are several types of voles, each looking very similar to one another. However, each type of vole has its own unique features and habits that will help you determine what type of voles are in your home and find the best way to exterminate them. The most common ones you will notice in the U.S. are meadow voles, woodland voles, water voles, and prairie voles.
Meadow voles are the most common voles found in homes across North America. They are typically found in the eastern parts of the country in damp environments like marshes, old fields, and moist hillsides. Meadow voles can sometimes invade gardens and lawns. You will recognize meadow voles by their coarse, dark brown fur mixed with black hairs and short tails. They live in open areas such as fields and meadows and usually build their nests in shallow burrows. Meadow voles typically feed on grasses, sedges, seeds, grain, bark, and some insects.
Woodland voles are the smallest species and are very common after meadow voles. Also known as bank and pine voles, they are usually smaller than four inches in length, have soft, auburn fur, lack guard hairs, and have larger eyes than other types of voles. Woodland voles prefer living in areas with abundant leaf litter on the ground, most commonly forests, old fields, gardens, orchards, agricultural land, and other areas where the soil is sandy and loose. They build their nests in burrows less than one foot deep. Their diet mostly consists of flower bulbs, tubers, seeds, and bark.
Water voles are the largest species of voles in the U.S., which can grow up to nine inches in length. They are similar to rats but are recognizable for their dark brown or black color and thick fur that helps to keep them warm in cold water. Water voles have a thunder nose, plump body, small ears, and short tails covered in fur. They are adept swimmers that live near damp grounds, streams, ponds, and other bodies of water. They build their nests above ground.
Prairie voles are most commonly found in the central regions of the U.S. These rodents have long, grayish-brown fur on the upper part of their bodies and yellowish fur on the lower portion. Their ears and tails are shorter but have darker fur at the top. Prairie voles are found in dry fields with grasses and weeds, most commonly hay or fallow fields, pastures, and golf courses. You will find prairie voles nests above ground or below ground about 4.75 inches. Their diet consists of grasses, some tuber roots, and seeds.
Are Voles Dangerous?
While they may seem harmless, voles pose a danger to pets and humans. They carry diseases, such as rabies, which can be passed on to animals and people and cause serious health problems. They are typically timid and rarely attack humans or pets. However, they can bite in defense, so your pets may be harmed if they get near a vole. In addition, the voles’ burrowing habits can damage plant roots, leading to the death of plants and potentially contaminating them with diseases.
How to Prevent Voles
The best way to prevent voles from becoming a problem in the first place is to take steps to exclude them from your property. This can be done by sealing up holes and cracks in foundations that will block their entry point. Voles do not like being in the open, so keeping vegetation that attracts them trimmed away from buildings is another way to prevent them from appearing. Wire guards made of ¼-inch hardware cloth help prevent vole damage to small trees and shrubs. Wire cylinders 18 to 24 inches high set into the ground around the trunk prevent meadow voles from girdling the tree. Tree guards should be large enough to allow for five years of growth. Another common method is to use a vole repellent, such as cayenne pepper or mothballs. However, these repellents need to be re-applied regularly, which is not always effective. Gardeners can also take steps to deter voles, such as planting daisies or marigolds, which voles do not like.
Vole vs Mole vs Shrew
Removing voles costs $200 to $600, removing shrews $200 to $1,000, and removing moles costs $300 to $500. Voles, moles, and shrews are common culprits, but each has unique characteristics. Voles are small, plump rodents with short tails and furry coats. They are brown or gray in color and have small eyes and ears. Voles live in grassy areas and fields. They tunnel through the soil to create complex burrow systems. They typically eat plants and seeds but can damage tree roots and bark.
On the other hand, moles are small, insectivorous mammals with long, cylindrical bodies. Their fur is dark brown or black. They have tiny eyes and ears. Unlike voles, moles do not have visible tails. Moles live in meadows, pastures, and woods and build extensive tunnel systems underground. In addition to insects, moles eat earthworms, snails, and other small creatures. Shrews are small mammals with long noses and sharp teeth. They are dark brown or gray in color and have very small eyes and ears. Shrews live in forests, marshes, and grasslands and build burrows underground. They are carnivorous creatures that eat insects, spiders, frogs, lizards, and even small birds. Here are the costs to exterminate each of these pests.
|Type of Pest||Cost to Exterminate|
|Vole||$200 - $600|
|Shrew||$200 - $1,000|
|Mole||$300 - $500|
Gopher vs Vole
Getting rid of voles costs $200 to $600, while gopher removal costs are $300 to $600. Gophers and voles are often confused for one another, but there are several key differences between these two types of rodents. Gophers are larger than voles, with adults typically measuring 10 to 14 inches in length, including their tail. They also have sharper claws and teeth, which they use to burrow underground. In contrast, voles are smaller and have duller claws that are better suited for digging shallow tunnels just below the surface of the ground. Gophers generally live alone, but voles often form colonies of up to 100 individuals. Both gophers and voles are herbivores, but gophers prefer to eat roots and tubers, while voles favor seeds and leaves. Gophers burrowing underground can damage plant roots, while voles tunneling just below the surface can undermine the stability of sod and other vegetation.
|Pest Type||Extermination Cost|
|Vole||$200 - $600|
|Gopher||$300 - $600|
Vole vs Mouse Price
Exterminating voles costs $200 to $600, while mouse extermination costs $450 to $600. At first glance, mice and voles may seem to be very similar creatures. Both are small rodents with furry bodies and long tails. However, there are several key ways in which these two animals differ. For one thing, voles are considerably stockier than mice, with shorter legs and rounder faces. Additionally, voles are proficient swimmers, while mice cannot swim at all. Another difference is that voles live in family groups, while mice are usually solitary creatures. Finally, voles typically have brown or gray fur, while mice can be a variety of different colors. Below is a table with the average costs to exterminate each pest.
|Pest Type||Extermination Cost|
|Vole||$200 - $600|
|Mouse||$450 - $600|
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. Some General Use Pesticides (GUP) can be purchased by anyone without certification. This means you can place them in baits or traps in your home and try to exterminate the voles on your own. However, they can be harmful to pets and small children. To ensure you and everyone in your home are safe, it is best to hire a professional.
- Best time in the year to get rid of voles. The best time of year to get rid of voles is in the late fall or early winter. This is when they are most active, and their burrows are easiest to spot.
- Dead voles in the yard. Professional companies that use poisonous baits and traps will likely include the price of removing the dead voles in the quote. If not, they typically charge $50 to remove a dead vole from your yard.
- State regulations. Killing voles may be illegal in some states, so homeowners can only place live traps and relocate the voles. However, in most states, if the voles injure or threaten growing crops or houses, the homeowner has permission to control them.
- Vole relocation. As most baits and traps involve using vole toxins, vole relocation is rarely done. However, some companies may offer this service. They will typically trap the animal and relocate it to a similar habitat at least 5 miles from your home.
- Certification. Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) can only be bought and used by Certified Pesticide Applicators. If you are using a pest control company, make sure they have the proper licenses to use the vole toxins on your premises.
- Inspection. The professional will likely inspect before deciding which vole extermination method to apply, which costs $150 to $250 depending on your location.
- Burrow fumigants. While pest control services can use fumigation methods, they are not very effective against voles. This is because their burrows are usually shallow and have numerous open holes where the gas may exit and contaminate the air without killing the voles.
- What kills voles?
One popular vole-killing chemical is zinc phosphide. This poison is deadly to voles and works by releasing phosphine gas when it comes into contact with water or moist soil. Warfarin, a slow-acting anticoagulant that stops the vole’s blood from clotting, is used and eventually leads to their death.
- What do voles do to your yard?
The voles burrow in the ground to create tunnels, which can undermine the roots of plants. They also eat bulbs and other underground plant parts, damaging your landscape. In addition, voles are adept at girdling trees, which can kill the tree by preventing the flow of sap.
- What attracts voles to your yard?
Voles are attracted to areas with dense vegetation, which provides them plenty of cover from predators. Voles also like to eat plant roots, so they are often found near flowers and other plants. In addition, voles are attracted to yards with a lot of debris, such as fallen leaves or dead branches. This debris provides them a safe place to build their nests and raise their young.
- How do I permanently get rid of voles?
If you have voles in your yard, you can do a few things to get rid of them. First, try trapping them using live traps baited with fruit or vegetables. Once you have caught the voles, release them far away from your property. You can also use poison bait, but place it where pets and children cannot reach it. Finally, you can deter voles by making your yard less attractive. Remove excess vegetation and debris, and seal any cracks or holes in foundations or buildings.
- How many voles live in a hole?
The number of voles in a hole depends on the specific species and the size of the hole. A small hole might only be able to accommodate one or two voles, while a larger hole could potentially house several dozen of these animals. Voles often live in groups, and their burrows often connect to those of other voles. This gives them a safe place to hide from predators and allows them to travel quickly between different parts of their territory. With this in mind, it is safe to say that there can be a lot of voles living in a single hole.
- How deep can voles burrow?
Voles typically live in underground burrows, which they build using their strong front teeth and claws. These burrows can be up to two feet deep and four feet long and usually have several entrances. Although they are expert burrowers, voles cannot dig through concrete or hard clay, so they often live in areas with loose soil, such as fields, gardens, and parks.
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