What Do Voles Eat

Voles can quickly destroy valuable turf and vegetation by tunneling and feeding. So what do voles eat anyway? Voles are also called meadow mice, and their diet can be similar to the diet of mice.  Luckily, voles are not good climbers, and rarely attempt to enter homes and buildings.  Because of this, voles eat whatever they can find in gardens, croplands, and yards.  The majority of voles are herbivores, and feed on grasses, tubers, herbaceous plants, and bulbs.  During winter and fall months, voles are known to eat the bark and roots of trees.

The feeding habits of voles can cause significant damage to lawns and gardens.  Voles create trails through the grass that lead to their burrows.  These trails are used for feeding runs.  Even a small population of voles can destroy a significant area of lawn.  When voles enter gardens they can destroy a wide variety of plants, including tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, turnips, lettuce, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and many more.  Bulbous flowers, such as lilies, can also be used by voles as a food source.

Voles feed on the bark of several fruit trees, including cherry, almond, avocado, apple, and olive trees.  Sometimes this damage may occur a few inches below the soil.  When the bark of trees is damaged, the tree draws less water and nutrients into its upper levels.  This damage can destroy trees, especially young saplings, and incurs a large financial cost on the owner.  A large population of voles can destroy crops.  Areas of long grass often surround crop fields.  This provides voles plenty of nesting area.