Voles prefer to live in creeping vegetation or in low-lying, and make trails through the snow or grass. Shrews are smaller than moles, about the size of a small mouse, and their feet are not quite as large as a mole's either. However, this is where the similarities end. In addition to different physical characteristics, moles, voles and shrews each live in different habitats and have distinct food preferences. If large ridges appear in the lawn, the culprit is likely a mole. Similar Animals Two other mammals that beginners sometimes confuse with moles and voles are pocket gophers and shrews. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. Vole. They have large front hands and claws for digging. A shrew will fit neatly into a tablespoon. This little mammal hunts for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. Step 1 Estimate the size of the hole. caused by a vole using the mole’s tunnels. Voles have compact, stocky bodies and are usually 5 to 7 inches long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Moles may be controlled with harpoon traps or mole repellents. When you hear the term mole, vole, or shrew then what you're really starting with is a group of animals. Voles are also known as field mice, resemble most other rodents like shrews, hamsters, and gerbils. Meadow voles, which are found on the East Coast, tend to stay outdoors in winter but house mice seek out warmer places, such as your home or business. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. Oftentimes our customers call us to report seeing a small, mouse-like creature scurrying around their landscape. Moles, voles and shrew … Voles are approximately 4 to 5 inches long and covered with short, brown fur. The easiest way to distinguish between a mole vs shrew is looking at the length of the rodent. While they share similar habitats and somewhat similar appearances, voles and moles are entirely different animals. And finally, a shrew has a pointed snout, but unlike the mole, a shrew’s front feet are not enlarged. Get in touch with us today. And meadow voles can produce up to 17 litters each year! They also consume a variety of garden plants and eat the bark from trees. Let's start with the basics. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. If you look carefully at short-tailed shrews, moles, and voles, they don’t resemble mice, which have large, prominent eyes, big ears, and tails about as long as their bodies. If your home or property has been experiencing issues with moles, voles or shrews, contact the experts at Ehrlich online or call us at 800-837-5520 to discuss possible solutions for the problem. We know how to tell the difference between moles, voles and shrews and we can eliminate them from your premises, so reach out to us today. As for negative effects, mouse droppings may contaminate food and they can also carry disease. Mole vs. Vole By admin November 19, 2019 December 12th, 2019 No Comments To prevent mole and vole infestation it’s important to know the difference between them: Voles are rodents and are about the same size as moles (4 to 6 inches in body length) with relatively large black eyes, small ears, a blunt face, and prominent orange front teeth for gnawing. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Male moles may cover up to 20 times the area of male gophers. In yards, voles dig burrows and create pathways of dead grass, called runways, in lawns. LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community, Moles have large paddle-like forefeet used for digging. So, before we go any further, let’s clear it up. They have favorite things that they can’t r… Property owners wondering if they have a vole or mouse in the house are likely dealing with mice. A vole (or meadow mouse), has a body and ears and is black and brown, or reddish with a gray underside. A good way to identify a shrew is by its small size. Moles are five to seven inches in length while shrews are no more than three inches in length. Sometimes grey, sometimes light brown or dark brown. So, you see a small animal digging around in your yard. Moles and chipmunks frequently make holes to reside in. Both chipmunk and mole holes are approximately 2 inches in diameter. Pictures of Moles, Voles, and Shrews Oh My! Moles, voles and shrews can easily be distinguished from one another by looking at some of the key physical characteristics of each. Image by G. San Julian. This adaptation allows moles to travel both forward and backward through the soil. Pick up vegetables or fruit that has fallen in your garden. A vole, also called a meadow mouse, has rounded ears and body and is reddish or brown and black in color with a gray underside. Meadow voles, the most common voles in Pennsylvania, are herbivores and eat a variety of grasses, seeds, and roots. When it comes to the question of vole vs mole, the similarities stop with their names. The culprits are little creatures commonly referred to as moles, but in reality, they may actually be a mole, vole or a shrew. They can also make small runways underneath the surface that are about two inches in diameter. These basic characteristics can help you determine voles vs. moles and voles and moles vs. shrews. Effects of shale gas development on forests and birds, Wildlife habitat management on private lands. Their names even sound the same. A mole has a pointed snout, enlarged front feet, and eyes and ears so tiny that they are not visible. Take a closer look at the hole and know what to look for to identify the unwanted visitor. Voles prefer to live in low-lying or creeping vegetation, and make trails through the grass or snow. Shrews are smaller than moles at … Voles are rodents and are about the same size as moles (4 to 6 inches in body length) with relatively large black eyes, small ears, a blunt face, and prominent orange front teeth for gnawing. 1-800-837-5520 Mice like locations with cover due to predator activity.  or contact us. Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds (Comparison of Gopher and Mole Mounds). There are many types of moles, many types of voles, and many types of shrews. Offspring may number from four to seven each year. All three are small mammals that can be found in your yard. The rodent is alternately known as the field mouse or meadow mouse. Knowing which rodent you’re dealing with will be important so you can get the right kind of strategy to kill them. A good way to identify a shrew is by its small size. To an untrained eye, the difference between a vole vs. mole can be subtle and it can also be difficult to distinguish a vole vs. a shrew, which is why any pest in the yard needs a professional assessment. A vole problem may present itself as runs in your grass, whereas mice are likely to stay in spots with more cover, like vegetation and next to a structure. Step 2 - Learn About the System. Most people – myself included — feel that voles are by far the worse of these creatures and responsible for most of the damage that new gardeners might attribute to moles or mice. Here’s one way to tell: voles have short tails, but mice have longer tails (about their body length). See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement. Voles can harm plants and your lawn. There are also baits available that mimic the look and smell of grubs or earthworms. Well, like most of the pests that we deal with, proper identification is critical because each have different characteristics that will help dictate the best management strategy. Shrews do not create surface tunnels but may feed in runways or tunnels of other small mammals. If you've seen a mole, vole or shrew at your home or business, get in touch with us here. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backwards in the tunnels. Moles have eyes and ears so tiny that they are not visible. A vole is a small, bulky, beady-eyed, mouse-like creature with a long, furry tail and distinct molars. Image by Michael David Hill, Wikimedia. As a general rule moles do not like to … You may see a rodent around your property, but it can be hard to know exactly what kind of animal it is. A shrew will fit neatly into a tablespoon. Shrews are small and mouse-sized, while moles are larger, with bodies about 6½ to 7 inches long (not including the tail). If you’re experiencing a problem in your yard or lawn with moles, voles or shrews, be sure to contact an Ehrlich pest control expert for assistance. Like moles, voles also tunnel and create runways through your lawn. View our privacy policy. Shrew vs. vole vs. mole The differences between shrews, moles, voles, and mice are minimal, so they’re often confused. If you have no experience with identifying these kinds of creatures, you might think that a vole and a mole are one and the same. A vole may be attracted to peanut butter as bait; a mole most likely will not. As the snow melts in Michigan we see the damage created by pests under the snow. Shrews hunt for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. This large food requirement results in fewer moles per acre than gophers or voles. A shrew’s eyes are tiny, but visible in most species. By entering your email, you consent to receive communications from Penn State Extension. Step 2 Additionally, voles tend to be active in open land whereas mice are thigmophilic, which means they like making contact with surfaces. Voles typically tunnel on the surface and eat their way through the grass to get to their burrows. Identify the shrew, mole or vole by its size. Their small eyes and the openings of the ears are concealed in the fur, and there are no external ears. Shrews are the smallest of the three averaging slightly less than 4 inches in length with short, grayish fur. Voles are primarily herbivores and will feed on the roots, bulbs, bark and seeds of many ornamental plants and grasses. The whole mole/vole thing always causes confusion. Like a mole, the shrew's feet tend to be a bit paddle like in shape but compared to their body size, are closer in proportion to that of a mouse. Vole Mole Shrew Moles, voles and shrew behavior For more information on grub control, please see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass. Aside the various physical characteristics, voles, moles, and shrews each live in different habitats and have unique food preferences. What is the difference between voles vs mice? Moles primarily feed on earthworms, grubs, beetles and other animals or arthropods found in soil. Typically, customers notice burrows in their mulch, or runways that part the grass or in the snow. Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. For a clear visual reference, a shrew is around the size of a silver dollar. If you have vole signs Follow the 4 Steps to Vole Control: Step 1 - Learn Even More About Voles. For pictures do a Google search for “pictures of garden voles”. They eat up to 1.5 times their body weight a day. Also, a shrew’s eyes are tiny, but they are visible in most species. Shrews will reuse the tunnels made by moles and voles, and will also occasionally invade buildings. Shrews are much smaller than moles (3 to 4 inches in body length) and are mouse-like in appearance with a long, pointed snout, a short dense coat of fur, and small eyes. This could be due to the striking similarities in their looks or due to the fact that voles almost always adopt burrows left behind by moles which enforces the view that they are the same.However, when you take a deeper look, you wil… or fill out your details and we will call you back, https://www.facebook.com/EhrlichPestControl, https://www.linkedin.com/company/ehrlich-pest-control, Differences between moles, voles and shrews, Moles have enlarged front feet used for digging. They have beady eyes, brown or gray fur, short legs, and a short furry tail. But they tend to like plants much better. Moles are solitary animals, so ridding the landscape of one or two moles will make a big difference. Shrew. A vole, also called a meadow mouse, has rounded ears and body and is reddish or brown and black in color with a gray underside. If voles or mice have taken up residence at your property, it’s best to contact a pest control professional, like Ehrlich. Shrews feed on insects, earthworms, slugs, small animals, seeds and roots. Shrews have many habitats, depending on the species. Voles are small but in their adult stage can be between four and nine inches. Voles, typically around half a foot long, lack the unmistakable pointed snout and enlarged feet of a mole and instead look comparable to a common mouse or shrew. Managing moles, voles and shrews can be challenging, so using an integrated pest management approach with tools such as trapping, baiting and habitat modification will give the best chance for success. While voles are known to burrow underground, they prefer to reside in low-lying vegetation. A vole's body and is reddish or brown and black in color with a gray underside. Our two common species are … Shrews and voles are often confused. A mole is an insect eating, underground dwelling, dirt digging machine. The most noticeable characteristic are the paddle-like forefeet which are bent sideways for digging. Their faces are not quite as pointed. Step 3 - Locate "Hot Spots" of Vole Activity. Good question. For voles, the Holper’s process begins with a thorough inspection and is followed with a personalized treatment program combining the elements of professional services that your situation requires. Also, a shrew’s eyes are tiny, but they are visible in most species. Shrew vs. Mole Damage. What They Eat– They are omnivores, and will eat anything. Shrews have smaller feet than moles, and most species have tiny but visible eyes and ears. Unlike the predacious moles, voles are primarily herbivores and … Mouse Problems. The mole on the left with the funky nose is a Star-nosed mole. Shrew: Examples of shrews, which will often reuse tunnels of voles and moles. Voles make several exit holes in flower beds and lawns. People are also more likely to actually see a shrew than a mole, as shrews spend more time out of their tunnels. The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in law… The difference between mole vs vole tunnels is that mole tunnels are much wider and bigger, while vole tunnels get much more numerous, especially once the vole population grows out of proportion. Call us for a free quote at Voles vs Moles. A shrew has a pointed snout and, contrary to a mole, its front feet are not enlarged. Moles are the largest, ranging in size from 5 – 7 inches with velvety fur and paddle-like forelimbs for digging. Voles are often confused by most people as moles and vice versa. In the war of moles vs. voles, you will always be the … Shrews: Shrews have a pointed snout, with smaller front feet. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Voles also look heavier than mice. Mole fur is short, soft, velvety, and when brushed offers no resistance in either direction. Learn more about them. Holes in lawns about one inch wide may belong to shrews. What is the difference between a mole, a vole and a shrew? Moles will not eat grain-based bait. Plus, you can see the eyes in most species. DuPage is home to the deer mouse, meadow jumping mouse, western harvest mouse, white-footed mouse, meadow vole, prairie vole, least shrew, masked shrew, northern short-tailed shrew and eastern mole.Next to bats and chipmunks, these mammals are some of the smallest in the county with sizes ranging from the masked shrew, which weighs less than a dime, to the eastern mole, which weighs … The hind feet are small and narrow with slender, sharp claws. Mole droppings are larger than vole ones but are harder to spot because they remain mostly underground. Moles have a larger range in comparison to other burrowing animals because it must cover a greater territory to meet its food requirements. 1. Vole vs. Voles vs shrews Their feet have large claws for digging. Image by G. San Julian. Moles and shrews belong to the order Insectivora and as the name suggests feed primarily on insects and invertebrates. Our animal professionals have provided some key differences between these two animals. In Ohio we have three types, two of which are pictured. It can be difficult to distinguish the damage between moles, voles, and shrews. And finally, a shrew has a pointed snout, but unlike the mole, a shrew’s front feet are not enlarged. Voles are primarily herbivores and will feed on the roots, bulbs, bark and seeds of many ornamental plants and grasses. We are well-versed in rodent control and will use an effective strategy to eliminate the voles or mice from your premises. To help keep voles from becoming a problem, mow your lawn and minimize vegetation that’s against the structure. These basic characteristics can help you determine voles vs moles and voles and moles vs shrews. 1. Moles live underground and are specialized for life underground. © 2021 Rentokil Initial plc and subject to the conditions in the legal statement. Erhlich specialists are experts in vole control. Get notified when we have news, courses, or events of interest to you. Identifying Voles and Vole Damage. Why is it important to distinguish which one you are dealing with? Is it a vole or is it a mole? Moles vs. voles. Also, voles mainly eat grass and plants but mice can eat grains, seeds and even dead animals. Step 4 - Shop Here Mole signs. Identification– They’re mouse like. Moles, voles, or shrews March 9th, 2016 by Tuff Turf Molebusters . Why do we need this? Whenever someone like Jeff in Manassas writes in asking for help with “moles,” I always ask: Do you indeed have moles? 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