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Moles returned?

I've had a perennial garden for four years now and have spent thousands of dollars on perennials. I started to notice last year and the year before that certain perennials that I had planted that were doing great the year before have disappeared! Come to find out -- yes, you got it -- I had moles and voles! I had no idea and never saw one in person :!:

So, I had them treated last year but am wondering how will I know if they've come back this year before I start planting again? Is there some sign now that I can see as a warning? There's no tunnels so far this winter.

Thanks for your help.


Greener Thumb
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Location: North Carolina

If you see no new tunnels you may have won out, but I'd wait until it gets warmer to know for certain. You might want to think about picking up a stray cat because normally they are adequate hunters.

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Moles vs voles

Moles are not your problem, but may be indicatrive of a problem. Moles are strictly carnivores.... meat eaters, and will be present only were they find prey. They're prey tends to be soil grubs.... larva of such onery critters as Japanese beetles and june bugs.... cutworms, etc. If you have moles then you have insects in the soil. The moles are probably doing you a favor, though their tunnels are a problem in lawns.

Voles or field mice on the other hand are vegetarians and will feed on plant materials including roots and bulbs near the surface. For the most part, they are not burrowers and you will notice little trails or "runs" on the surface underneath plant foliage. They can "girdle" small woody stems as well as chew off fleshy stems and leaf stalks.

Will they return? We'll if you eliminate the source of the mole's food, they will forage elsewhere. Voles though will likely be back, moving in from neighboring habitat requiring retreatment, if you can't come up with that cat.
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Super Green Thumb
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As I understand it, voles will use the mole runs to nibble on roots, kind of like their own little root cellars! I've often seen where my lilly stem has simply fallen into a little hole in the ground, and when pulled up, the bulb has been eaten clean off of the stem. That had to be work from underground.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

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