Looking for the most effective vole repellent for your garden?
Great, you're in the right place!
In this guide you'll learn:
- What attracts voles into your garden?
- What options do you have when it comes to vole repellants
- Do ultrasonic devices work against voles?
- Our favorite 5 vole repellents for 2019
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 03/20/2019)
When it comes to repelling voles, our top picks goes to the I Must Garden vole repellent granules.
Like other burrowing creatures, voles are very sensitive to strong smells.
Castor oil blended granules are a popular tool to repel voles and moles. The I Must Garden's product is a 20% castor oil blend good for all weather conditions.
For maximum effectiveness prior to application, make sure to irrigate your lawn with 1/2 inch of water and 1 inch of water post application.
Despite our recommendation, repelling methods are not 100% effective. To ensure complete removal of your vole problem we recommend checking out our guide on catching and trapping voles.
Top 5 Best Vole Repellents
Short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more on voles and repellents!
Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your vole problem?
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What Attracts Voles Into Your Garden?
Voles are cute but destructive. Like moles, they dig tunnels and destroy your garden's landscape while slowly but surely eating away the vegetative life out of your garden.
When faced with a vole problem, the first thing that comes to your mind is how they get into your garden in the first place. What attracted voles into your property?
Basically, the main factor that attracted voles into your garden is FOOD. Unlike moles, voles are more of a vegan. Although they tend to eat snails and insects from time to time, they often prefer seeds, roots, barks, bulbs, tubers, plants, and even grasses.
Apart from destroying your landscape by digging tunnels that run across various directions they munch the life out of your garden's vegetation from the ground up. Trees, herbaceous plants, mulched planting beds, and tall grasses in your garden are an open invitation for voles.
What Are Vole Repellents?
First of all, a repellent is any substance or device that serves to drive away or ward off a target animal or insect. It accomplishes this goal by arousing disgust or aversion in the target animal.
An animal repeller would work by arousing fear in the target, this case, voles. When you have an infestation of voles over a large area, you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible before they reproduce and lead to a population explosion.
What Are Your Options When Trying To Repel Voles?
When trying to repel voles you have a couple options.
- Castor Oil Repellents: The use of an oil to disturb voles through their sense of smell.
- Ultrasonic Repellents: The use devices that emit ultrasonic pulses to disturb voles and drive them away
Each option has pros and cons. Lets have a look into each.
Castor Oil Repellents
Castor oil repellents work by creating an unpleasant odor over a wide area, repelling anything that comes near. In addition to castor oil, garlic also works as odor voles find offensive.
When they encounter the scent it is unpleasant to them and also serves to mask other odors that might attract them to one of their food sources.
It creates a sonic barrier around your house and yard. When a critter hears the undulating sound (much like a European police siren) it annoys them and they leave the area.
Are Repellents Effective Against Voles?
There is quite a bit anecdotal evidence supporting both methods, but overall we recommend going with the castor oil repellant.
Ultrasonic repellents emit pulses that irritate voles. Most are solar powered to keep the devices going without the need for taking them indoors and get them recharged. Each of these repellents claim to cover an average area of 6,000 to more than 7,000 square feet.
During most of our research, ultrasonic repellers don't work for voles.
How To Use Vole Repellents?
The correct way to use repellents, for any kind of critter, is to combine them and vary the time and placement of them. Sonic repellents, owl decoys, and garlic repellent granules should be used together. Spread the granules in a random fashion, then place the sonic repellents randomly as well.
The owl decoys should be posted as high off the ground as possible and moved every day. All of the elements should be moved on a regular basis. The sonic repellents should be used one day, then disabled the next. The logic behind it is simple.
Voles, like any animal, can become accustomed to any pattern. Once they get used to it, they lose their fear of it and it no longer frightens them away. Living creatures, like owls, will rest in different locations from one day to the next.
Voles know this and if they see an owl sitting in the same place day after day, they’ll soon realize it’s not alive and ignore it. By moving it every day you maintain the illusion that it’s alive and therefore a threat to them.
The same reasoning applies to moving the sonic repellents. If there is a pattern, they’ll get used to the noise and learn to ignore it. If it’s constantly moving, or not always there, or both, they won’t become accustomed to it and will continue to be effective. The same thing is true with the granules. Scatter them in different locations each time, and intersperse with other repellents such as garlic to create constant confusion for the voles.
If you do think you have voles, we highly recommend first consulting with a local exterminator before using rodenticides, ultrasonic repellents, or any other method of vole control. Improper use can and will make your bed bug problem worse.
Use our local exterminator search tool to get a couple free quotes so you can begin the removal process.
Are Vole Repellents Safe For Your Pets And Children?
Yes. Repellents don’t cause any actual harm to the voles, therefore they won’t be able to harm your children or pets either.
Like we've mentioned earlier, we really liked this formulation I Must Garden put together to help homeowners repel voles from their yards.
Overall, repelling any kind of burrowing creature (like voles) can be a challenge with a minimal success rate. Repellents should be used in coordination with traps and poisons to ensure your vole problem is corrected.
To get the best results with these granules, use a broadcast spreader and make sure to irrigate your lawn with 1/2 inch of water pre-application and 1 inch of water post-application.
This is one of the easiest methods of vole control you can find. You just spread the granules around the area you want to keep the voles out of.
If you see vole damage around your trees or garden (voles are garden pests too), you can spread these granules without causing any problems for your grass, flowers, or vegetables. Castor oil is the active ingredient and it doesn’t have any side effect on your plants.
It can be washed away by a gentle rain though, so after each rain, or each time you water the yard, you’ll need to spread more granules. You’ll need to refresh it about once a week anyway.
This is a concentrated garlic extract. Voles don’t like the smell of garlic so they tend to avoid it when they come into contact with it. In order to use it, you’ll need to get a 32-ounce spray bottle, fill it with water and add 20 drops of concentrate to it. Mix it thoroughly then spray the areas you want to keep the voles out of.
This and the granules work best as a preventative to keep voles from establishing a foothold on your property. It has a strong garlic smell that soon fades after it dries. You’ll need to respray every few days and after every rain. As a bonus though, it also repels mosquitoes and other flying pests.
Owls are natural predators for voles. They will swoop down and eat them every chance they get. Owls, like hawks and eagles, like sit up high and look down for their prey. They will sit still, turning their head slowly back and forth until they find something, then swoop down without warning. They don’t sit in the same spot every day and they often try to hide so their prey down on the ground doesn’t see them until it’s too late.
If you use a decoy, you have to position it and move it in a life-like fashion for it to be effective. Find several different places around your house and yard that are within your reach, but still high enough to look like an owl perch. Try to find some perches that are semi-hidden among tree leaves or some other barrier. Every day, randomly move the owl to a new perch. Now and then, don’t put it out at all.
The random movement of the decoy from one perch to another, coupled with its occasional complete absence, will complete the illusion that it is alive. Voles and other small animals will make themselves scarce if they think an owl is in the area.
And last but definitely not the least, the Redeo Vole Chaser steps up the game for all vole repellents.
The device is somewhat unique compared to the rest of the entries in the list. Redeo Vole Chaser is geared with smart working program which makes it capable of emiting 4 different sonic pulse intervals. The idea behind this innovation is to make sure that voles will not be able to adapt to the sonic sound.
The Redeo Vole Chaser has an extensive coverage reaching up to 7,000 square feet. Setting these devices at most 82 feet apart provides optimu protection for your garden against voles and all other burrowing rodents.
As mentioned throughout this guide, we do not like ultrasonic devices to repel voles even though there are plenty of them for sale around the internet.
Even castor oil, although slightly more effective, isn't guaranteed to see results.
Thankfully, I Must Garden makes a good non-toxic product we can recommend for vole problems.
Please Note*** If you are attempting to kill or remove a vole problem, we highly recommend you consult and potentially hire a licensed exterminator or else you risk making your vole problem worse. Click here for our tool to help you find free quotes from pre-qualified exterminators in your area.