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 Meadow Vole Damage 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:16 am
Posts: 3
Location: Dayton
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Vole damage on young apple trees in Forest Grove

Viron here …Here we go again -- I met up with our Cider Boys & girls north of Forest Grove (OR) this afternoon for some tasting and a tour. We noticed intensive meadow vole work near one corner of the newly planted and grafted cider apples, on Bud-9 rootstock. Walking down the row we noted the rootstock on a dozen trees, including limbs of the new scions (grafts) gnawed and girdled by these voles.

This photo was taken by one of the attendees, whom I asked to post it on this topic forum as an example to all of the serious damage these creatures cause. Notice they’ve eaten the bark, fine roots and main roots off this rootstock! As a remedy, the best I could suggest is they check out this Forum!

Another suggestion was to smear roofing tar (while wearing a long plastic glove) around the base and chewed limbs of the surrounding trees until the voles are dealt with. And that placing hawk / owl perches throughout the one acre orchard would give some natural predation. …and that using the product described here should not transfer to them…

Good luck guys! And Thanks for the invite, good food, discussion, tour …and most of all - that awesome propane heater :mrgreen: --- WHOOPS - Cider, too! (we’ll stay in touch!)


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Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:17 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Hi VIron,
Are you still recommending that environmentally friendly deterrent for voles?

Sepp Holzer of permaculture fame suggests letting trees grow out naturally, so that the limbs grow out and touch the ground, thereby lessening the damage they do.

Thansk
John S
PDX OR


Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:33 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
John, “Are you still recommending that environmentally friendly deterrent for voles?

Yes, John, that’s why I suggest the folks attending yesterday’s meeting look over this thread. *

…suggests letting trees grow out naturally, so that the limbs grow out and touch the ground, thereby lessening the damage they do.

The tree in the photo above is not even a year old, only a fresh graft from last year. There’s no way these orchardist’s can let them ‘grow out’ with this kind of damage. The voles are working in from the ‘grass-line’ around the tilled orchard - and heading for hundreds of such trees!

* please note, all; my earlier posts on this subject-thread, along with the vast majority of my forum posts were corrupted by hackers after our battle/s to keep spam and porn off this forum. I’ve reconstructed some, as well as quotes of mine used in the posts of others - in order to make this information available to other fruit enthusiasts. So if some things ‘don’t make sense,’ sorry, they once did ~

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Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:55 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
There was an interesting idea from another gardening site: Permies.com-
They recommended putting stakes in the ground with wires hooked and aluminum pie plates to make vibrations in the soil. Drove the voles away to other yards. I found it very interesting.

http://www.permies.com/t/12100/permacul ... E-invasion

John S
PDX OR


Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:40 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:02 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Thanks Viron for coming out and providing the information. See you at the next tasting.

Pete


Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:58 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
I was at the orchard of a friends last weekend and couldn’t help but notice how poorly his young fruit trees were doing. In fact, ‘in’ for 6 years, they’re the equivalent of 3 year olds and look near death. Sure, he’s not kept the grass competition back, or mulched and deep watered, but what stood out most to me were the multitude of meadow vole holes and the assumed damage they’ve done to the root systems.

Out of site – out of mind seems an all-too common response… unfortunately, which in my mind, separates the serious orchardist’s from the wanna bees… As I was collecting my first harvest of Desert King figs today I noticed some vole holes. About the diameter of a quarter, and generally within the drip-line of the fruit trees. And not only around my fig trees, but various others, including grapes.

I had two Persimmon trees die this spring, and though I’ve removed both, the area around one looks like Vole Central! So I walked the yard, dosing every hole with around 4 or 5 little blue pellets. It appears you can never get em all, or for the fact I’m surround by forest, they’ll always return? But it remains a battle.

Observations: they like dark cover, limbs that hang low and shield them from predators; I’ll assume owls, both day and night varieties, do that job for me. I’ve not seen any coyotes and don’t have any cats. They use abandoned mole holes thus do not push up soil mounds. Where there are some – there are more; you need to look close. There is no activity nearest the ‘forest edge,’ assuming predators monitor and snag them from there. They’re active both day and night. They like fallen fruit as well as the roots of the tree that grew it. Areas underwater much of the winter are still used in the summer. They will hide under mulch and cardboard. They will ‘tunnel’ through tall ‘fallen’ grass making a network of paths. They will eat bark above ground during the winter, especially figs.

So this is just an update… cuz they’re still out there – but nowhere near as bad as I’ve seen them elsewhere – and the poison described here does work, you just need to monitor their population and re-apply as necessary (and I’m still not getting any ‘kick-back from sales). I’d been somewhat lax the last couple of years; my main mower broke so a lot of grass in the orchard was left unmowed last summer - they loved it! And, I suspect my Persimmon trees paid the price… Well, the other two, as well as my entire yard/ orchard was ‘treated’ tonight. I’ll monitor for activity ~

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Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Hey Viron, I'm having what could become a serious vole problem. They killed one of my nanking bush cherries in about 2 weeks and it appears that they're starting to gnaw on the trunks of my plum trees and yank up some of the top roots to chew. I looked up the TERAD3 Ag pellets in this link http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/terad3-ag-pellets. In the description it says "However, it cannot be used in the fields or orchards where crops are growing." Is this the same stuff you were using? And if so, did you have any issues with it? They seem to imply that it would be harmful to the orchard.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:37 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
sohoppy wrote:
I looked up the TERAD3 Ag pellets in this link http://store.doyourownpestcontrol.com/terad3-ag-pellets. In the description it says "However, it cannot be used in the fields or orchards where crops are growing." Is this the same stuff you were using


That is what I’ve been using… and it’s confusing to read such a statement after all the ‘Organic endorsements.’ So here’s what I’ve just submitted to their online contact site:

I’ve advocated your product within our local 'Home Orchard Society' for years and have successfully used it myself for the same, will you please explain your following warning? -

"However, it cannot be used in the fields or orchards where crops are growing."

What danger is posed by using this product in an orchard? We are after Western Meadow Voles, which use abandoned mole holes and application consists of dropping 3 or 4 pellets down their obvious holes until numbers decrease or activity stops all-together.

I'm a Forum Moderator for our site and after posting an update to a 'thread' that's had over eight-thousand hits, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1201 - had the above quested asked of me. I'd like to give an accurate answer and continue to advocate the use of your product.


"Your inquiry was submitted and will be responded to as soon as possible. Thank you for contacting us."

I'll let you know what I learn :roll:

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Here we go, from Ken Martin of doyourownpestcontrol:

"In June of 2011 the EPA enacted sweeping changes to the rodenticide market called Rodenticide Risk Mitigation. Among the rules in this decision was that any rodenticide used for control of the house mouse (Mus musculus), the roof rat (Rattus rattus), or the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) must be placed within 50 feet of a building. The Terad3 AG Pellets label now reads:

"All bait placements must be inside or within 50 feet of buildings."

This wording has eliminated the need for wording about it's use in fields or orchards where crops are growing. There is currently a revision in the works that will allow baiting of burrows farther than 50 feet from a structure, so it looks like that will be allowed on the new labeling. Since this product is labeled for use against mice and rats this would not apply to use against other rodents. Since the active ingredient is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) I don't know why it would pose a threat to active orchards.

I hope this helps but it is a sticky labeling dilemma since voles are not listed on the label. I have a call in to the technical guy at Bell Labs who manufactures the Terad3 line. He may be able to shed some additional light on the situation. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.

Thank You,
Ken Martin
"

That’s exactly what I thought. It’s labeling is for its intended use against other pests and, as in a ‘page two’ discussion on this very thread, above ground bait packets or bate stations would not be used in a crop field or an orchard. And – as the active ingredient is vitamin D3, as Ken puts it, “I don't know why it would pose a threat to active orchards.

I’ll pass on anything further, and better safe than sorry, but as mentioned – this is a very serous and continuing threat to Willamette Valley orchards. I’ve seen very few, if any lacking the telltale signs of and damage from these meadow voles. And for as much attention as is paid to every sign of pests or maladies ‘above the ground,’ very little concern seems to be shown for what’s going on under it.

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Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:45 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:30 am
Posts: 78
Location: Springfield, OH Zone 6a
Post Re: Meadow Vole Damage
Don't you just love bureaucracy? Well, that guy was very helpful and thorough with his explanation. It's good to know that I can still use those pellets. Since they've already killed one of my nanking cherries I don't want to let them do any more damage. It looks like they've been gnawing on the bottom of one of my plum trees as well, but not nesting there as far as I can tell. I've narrowed down where their nest is though, so I'll be placing pellets in the holes and hopefully that will take care of them!


Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:59 am
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