Voles and caster bean oil as a deterrent?

I can tell about those… already sold them… a couple years back.

I had them in that seed producing bed for like 12 years and they got really big.

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That is an impressive haul. I have a north facing wooded couple of acres that has some growing naturally. I’d like to seed some more and increase that.

Ramps favor the same conditions and are doing well too where I have started planting them.


@Ospreyjp ---- you might enjoy some of my old youtube vids… mostly about ginseng, growing it, hunting it, etc…

I had been using the poison worms and poison peanuts into their holes. It seems to work here for me. However, I have more hawks and owls here this year. I will see how well these birds take care if the voles/moles this year.

These suckers really ruin a good time. I’m trying this stuff in my nursery, not sure if it’s working yet:

One thing to note, they seem attracted to some apple rootstock more than others. They’ll much on g210 and m111 before they touch b.118 in my experience - not sure why!

I had a raised bed that had multiple vole exits and tunnels. I planted garlic in the bed last fall and they are all gone.


Nope. It’s a vole. Dims aren’t ‘progressive’ either.

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You’re lucky. They’re probably the biggest issue year to year. I’ve been tempted to try poison, though they also feed a lot of predators, and on balance their populations seem more stable now than in earlier years. I use tree guards religiously, and kind of just live with the amount of damage that get. Every once in a while, one manages to get inside the guard or the deep snow gets a crust and gives them access to the upper parts of a tree. I have things planted pretty densely, so some culling is kind of built in anyway. I also have (arguably) way too many trees, though it’s still heart breaking when you see one get trashed. I seem to mainly have meadow voles- which munch on bark and surface roots. Those pine voles are nasty. That’s pretty discouraging @Ospreyjp I remember when I lived near Flagstaff years back that people would put chicken wire or large hardware cloth around the crowns of peach trees or else they were apt to be torn asunder by pocket gophers. The roots must have grown through fine, and I spose if a gopher managed to eat lots of the outer roots, at least it couldn’t get at the crown. I believe that roots can and will grow though the mesh and either break it or more likely just envelop it. All over in this neck of the woods you find trees with barbed wire growing right through the middle. It might set your trees back a bit, I spose. You might consider using some coarse crushed stone in your planting holes.

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talked to Bernis at HoneyberryUSA. she stated many got vole damage last winter not just the northeast. even in Wisconsin where they didnt have much snow, still got damage. riding around after the snow melted there were many younger trees girdled to 3ft up. must be low predator pressure.

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It’s true. I have seen a lot of gnawing up here even on wild service berry, young maple, and aspen shoots. With all the snow the only thing that kept them off was hardware cloth up about 2’ fairly tight around the trunks and tree tubes that where pushed down tight into the dirt. We don’t have the pine vole here, but we have several other species.


From an online search

There are a number of castor oil products sold that are advertised to repel moles and voles. Due to the temporary residual nature of castor oil products for repelling moles and voles, they are not very effective.

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Moles- Meat Eaters.
Voles- Plant Eaters.

Almost everything you will read will say that… however…its not true.

“voles don’t hibernate during the winter. Instead, they molt, they stay warm in their tunnels under the snow, and they eat whatever they can find. This is the period when they diversify their diet the most. If you’re wondering do voles eat grubs – they do in the winter. They also eat any insect they can catch”

Personally i hate jap beetles… and i think the more moles and voles i have the less jap beetles i will have… thats what they eat.

If you have a mole and vole problem… you might have a grub problem?

Update; I marked as many of the holes as I could find with white sticks. Filled a pump sprayer with 1 cup caster bean oil and 1/2 cup of dish soap. Using a leaf blower with a small hole drilled near the end to fit the sprayer tip, I blew 1 gal of mix in the 20 holes. Then put a table spoon of hot pepper powder in each hole. Finally filled each hole.

No signs of and activity, yet

Let us know how it goes. I have voles so determined they push up small pieces of slate between larger pieces on my patio. Same for my front walkway.

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