This morning Frances posted an excellent tutorial on how to control voles in the garden. I hadn't planned on doing a post today, but just by chance this afternoon my own Vole Patrol was on duty, inspiring me to present an alternative method of controlling these pesky varmints that can dig up your precious plants. For this, the lazy gardener's method of vole control, no hardware cloth or tools are needed.
All you need is one dog who has a keen sense of smell and likes to dig.
You will notice the now deceased vole to the left of the photo. For the faint of heart, I did spare you the sight of the other more disgusting photos. Suffice it to say that Sophie still thinks everything is a chew toy.
The second requirement for this method is a cat. In this case, the credit for the vole capture goes to Tarzan who initially caught the little creature. How Sophie managed to wrest the vole away from Tarzan is a mystery, as I missed this exchange. However, Tarzan seemed content with letting Sophie have the spoils. Cooperation in completing garden chores is always a good thing.
While my method produces the desired results with a minimum amount of work, if you do have a problem with voles, I highly recommend you follow Frances' advice. Besides, there are a few disadvantages to my method: you can't plan the procedure, the digging used to draw the vole out is sometimes harder on the plants than the vole was, and it's hard to convince Sophie that her new "toy" is not allowed in the house!
I apologize if this left you a little disgusted, so here's a much prettier photo to cleanse your palate. While I was convincing Sophie to come back inside without the vole, I noticed a Monarch floating above the garden. I was so happy to see it, because I thought all the Monarchs had left already, and I followed it with my camera for several minutes. Instead of landing, though, on a pretty bloom remaining the garden, it stopped in the grass. Who knew I still had dandelions blooming in October??