How To Keep Voles Out Of The Garden By Burying Your Fence

Posted on: 4 September 2018

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Gardeners who prefer growing vegetables to roses or lilies still have to deal with the same pests that ruin decorative gardens after weeks of hard work. Garden fencing is great for controlling many animal pests, but many animals are only deterred by quite a few inches of buried fencing. Find out how fence trenching can prevent voles in particular from getting into your garden and killing dozens of plants per night.

Pest Damage

Voles are small rodents that focus specifically on eating the roots and bases of many garden plants. Potatoes, hostas, and even fruiting and flowering trees are easily killed by hungry voles munching away at the underground parts of the plants. Plants don't need to be edible to humans for voles to find them delicious. Tuberous roots do tend to attract voles more than fibrous ones since they provide more food, but avoiding tubers and corms is not a guaranteed way to prevent vole damage. Trenched fencing with gaps of around 1/4 of an inch in diameter will provide the most protection against these pests.

Shallow Tunnels

Unlike rabbits, gophers, and moles that also burrow, voles only dig their tunnels in the first inch or two of soil. You'll notice raised tunnels running right under the surface, which turns into visible brown lines of brown grass when a vole crosses a lawn. Voles and moles are often confused for each other, but only moles dig deep tunnels to move safely through your yard. You won't find any deep tunnels or piles of visible dirt near an entrance to a tunnel if you're dealing with voles. Moles don't directly eat your plants like voles do but accidentally cause damage by tunneling to find the grubs and worms they prefer to eat.

Buried Fence

It doesn't take a deep trench or a lot of buried fencing to keep voles out since they stay near the surface of the ground. Bury about six inches to 10 inches of fencing below the surface in a trench in order to make sure voles are foiled in their attempts to reach your plants. It's also possible to surround individual plants with collars of buried fencing, but this is far more expensive and time-consuming than just fencing in an entire garden area. Look for coated fencing products for at least the buried portion of the fence so that you're not replacing the bottom of the fence every few years due to it rusting away from soil moisture. 

Contact a fence trenching services company for more information.