I noticed this spring that voles are creating “trails” along my fence line. What do you recommend to remove voles that is not harmful to children and pets?
Voles, or field mice can damage lawns as well as shrubs and small trees. The easiest way to discourage their presence is to clean up all debris in your yard, raking away leaves and littler that has accumulated over the winter and keeping your lawn mowed. Deterrents like fox urine or capsaicin (the “hot” in chilis) are effective in the short term but must be reapplied consistently to be helpful. Most gardeners reluctant to use poisons deal with vole problems by placing mesh cages around the trunks of young trees and shrubs and by using repellents in their gardens. There are a number of non-toxic sprays available, and most garden centers carry them. If you decide to use any of the poisons available please be careful. These are harmful to children, pets and birds. Good luck in your garden and thanks for the question.