Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

Voles are familiar rodents in today’s life. They leave a lot of damage to humans and dangerous diseases.

We’ve asked our garden experts about tips to get rid of them. Some suggestions include:

  1. Trapping them
  2. Growing bulbs that voles hate
  3. Avoid planting fruit trees

Read our article to find out more helpful tips!

Melanie Musson from


Garlic not only yields an edible harvest, but its blossoms are also beautiful, and the green stalks offer a contrast to leafy flowering plants.

You can plant them in rows in your vegetable garden, or you can plant clumps of them throughout your flower garden. Voles are deterred by garlic.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

Purchase garlic bulbs from a garden store and store them in your refrigerator for 2 or 3 months. They grow better after they’re subjected to cold temperatures.

Break the bulb down into cloves and plant the clove into the ground as you would plant a seed. The only additional care they need is watering when the soil dries out.


Daffodils are poisonous to animals, including voles, so they’re a helpful addition in a garden where you face potential for pests.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

It’s best to plant the bulbs in the fall. They thrive in full sun. After they finish blooming, deadhead the blooms and let the leaves remain as they’ll absorb energy for the following spring bloom.

Lenten rose

Lenten rose blooms early in the spring. The blossoms last up to 10 weeks, and the silvery green leaves of the plant provide beautiful ground cover all season.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

They grow best in the shade. They’re an annual plant, but they usually reseed themselves and come back every year. They’re poisonous to voles, so voles stay away from them.

Lewis Peters from Buyturf

Voles are a frustratingly common pest in gardens with fruit and vegetables, as these nocturnal creatures are constantly on the lookout for sources of food and places to nest.

If left untreated, these pesky rodents will reproduce surprisingly quickly, which can have devastating effects on your plants and vegetables, as they are herbivores and do not prey on insects.

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The first step with all garden pests is correctly identifying the culprit, carefully assessing the damage to your garden, and looking for further evidence of vole activity.


Vole traps are reasonably inexpensive and are widely available online. Trapping is humane and allows you to catch them so they can be disposed of quickly safely.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

We find that trapping is more effective for smaller gardens, as you will need more traps to tend to on larger ones. Simply lay the traps in a place that voles may be tempted to hide and set some bait (peanut butter works well) in the middle of the day.

The downside of trapping is that you have to keep an eye on the traps when they are successful and dispose of the voles yourself, so this is not for the squeamish gardener.

Vole Repellent/poison

Vole repellent or poison is available in many garden stores, usually in granules or spray forms.

Always read the label for manufacturer instructions and prevent pets from going into the garden when spreading poison.


Preventing a problem is always better than looking for a cure. Gardeners should create a long term strategy to help prevent voles from moving into your garden by doing the following:

  • Securing fences & gates around your property.
  • Protect your plants with netting.
  • Seal any cracks/holes in brick walls where voles could enter,
  • Introduce sharp gravel to the garden that can be mixed into your soil.
Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles
  • Install some garden lighting. Voles can be very shy and will stay away from brightly lit areas.
  • Installing a sprinkler system: sprinklers can help drown out vole nests in the garden.
  • Check regularly for signs of damage: Finding a vole problem and acting early can make it much easier to remove them before they have a chance to create a nest and breed.
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Katie Mills from Poshh

Before you start looking at plants, you should take a good look at the general state of your garden. Make sure you’re not giving voles the cover they love.

Wherever possible, use crunch surfaces like gravel. These are uncomfortable and noisy, so they make voles feel unsafe.

Similarly, make sure you’re not leaving out food for them, even unintentionally. For example, if you’re growing to produce, collect it regularly.

Castor bean

The joint winners are the castor bean plant, aka the castor oil plant, and hellebore regarding plants voles hate. The problem with these plants is that they are both toxic to mammals, including humans.

They may not be fatal, although they can’t be ruled out. They can certainly lead to serious veterinary/hospital bills. We’d therefore advise leaving them well alone.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

You could, however, use regular castor oil in your garden. This is completely safe for plants, grass animals, and humans. Voles, however, still hate the smell.


Marigolds are also suitable for deterring voles. This is kind of ironic as butterflies and bees love them.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

All of these are total, no-fuss grows. You’re only likely to run into problems if you try to pamper them and end up overfeeding them.

Ryan Smith from Ant and Garden Organic Pest Control

Voles are mainly vegetarian, feeding on grass and plant stems – the reason you need to get rid of them at first sight!

There are various ways you can try to get rid of voles, including:

  • Having an outdoor pet (cat or dog)
  • Using natural mixtures as irritants to be sprayed on vole tunnels: onion, garlic, or cayenne powder mixed with water

Another tip to get rid of these pests is to grow a garden of anti-vole plants: Grape Hyacinth. This plant is low maintenance, making it an ideal choice to succeed in any garden.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

You can also get in touch with a pest control expert who effectively uses organic substances to eliminate garden pests (like me!).

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Crystal Statskey from Stoney Acres

Voles can be very destructive in a beautiful garden or lawn. However, some plants are known to deter voles.

Ornamental onions

Ornamental onions also tend to turn their noses up and make a great addition to any anti-vole garden.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

Crown imperial

Crown imperial, also known as a skunk lily, might smell to both voles and humans, but they are a beautiful eye-catcher. Keep in mind they are very toxic to all animals and humans, not only voles.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

James Morgan from Get Rid of Things

Avoid planting fruit trees

First, some plants are essential to avoid. Voles are attracted to fruits, significantly when it drops on the ground and is easy for them to get.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

If you have fruit shrubs or fruit trees that drop fruit, like plums – consider getting rid of them. Or, at a minimum, keep the tree well-picked, so surplus fruit doesn’t fall and sit on the ground.

Growing Salvia

One plant that is particularly effective against voles is the Salvia. It produces an aroma that voles and other rodents won’t like.

Its blue-purple flower has a stunning appearance, especially toward the back of a layered garden with varying plant heights.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

It can grow to a couple of feet tall when in full bloom, so not great if you just want ground cover. It grows in most North American zones, except for the very far north.

Gravel walkway or path

Not a plant, but consider creating a gravel walkway or path in an area known for voles. Voles hate being exposed and typically will not cross a path that provides them with no vegetative cover.

Top 20 Expert Tips on How to Get Rid of Voles

You will essentially create a boundary for the vole if you make them cross any bare ground.


Hopefully, the above tips will help you effectively chase the voles out of the garden. Don’t forget to clean your garden and the area around them regularly, so voles have no place to nest or disturb.

Last update on 2024-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.