MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Many Minnesotans have waited months for the snow to melt. But what’s underneath has homeowners alarmed this spring.
Yards with long trails of dead grass and shrubs with the bark eaten off are signs of a type of field mouse called a vole.
Jim Reeves is a rodent control specialist and owner of the company Minnesota Mole. And he’s certainly no stranger to references from a particular golf comedy.
“Some customers, they want to use dynamite and they bring up ‘Caddyshack’ a lot,” Reeves said.
But before you take explosives to your yard, there are some things you should know about voles.
“A vole is a chubby mouse basically,” he said. “They eat the grass roots and leave the grass clippings laying.”
Reeves says he’s been getting upwards of 20 calls a day from homeowners.
“This is a busy year. Last year was a long, hot summer and there was a high rodent population that carried over,” he said.
This year’s prolonged snow cover has provided voles with ample hiding places from predators and the elements.
In order to catch them, Reeves uses a combination of traps and poison.
“Regular snap traps work the best,” he said.
Cost for expert removal ranges from $100 to $500 – but insurance companies will often pay for some, if not all, of the removal costs.