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Mice and voles are very similar in appearance. Both are small, brown and furry. Mice are smaller than voles, have bigger ears, and are primarily an indoor nuisance, where they get into cupboards and pantries and nest in wall cavities. Voles (sometimes referred to as “field mice”) are outdoor pests. Their digging and feeding activity can cause significant damage in the garden. Though voles will eat dead animal matter, they are primarily vegetarians; their favorite foods include seeds, nuts, flower bulbs and plant roots. Voles dig shallow tunnels in and around plant roots. They also make good use of mole tunnels, which give them easy access to the root zone. In the fall, partially eaten potatoes, carrots and other root crops are indications of vole activity. Spring snowmelt often reveals chewed bark, especially on young trees and shrubs.
Last updated: 7/19/19
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