Voles Versus Moles – What’s the Difference?

Two of the kinds of garden pests that a lot of people are voles and moles. But what are the differences? Let’s look at voles versus moles and see what the differences are between them.

Voles Versus Moles


A vole looks like a field mouse. It’s a small rodent and has compact, small bodies, ears that lay close to its body, small eyes, and a short tail. It’s usually around 5 to 8” long and it has large teeth for gnawing plant roots and stems.

It’s known for digging. It will make tunnels inside the soil, creating exit holes the size of golf balls inside mole tunnels. It eats plants. Similar to a lot of other kinds of rodents, it eats vegetables. It gnaws away at blades of grass and plant stems. Its tunnels are usually close to a garden or yard’s surface because of what it likes to eat.

When there’s a vole on in your yard, you might notice plants that were previously healthy keeled over. Their roots are going to be gnawed off. Once a colony is established, they will quickly breed so you want to control their spread.


voles versus moles

Moles aren’t rodents, unlike voles. They’re little mammals that spend a lot of their life digging tunnels underground. They’re 4 to 7” long and have big feet in the shape of paddles with prominent claws to help them with moving soil.

They have elongated snouts and heads. Their eyes are small, and they don’t have external ears. They’re covered in brown-grey, dense fur without any grain. This is what lets them quickly move underground in any direction.

They’re prolific diggers. They will create hills in the shape of volcanos in your garden soil and your lawn. They can dig the tunnel as quickly as 18 feet in an hour. Moles are able to add 150 ft of tunnels in your lawn per day. They consume 60-100% of their weight in grubs, earthworms, and insects each day. This means if a mole weighs 5 ounces, it eats 50 pounds in one year.

Even though moles will tunnel in your garden and lawn, they won’t eat your plants’ roots. They are targeting the earthworms living in your soil.

These are some of the things that you should know about voles versus moles and what their differences are. We hope that you have found this blog to be useful. If you need some help with your lawn, we offer lawn care services. Contact us here for a quote.

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