Facts

Prairie voles are small rodents found throughout the United States. As herbivores, they prefer to eat roots, tubers, grasses, and seeds, but will also consume tree bark and insects when their main food sources are unavailable. The pests dig tunnels and use above-ground runways to get from place to place. When they take up residence in suburban areas, agricultural fields, gardens, and golf courses, prairie voles ruin expensive landscaping and cause costly damage to crop yields with their tunnel systems and diets.

Identifying Features

Dark brown fur tipped with black or yellowish-brown gives prairie voles a grizzled appearance. They range in length from 5 to 7 inches, weigh no more than 3 ounces, and have pronounced ears and short tails. Prairie voles breed year-round and produce litters of up to four pups. As such, infested areas experience rapid population growth, which makes the quick elimination of prairie voles from private properties essential.

Habitat/Region

Prairie voles prefer drier areas with plenty of vegetation and are commonly found in pastures, alfalfa fields, weedy meadows, and prairies. They range from New Mexico to Ohio and West Virginia. When found near human habitation, prairie voles construct tunnel systems in gardens, vacant lots, and golf courses.