Thought you saw a mouse with a short tail? It could be a vole. Vole Identification Voles occupy areas with heavy ground cover, grasses, grass-like plants or litter. Man-made dwellings such as orchards, cultivated fields and windbreaks are favored. The vole is a compact rodent with a stocky body, short legs, and a short tail. They are brown or gray in color, but many color variations exist. Voles are mouse-like in appearance (6″ to 8″ in length) with dense fur, and their tail is less than 3″ long. Vole Damage Voles are commonly known as meadow or field mice, and belong to the rodent family. Accumulated vole damage is apparent when populations are high. Vole damage includes girdling and gnawing of trees, vegetable gardens destroyed by eating of highly nutritious roots, damage to lawns by extensive tunnel and runway systems, along with tearing up mulch in flowerbeds.