Appearance Voles are ground-dwelling rodents that are commonly referred to as meadow mice, ground moles, or field mice. These pests are small, with an adult vole typically reaching about five to seven inches in length. The stocky animals are chestnut brown mixed with black and have extremely short tails, small black eyes, and rounded, blunt snouts. Voles also have small, rounded ears covered in fur. Voles in the Yard Voles favor nesting in grassy areas and fields, but will occasionally invade residential lawns. When these rodents come into backyards, their presence is easily detected by the runways that they leave behind. However, people often confuse voles for other rodents. They are most commonly mistaken for mice, but can be identified by their stockier bodies and shorter tails. Voles also look like moles, but the latter have enlarged forefeet with claws and no external ears. Shrews resemble voles as well, but these pests are much smaller and have long, pointed snouts. Vole Damage & Problems Since voles are known to burrow, creating extensive tunnels visible on the ground's surface, they are unwelcome backyard guests. These pests dig up gardens and, at times, gnaw on tree bark and other plants around the home. Also, voles can be infected with plague bacteria, as they are a host for fleas. The disease affects both humans and pets, making the presence of voles even more undesirable. Though there are some prevention methods, such as installing wires around vegetation and greenery, homeowners are encouraged to contact the specialists at Critter Control to identify and remove all voles before disease and damage run rampant.