Grubs and Yard Voles

Grubs and lawn voles are just two annoying insects that could lead to varying degrees of harm to your plants, lawn and garden. In addition to plant damage, voles can take lice, ticks and fleas and infest your yard using these parasitic arthropods. Fortunately, many control options are available that dispose of nuisances and stop them from returning.


Grub is a general term referring to the larval stage of various insects such as beetles. Depending on the species, grubs reside in the ground or above ground. As an example, the grubs living in the soil might be the larvae of masked chafers or might beetles while above-ground grubs could be leaf-eating caterpillars or borer larvae. Soil grubs have a tendency to feed on the roots of plants and turfgrass and above-ground grubs consume leaves, buds and wood pulp.

Controlling Grubs

Options available for controlling grubs include pesticides, predatory insects and manual management. Pesticides with diazinon, imidacloprid or sevin because of their active ingredient control grubs in yards while the bacterium insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis eliminates the grubs of various insects above ground. Soil aerating sandals can help control grubs under ground by impaling the larvae using the spikes on the base of the sandal. Predatory insects are another option for controlling grubs both above and under ground. The Heterorhabditis and Steinernema species of beneficial nematodes feed on the grubs infesting lawns while woodpeckers absorb the grubs of wood borer insects.


Voles are occasionally confused with house mice. But voles have smaller ears, a curved head, curved snout and a tail shorter than house mice. Voles have a dark brown coat using grayish colored fur on their belly. They feed on various species of plants, munching on leafy vegetation, fruits, roots and stems. A tell-tale sign that voles reside in your lawn or garden is brownish feces that look like rice and grass clumps surrounded by grass clippings.

Controlling Voles

Common mousetraps can help control voles both inside and outside your house. Bait the trap by placing peanut butter under the pressure activate to avoid the vole from invading the lure without setting the trap off. You must put the baited trap in a right angle in the vole’s tunnel or runway. This control method requires consistently examining the traps once per day and removing any dead voles or re-baiting as required. To keep voles away, practice appropriate cultural control by removing high grass and weeds near your lawn where rodents can conceal and generate a habitat. Several commercial products designed to repel rodents such as voles are available at department stores and garden centres. These products contain thiram has the active ingredient and each manufacturer has its own instructions you have to follow for optimal results.

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