Vole: Small Rodents Profile and Information

Related Articles

Chances are that you have seen a Vole before, but you had no idea that was one. These critters are tiny rodents that are cousins of hamsters and lemmings, but with a body that is stouter; a shorter, hairy tail; smaller ears and eyes; a slightly rounder head; and differently formed molars.

- Advertisement -

These rodents are sometimes referred to as field mice or meadow mice in Australia and North America.

  • Family: Cricetidae
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Kingdom: Animalia


  • Common vole: 11 cm,
  • Meadow vole: 12 cm,
  • Prairie vole:12 cm,


  • Common vole: 27 g
  • Meadow vole: 43 g,
  • Field vole: 25 g,
  • Prairie vole: 42 g

Gestation period:

  • Common vole: 21 days,
  • Meadow vole: 21 days,
  • Field vole: 21 days,

About the Vole


For a little rodent that is quite common and capable of doing much damage to lawns, trees, and gardens, it is shocking that the name vole is much unknown by people all over the world.

People have even gone as far as laying the blame for the destructive activities of voles on moles, which do not even have the time to eat your plants the way voles do! So you may want to ask just what exactly is this sneaky little rodent that manages to get do so much and escape the blame?

Read further as we explore this furry little critter known as the vole. There is no denying that when you see the picture of voles, they immediately look familiar.

Close relatives to hamsters, with which they have been found to share some standard features, voles have remained a largely wild species that you would not keep an eye out for when you Walt into a pet stores like their hamster cousins.


When they become loose in your yard, be sure to have the do damage to lawns, trees, and plants.

Do Voles go by any other name?

Often mistaken for a rat or mouse, it is no surprise that the vole is mostly called a “meadow mouse” or a “field mouse.”

In fact, although they are related to mice, they have ears that are smaller, shorter legs and tails, a blunt nose, and bodies that are stocky.

Their exact shape and size will vary greatly depending on which of the 100+ species of voles you are dealing with, as also depend on the habitat in which they were found.

There are meadow voles, prairie voles, water voles, mountain voles, tundra voles, mountain voles, and types that are specific only to some states.

Physical Details

Although the types of voles vary in color and length, the average vole is approximately four to eight inches in length and features lush grey or brown fur.

Weighing in at just a few ounces, it is its lightweight body that allows it to race fast for its tiny size, reaching an hourly speed of 6 miles. To match the needs of its high metabolism, a vole consumes as much as its own weight in food every day.

Lifespan and Reproduction

When in the wild, the life expectancy of a vole is typically below half a year; however, it is conceivable that voles may live for almost (36 months) three years in captivity.

Theirs reproduce life is also quite interesting as they are able to begin reproduction at about three to four weeks of age; female voles can also birth a litter on a monthly basis.

They have a 21-day pregnancy duration that results in 3 to 6 babies. The Baby voles have it rough, though, as it is estimated that only 10% of them typically survive beyond their first week.


Diet Overview

Voles, also popularly called meadow mice, are herbivores critters that feed on grasses, roots, tree bark, vegetable crops, and tubers.

These rodents generally like to live in an area that is moist with plenty of groundcover and grass where they can go about scavenging for food without being spotted by any predator.

This is what leads them to take up residence in orchards and cultivated fields, where their voracious feeding habits wreak havoc on plants. During times when there is a scarcity of plant food, voles feed on small insects or the leftovers of dead animals.

Are voles bad?

Voles may be mischievous, but they are not considered to be physically harmful to people; however, they are dangerous in the sense that these rodents can spread disease through their feces and urine and even introduce parasites onto your farm or property.

They have also be found to cause significant damages to fruit trees, lawns, landscaping, and even grain crops.

What’s the difference between voles and mice?

It is difficult to tell them differently for obvious reasons. Since mice and voles are both about five to eight inches long and both have brown or gray fur, it may require you to take a closer look at both of them to tell them apart.

Voles are visibly stockier than mice and feature shorter tails, bigger eyes, and ears that are smaller, less prominent.

Little Time, So Much Damage

When these critters are not utilizing burrows already made by moles, you will find them digging their own holes and stretch a series of runways across farms or lawn.

If you have plants and vegetables, get ready to lose them are they are its main course. Remember that these rodents have to eat so much every day! – and your trees may just have to suffer from encircling or girdling.

When we talk about encircling, we refer to what happens when the bark of a tree is stripped all the way badly around, making a large ring of exposed wood that may cause the death of the tree.


But all is well now! Repellents are very much available in stores, and they have been found to be effective at keeping voles and other rodents off your farm and property these repellents and usually not so costly, and they come in granular and spray forms.

Also, key to protecting your lawn from voles is keeping a tidy, as eliminating all areas of cover will offer an uncomfortable environment for such pests, which will do all they can to avoid being exposed to you and other predators.

Have You Seen a Vole?

If you ever had a vole encounter either in your yard or somewhere else? We are interested in your story and comments. Please be in touch by leaving a comment below, and we will surely reply.

Also read...



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds in the World in 2020

When it comes to intelligence, dogs are easily on the list of very smart animals. There are lots of Super smart dogs, but some...

Can Dogs Eat Banana Peels? Are Banana Peels Toxic to Dogs?

I feel the question really shouldn't be 'Can dog eat banana peels?' but 'Should a dog be fed with banana peels?' Can Dogs Eat Banana...

Top 10 Intelligent Talking Parrots in the World

How would you react if you heard something give answer to something you said, but it wasn’t a person? Wouldn’t you be shocked if...

10 Types of Cockatoos That Make the Best Pets in 2020

Cockatoos are semi-big and beautiful birds with one of the most interesting things about them is that there are different cockatoo types — the ones in...

Are Cedar Chips and Pine Wood Shavings Safe for Your Pet?

Every pet owner wants the best for their animal friend, and that is one reason why people with exotic animals as pets choose to...

10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World in 2020

Curious about the fastest dog breeds in the world? Let's talk about it. There are many fast animals in the world – from wild...

How to Soften Dry Dog Food? Best Techniques to Soften Dog Food

Buying dog food isn’t usually the problem, however, your effort might just go to waste if you purchase dry dog food and your dog...

10+ Different Types of Parrots

When a person hears the term parrot they often think of a large and colorful bird that is able to talk. It turns out...

16 Best Exotic Pets for Apartment Living

Because many exotic pets a quite compact and really don't require outside space, they can be a great choice for apartment leaving. Nevertheless, you...

8 Common Pigeon Diseases

I doubt strongly that there is anywhere in the world where bird lovers don't admire pigeons. People even go as far as keeping these...