“(Vole)re, Oh Oh” (With Apologies To Dean Martin)

By Bob Vavek, senior agronomist, North-Central Region
March 19, 2013

Turf recovery in areas damaged by meadow voles can be accelerated by using leaf rakes to remove debris and scratch the surface.

Long periods of deep snow cover this winter provided ideal conditions and plenty of time for meadow voles, sometimes called field mice, to cause significant injury to golf course roughs, green banks and bunker banks throughout the northern tier of states in the region. These prolific breeders tunnel, feed and nest in turf just beneath the snow. No one can explain why vole populations tend to explode then crash on a two- to five-year cycle, but one can usually count on seeing some turf damage at high or low population levels when a white Christmas lingers until St. Patrick’s Day. Use a leaf rake to remove excess plant debris and scratch up the matted down runways when the snow finally melts to accelerate turf recovery.

Source:  Bob Vavrek, rvavrek@usga.org or 262.797.8743.

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