Sound devices placed near mole and vole holes can be a very effective method of getting rid of the rodents … if spaced at the right distance. Unfortunately they are also one of the most expensive ways to protect your plants from voles … unless where the area is small or only a few plants need to be protected. Unlike most other methods, sound devices are easy to set up … and they are generally friendly to animals and the environment … as well as safe to humans and pets.
How does the method of placing sound devices near vole holes work?
A device (usually in form of an earth spike) is inserted into the soil near existing mole and vole holes … or near any area that should be be protected from voles or moles. It emits a sound in periodic intervals … usually about once or twice a minute. Voles and moles dislike the sound and avoid the area.
The area protected from the voles is hence a circle around the device … the further you move away from the center … the smaller the degree of protection becomes. This method works best on heavy/wet clay or rock type of soils … as the device’s deterring sound travels further on them. On dry/sandy/loose soils the radius of protection is smaller … and hence more devices are needed.
How well does this method work?
In principle these devices can work very well against voles … if set up in the right way. However, the effective area is usually significantly smaller than indicated by the manufacturers. Often only a radius of 3-25 ft (1-5 m) around each device is reliably protected from mole and vole holes. Hence several devices need to be purchased in many cases, even for smaller areas.
We recommend to buy only a small number of devices initially to test their effective radius in your situation … so you can find out how many devices you will need.
Is this method expensive?
Yes, in most cases. Unless you are trying to protect only specific plants or small areas where you discovered mole and vole holes … this method can quickly become very expensive. (Hence we really suggest to do tests prior to purchasing a large number of devices.)
On the plus side … ongoing costs are close to zero … so this method works well for people who like to invest once … and then don’t have to do anything any more in the future.
How much effort does this method involve?
The devices are generally fast and easy to assemble and put into the ground. (This is usually easier/faster when the ground is wet … and unfortunately also when you already have a lot of mole and vole holes.) Some effort will need to go into the planning and testing.
Once set up, there is usually nothing to do for years other than exchanging the battery. (On devices with solar panels you only need to do this every 1-3 years.)
There may be an additional consideration for big lawns: Usually, sound devices are placed near mole and vole holes close to the edge, next to trees or into adjacent hedges … which prevents you from having to take them out when cutting the grass with a lawn mower. On large lawns and dry/loose type of soils this may not be sufficient though … and you may have to place sound devices in the main areas of the lawns. Although removing the devices before mowing the lawn is easy to do … it still constitutes an extra effort if you have many devices.
Environmental, animal and safety matters
This method is one of the most environmentally and animal friendly methods. Unlike many other methods … no voles, moles or other animals and plants are harmed.
The devices cannot easily be pulled out of the ground … so generally don’t form a risk to young children or pets.
If you need to place some devices into the middle of the lawn (see above), sound devices could be considered a minor trip hazard.
Summary of pro’s and con’s
- Effective short and long-term projection against rodents if done correctly
- Friendly to animals and the environment
- Low effort to implement
- Expensive in most cases
For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles”