Method 3: Vole poison – How to get rid of voles in 2-3 weeks


mole and vole poisonMole and vole poison is usually an effective way to get rid of the rodents in a short period. Cost and effort are relatively low compared to other methods. Long-term protection usually requires repeated application of the poison. Using mole and vole poison is controversial from an environmental and animal friendliness point of view and special attention needs to be given to the safety of kids and pets.


How does the mole and vole poison method work?

Mole and vole poison usually comes in the form of granules or pellets that are spread across the area(s) where the rodents are present.

The animals then die a few hours after ingesting the mole and vole poison.


How well does this method work?

Short-term: Mole and vole poison is usually very effective and can resolve your rodent problem in a week or two. However, for this method to work, you will need to follow carefully the guidelines outlined on this webpage and strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Long-term: This is difficult to predict:

  • In some situations, you could be rodent-free for several years.
  • In others, the animals may come back from surrounding areas within a few weeks.

If your current vole problem is relatively new and you didn’t have many issues in the years before, chances are high that you will have some peace for a while after applying the mole and vole poison.

On the other hand, if you’ve had constant problems with the little animals for years you will likely have to reapply mole and vole poison on an ongoing basis. (In this case, we suggest you first look at our page that reviews methods with good long-term effectiveness: “Getting rid of moles and voles for good: 6 long-term methods“.)


Is this method expensive?

This depends of course on the size of the infested area. Whilst mole and vole poison isn’t cheap … in most cases you should be able to get rid of the rodents for less than $50 (€40, £30).

If the animals return and you need to apply the mole and vole poison on an ongoing basis … then costs can quickly increase.


How much effort does this method involve?

Although the required effort is not huge compared to some other mole and vole control methods, you will need to find the right spots to place the mole and vole poison and refresh it regularly for a few weeks.

If you have kids or pets, safety considerations to prevent them to get access to the poison can be an additional inconvenience.

As for the costs … if you need to use the poison on an ongoing basis … the amount of effort will add up over time.


Environmental, animal and safety matters

Using mole and vole poison is one of the most controversial methods to control their populations. Not only does it get rid of the rodents by killing them … but also is there a risk for other mammals to die from eating the bait. This risk is extended to pets and even humans, especially children. Therefore, safety should be a major concern when using this method.


Summary of pro’s and con’s


  • Fast short term elimination of moles, voles and pocket gophers
  • Low-to-medium effort and cost


  • Often needs ongoing reapplication of mole and vole poison for long-term protection
  • Kills the rodents and possibly other (non-target) animals
  • Potential Risk to kids and pets



For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles



7 responses to “Method 3: Vole poison – How to get rid of voles in 2-3 weeks

  1. American Flatus works well too.

  2. After trying everything indicated I have developed the foolproof cheap method: Get gas lawnmower, gas powered electricity generator or some other internal combustion motor. I have used a small gas powered electricity generator but a lawnmower will work too as they use similar engines. Perhaps a car exhaust will work too but the long exhaust pipes of cars plus muffler plus catalytic converter drop the pressure of the car exhaust and it may not push the gases into the ground holes as well as the lawnmower, gas powered generator, chainsaw, etc.

    Get a metal pipe and fit it to the the exhaust of the lawnmower or whatever. It can go insider or outside the exhaust pipe as long as fit is fairly good to keep the gases flowing into the hole in the ground.

    The pipe I use is copper, any metal will do. Plastic can work too but it has to plastic that does not melt easily as the exhaust gases come out hot.

    Normally you will have to bend the pipe down so it goes into the hole. The holes come out at an angle, not straight up, this makes it easier to slide the end of the pipe into the hole. The pipe I use is 3/4 inch copper pipe.

    Slide the pipe in 3-4 inches then put earth around and on top to prevent the gases from coming back out. You want the gas to flow into the underground network of tunnels.

    Be careful when you start the machine that does not collapse the hole. Most machines with the pull cord start shake a bit as you pull the cord.

    If you have more earth mounds around the lawn step on them to ensure the exhaust fumes, mostly “Al Gore gas” (CO2), do not easily come out, otherwise the fumes many never reach the far holes.

    Now let the gases flow in for 30 minutes or so to ensure they reach all tunnels to the end. It takes a while for the fumes to “soak” the ground because the ground is a bit porous and the fumes flow loses strength as it advances.

    Start the engine, make sure the pipe does not come off the exhaust and do something else for 30 minutes or so. I suppose the type of soil makes a difference. The more loose-porous the soil the longer the more time you may need. I have not done it but I suspect giving the soil a good watering before injecting the fumes will help keep the gases flowing through the tunnels because the moisture in the surrounding soil will act as a sealer to help keep the gases in the tunnels.

    It is the second time in so many years ands works like a charm. The little “terrorist” tunnel makers do not suffer as the fumes first effect is sleep.

    This year I had about 15 mounds spread over an area of 45 x 25 ft. I put the fumes in 5 days ago and not a single new mound. I suspect the hole terrorist cell has perished has perished and gone to heaven to meet the virgins, as it happened las year because no new mounds appeared.

    Voilá, de voles and the moles are gone.

    Note: make sure no small kids around. Exhaust parts get hot and lawnmower blades turn when the engine runs.

    By the way, the method does not damage the soil as the gases dissipate into the air (yes it is CO2, greenhouse gas but remember your beautiful tomatoes, etc., now will grow and absorb CO2, so no guilt).

    Good luck.

    • Martin R Collins

      Dear Victor, thanks for describing your experiences of vole poison here in so much detail. We have a dedicated article for this method – see “Method 17: Killing moles and voles using the fumigation method”
      The main gas that kills in carbon monoxide. This method can work fast and is cheap and easy to do depending on the size of the vole/mole problem. However, it doesn’t last ongoing, as the rodents tend to come back … which was also the case for you a few years ago.

  3. Our voles took over a corner of front yard, about 30 feet x 30 feet with 4 holes showing now.
    I read most of your suggestions, am thinking most practical for us– poison or fumigation or garlic plants (but garlic plants in a yard may not work??). So, what poison is BEST? Where do we get it?

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