Do You Know The Difference Between These Two Minnesota Rodents?
Have you ever been sitting on your couch, watching TV, just to look over your shoulder to find a little critter sitting on the couch next to you, watching TV? This literally happened to me once, and totally freaked me out. I honestly assumed it was a mouse, but knowing that there are many rodents that look similar; trying to identify what type of critter was in my living room was a question.
Have you ever seen something in your yard that 'sort of' looks like a mouse with a short tail? Then you've probably seen a Vole. Voles typically have no reason to come into your home, unless it was by accident. Let's take a look at the differences between the Vole and Mouse.
According to Minnesota Fish & Wildlife, voles are typically a little bit stockier than a mouse. The Meadow Vole is the most common vole in Minnesota, but we actually have 8 different varieties here. Voles have shorter tails, beady eyes, and tiny ears and feet. They love to be outside as their diet consists of vegetation. In the winter, they spend their lives on the ground and find shelter in layers of vegetation that are covered by snow. When it warms up, you'll know if voles are living nearby or in your yard, as they tend to make tunnels along the surface of the ground. You might not like their trails, but they are very important to our ecosystem as their trails help spread nutrients throughout the soil that help plants and vegetation grow. Unfortunately for them, they are also a tasty meal for many outdoor predators.
MOUSE IN THE HOUSE?
Mice, on the other hand, are known for damaging property. If you find a critter in your house, in most cases it will be a mouse over a vole, unless the vole just wandered in by accident. Mice have really long tails and hind legs(which I've never noticed), perky bigger ears, and typically eat insects, seeds, and fruit. Mice can be very destructive so if you spot one, you may have a mouse problem. I have to say, I encourage a catch-and-release program, but if you have to get rid of them, try to do it as humanely as possible. Avoid glue traps, and stick with the old trusty snap traps. At least they have a vision of cheese or peanut butter before they meet their maker.