Voles are larger than the house mouse with adults measuring up to five inches in head and body length. The tail, however, is shorter in relation to the body — a vole’s tail ranges from one and three-fourth to two and three-fourth inches in length.
Blackish-brown to grayish-brown depending on the species.
Voles are also known as meadow mice and may be called orchard mice or field mice. Because they are poor climbers, voles are almost always associated with the lower levels of buildings. Outdoors, voles establish a well-defined system of runways that usually tunnel beneath vegetation. Sometimes the runways will be in the ground just below the surface. Voles also are known to girdle the trunks of fruit trees which often results in the death of the tree.
Widely spread across the country, voles primarily live outdoors, preferring dense grassy areas such as meadows or fields. For that reason, homes and buildings these rodents might infest tend to be near such fields. They may also be found invading stables and barns.
Voles may invade homes, but unlike the house mouse, they do not establish breeding populations indoors. The best ways to avoid invasions of mice is to (1) provide as little harborage as possible that might attract rodents, and (2) seal as many holes and cracks in the outside of the home through which mice might enter. The following recommendations should be followed to help prevent rodents from seeking the shelter provided by your home: