Date of this Version
The development of control methods for pine and meadow voles in orchard habitats has met with limited success. Though numerous physical, mechanical, and chemical methods have been recommended for limiting vole populations, few have effectively reduced and maintained vole populations at minimal densities for extended periods of time. Though the use of chemicals has been the most effective control method developed it has not resulted in the extinction of pest populations. The initial application of rodenticides frequently causes a significant reduction in pest species, but due to their high intrinsic rate of increase, vole densities quickly rise. Because of high costs many orchard owners can not apply rodenticides frequently enough to continually suppress vole populations. What is needed for effective rodent control therefore, is a means of maintaining low vole populations after an initial rodenticide application. A potential means of achieving such control is through the use of natural predators.