Date of this Version
Bait stations made with polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe were compared with hand-broadcast applications of rodenticides for achieving long-term control of pine and meadow vole populations (Microtus pinetorum and M. pennsylvanicus, respectively) in two apple orchards in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. The stations were constructed of three pieces of 1.5-in diameter PVC tubing joined together in the shape of an inverted "T". Roofing shingles were placed over the entrances to some of the bait stations to encourage use by voles, while others were left uncovered. All stations were tied to trees, with no attempt to place them near runways or burrow entrances. Both pine and meadow voles consumed bait from the stations, regardless of whether the entrances were covered with roofing shingles. However, plugging of entrances with dirt was prevalent during winter in stations with roofing shingles. Vole activity and capture success were consistently lower on the plots with the two types of bait stations than on either the control or broadcast baiting plots 13, 26, 39, and 52 wk post-treatment, although the differences were not statistically different (p>0.05). The best control was achieved during the winter and early spring. Although spoilage of bait due to high humidity may limit its effectiveness in Eastern New York during the late spring and summer, the inverted "T" bait station provides a practical means of controlling voles in apple orchards during winter and early spring.