Date of this Version
Commercial orchards, ornamental nurseries, and residential horticulture in North Carolina experience economic losses due to pine vole (Microtus pinetorum) depredation. Predator odors and the herbicide Casoron were tested as potential repellents for pine voles. To test for avoidance behavior, animals were allowed to build a nest in one of two chambers attached to each arm of a Y-maze. The cage containing the nest was treated with either a test repellent compound, methylene chloride (solvent control), or left unmanipulated (control). Animals were categorized as either maintaining or changing nest cage preference between pre-test and test periods. The number of animals that changed cage preference in the control group was compared to the treatment groups. Only the Casoron treatments were significantly different, with approximately 50% of the animals changing preference. The difference in time spent in the nest cage during the pre-test and test periods for the treatment groups were compared to control groups. The Casoron and DTT treatments resulted in significant time differences. These results indicate that Casoron has repellent potential and warrants further investigation into its effectiveness in the field. The predator odors tested showed little promise as repellents.