Let's begin with how these two different mammals look. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. In fact, a vole might look like a mouse at first glance. They burrow into the ground, leaving behind unsightly mounds on your lawn that are horseshoe-shaped. This critter, in terms of what it looks like, can be thought of as in between a mole and a mouse, but it is much more closely related to moles (it is not a rodent). Read the instructions thoroughly before using any type of wildlife poison. Shrews eat insects, not plants, so gardeners should not view them as a pest. And why is it important to know the difference? In contrast, moles are NOT rodents. You can't see eyes and ears the way that you would on a vole or on a mouse. Some may take up to a week to affect a vole, even after it has been ingested. See our Mole page. But so is a vole. But rodents do exploit mole tunnels to get underneath your plants and gnaw at their roots, so moles can play a role in plant damage, even though they do not eat plants. Let's take the Northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) as an example. Two other mammals that beginners sometimes confuse with moles and voles are pocket gophers and shrews. Nor do they make tunnels, so your lawn is safe with shrews. And they have big feet used in digging! Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. Voles are small rodents that are relatives of lemmings and hamsters, but with a stouter body; a shorter, hairy tail; a slightly rounder head; smaller ears and eyes; and differently formed molars (high-crowned with angular cusps instead of low-crowned with rounded cusps). is that vole is any of a large number of species of small rodents of the family cricetidae or vole can be a deal in a card game that draws all the tricks while rat is (zoology) a medium-sized rodent belonging to the genus rattus . Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. The Best Ways to Rid Your Yard of Groundhogs, How to Identify a Rat Infestation in Your Home, Your Complete Summer Yard Care To-Do List, 4 Destructive Things a Rat or Mouse Will Do in Your House, The Difference Between Rats and Mice and Why It Matters, Deer Mice and Other Disease-Carrying Mice, What You Need to Know About the House Mouse. Since voles and mice are both around five to eight inches long and have gray or brown fur, it may take a closer look to tell them apart. They eat both underground plant parts (for example, roots) and above-ground plant parts (for example, leaves). But if you take a really good look at a mole's face, you will see the difference right away. So what is the difference between a mole and a vole? Voles (Myodes) are small, stocky rodents similar to field mice. Unlike water voles, brown rats are incredibly adaptable, larger and more aggressive - which can actually pose a problem for water voles and other species. Rats have surprisingly strong teeth and dexterous paws that they make full use of to burrow holes in the ground and other places. Well, here is one reason: If you realize that the mole is mainly a meat eater, whereas the vole is mainly a vegetarian, you'll know that they will not necessarily be attracted to the same baits (should you decide to try to catch one of these garden pests). Gardeners have to worry about them, too, due to their diet. But, mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. So if a pest is taking bites out of your plants, you can rule out moles. Scientific name: Arvicola terrestris. The preferred diet of the mole is a carnivorous one. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. The can easily chew through wood, plastic, aluminum and in some cases even concrete to create entry holes where none existed. They are not rodents, which, having a vegetarian diet, often attack our garden plants. But, mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. Nose: Chubby and rounded. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter. When you spend as much time underground as a mole does, it makes perfect sense to have your eyes and ears protected in this way. Size: Male water voles can be up to 20cm long (head and body); tail half the length of a rat’s. Like the vole, the pocket gopher (Thomomys) is a rodent and looks like a mouse, but with bigger teeth. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America and Australia. Voles can also accidentally damage trees and shrubs by burrowing into their root systems, causing young specimens to experience die-back or to begin to lean. Similar to trapping voles, you can use vole poison or those designed for either rats or mice. Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. It has a long snout and sharp, pointed teeth. Why is it important to know the difference between a mole and a vole? The runways they leave behind in the process make for an unsightly lawn, although voles do not leave behind big mounds of dirt the way moles do. A mole's face (in terms of what is visible to us) is just a nose and a mouth. Voles are stockier than mice with shorter tails, larger eyes, and smaller, less prominent ears. The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. A vole (Myodes) very much matches the usual image we have in our minds when we think of a mouse. The mole will eat worms, grubs, and adult insects. As nouns the difference between vole and rat. A vole may be attracted to peanut butter as bait; a mole most likely will not. To avoid attracting rats, it;s best to use bird feeders that control the amount of food that falls on the ground. The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. Another dead giveaway to identify a mole is its big forefeet (used in digging). These burrows are one of the early signs of a rat or rodent invasion in Toronto. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter. Moles are all nose and mouth. The animal does have eyes and ears, but they are buried beneath its fur, so that dirt does not get into them. Ears: Small and dark and buried in fur. Water vole spotting tips You can see its eyes and ears, but they are tiny. Fur: Water vole fur is dark chocolate brown, yellowish on flanks. There are a number of different kinds of shrews, and their appearance can be somewhat varied.