Hmmm. Wrong article, but I swear I saw the one I was referring to in today's gardening section, hardcopy. (For those of you who missed it, I have lost many beloved plants, esp. roses, to voles this year, and in the past three years.)

Here is the New Weapon:

Black ratsnakes! One guy who had tried the sonic things, the traps, the chicken wire, the Permatil and the Rozol ordered a couple pair of black rat snakes and they wiped out his vole infestation!

Here is the scenario: very woodsy, mulchy yards, about half an acre, in the city of Raleigh, NC but this city is very green and lush. We have bats, owls, hawks, and some stray cats, but not many of the latter due to a leash law and lots of animal lovers. (In other words, we keep them inside and safe.) We have lots of little brown snakes in the yards, and tons of bugs.

If you all think this might work, how might I get some of these snakes? I love reptiles and have kept snakes and lizards and frogs and salamanders and toads as pets. You herp folks, how old should the snakes be before I let them live in the yard? Do I need to get wild ones, or could those born in captivity adapt? TIA!

P.S.--Just thought of a drawback. If these snakes get big, can they eat things like chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels? The voles are the only thing I want to lose.
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Hello

For what it's worth, I'm in Alabama, and have had great success in controlling moles with gray rat snakes. I assume that "moles" are a hillbilly relative of "voles"?!

I've captured a few gray rats crossing the road,or nesting in someones carport, so getting them for me isn't a problem. I have instucted my neighbors of my method, and fortunately; they've all been receptive. I tell them if one of the snakes winds up where they don't want him, simply call me; and I'll retrieve him. I occasionally find one that's failed to cross the road safely, but other than that; no problems. As far the recommended size, usually two to three feet is what I've found to work best. And yes, they may deplete the intended food sounce, and grow to the point of seeking bigger food items. Then, they can be relocated to an area further away from your yard.

Hope this helps.

Stay safe, KBC

"It's so long, to so many souls so far behind me, Fair weather friends that I no longer know: I've still got some same-ol' sad songs to remind me, Of someone I used to be, so long ago"

WGJ
Hmmm, well I'm not exactly sure if moles are even rodents. They're burrowing animals and are insectivores, their favourite food is earthworms
Quite honestly, I'd rather have a completely barren yard then have any kind of snake in my yard. They just give me the creeps.
Grainne explained it well. Voles do often move into old mole tunnels. Moles apparently do not tunnel in the same place twice, so they can.
I don't think I would be brave enough to catch a wild snake, but what is your method of capturing them, just for the information?

I have instucted my
So you are in the city too? Or a suburb? I know I don't want a really hands on experience with a wild snake big enough to eat a vole. I guess my question was, 1. do they eat voles and 2. could it harm a black rat snake to release he and a female in my yard, and if not at what size should I do it?

I occasionally find one that's
Oo, see, if I started seeing dead snakes I would never forgive myself. I started out a few years ago using Rozol (only poison pellets approved here in NC for outdoor rodents) and took out two squirrels, and that was the end of that. I wouldn't even kill the voles if they let me grow roses without totally killing them. It gets frustrating.

As
Hmm. Another problem. I love the chipmunk families, and they are not very large creatures.

Then, they can be
Thank you, KBC, for the information. I restored the crosspost to rec.gardens.roses because this is information pertinent to that group. We have never discussed using snakes as vole or mole controllers before, so it is good to have the information.
I understand that. I don't mind them a bit. I grew up running into black snakes on my grandfather's farm in Virginia. They can be scary.
Voles are essentially tailless mice. They are not related to moles.
J. Del Col ( who is always glad to see snakes in the garden, except for copperheads and timber rattlers.)
[nq:2]Hello For what it's worth, I'm in Alabama, and have ... I assume that "moles" are a hillbilly relative of "voles"?!
Voles are essentially tailless mice. They are not related to moles. J. Del Col ( who is always glad to see snakes in the garden, except for copperheads and timber rattlers.)

Voles are not generally tailless mice.
There are many species of voles around the world.
They are sometimes referred to as field mice,
but should not be confused with dearmice.

To Email me remove All doubt.
[nq:1]Quite honestly, I'd rather have a completely barren yard then have any kind of snake in my yard. They just give me the creeps.
They are not too fond of you either.

To Email me remove All doubt.
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