Voles are stockier than mice with shorter tails, larger eyes, and smaller, less prominent ears. You can see its eyes and ears, but they are tiny. Like the vole, the pocket gopher (Thomomys) is a rodent and looks like a mouse, but with bigger teeth. Gardeners have to worry about them, too, due to their diet. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. Rats have surprisingly strong teeth and dexterous paws that they make full use of to burrow holes in the ground and other places. Unlike water voles, brown rats are incredibly adaptable, larger and more aggressive - which can actually pose a problem for water voles and other species. And why is it important to know the difference? Fur: Water vole fur is dark chocolate brown, yellowish on flanks. Size: Male water voles can be up to 20cm long (head and body); tail half the length of a rat’s. People untrained in identifying these creatures may initially think the same thing about moles, such as the Eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus), based on body size and the color of the fur. As nouns the difference between vole and rat. Nor do they make tunnels, so your lawn is safe with shrews. See our Mole page. 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. It has a long snout and sharp, pointed teeth. Water vole spotting tips But so is a vole. You can't see eyes and ears the way that you would on a vole or on a mouse. Moles are all nose and mouth. These burrows are one of the early signs of a rat or rodent invasion in Toronto. To avoid attracting rats, it;s best to use bird feeders that control the amount of food that falls on the ground. Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. They are not rodents, which, having a vegetarian diet, often attack our garden plants. Two other mammals that beginners sometimes confuse with moles and voles are pocket gophers and shrews. Ears: Small and dark and buried in fur. Nose: Chubby and rounded. 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. A mole is a pest that uses tunnels and causes damage in your lawn. But, mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. 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). 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 . They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America and Australia. In contrast, moles are NOT rodents. 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. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. In fact, a vole might look like a mouse at first glance. Read the instructions thoroughly before using any type of wildlife poison. 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. Voles (Myodes) are small, stocky rodents similar to field mice. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter. A vole may be attracted to peanut butter as bait; a mole most likely will not. The can easily chew through wood, plastic, aluminum and in some cases even concrete to create entry holes where none existed. The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. A vole may also damage flower bulbs and potatoes in the garden. Scientific name: Arvicola terrestris. So what is the difference between a mole and a vole? Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Another dead giveaway to identify a mole is its big forefeet (used in digging). 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). Similar to trapping voles, you can use vole poison or those designed for either rats or mice. 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. But, mainly, the vole will eat the stems and blades of lawn grass. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter. Shrews eat insects, not plants, so gardeners should not view them as a pest. Voles have small rounded ears that are often hidden by their fur, small eyes, and short tails. They burrow into the ground, leaving behind unsightly mounds on your lawn that are horseshoe-shaped. Let's take the Northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) as an example. 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). A mole's face (in terms of what is visible to us) is just a nose and a mouth. The animal does have eyes and ears, but they are buried beneath its fur, so that dirt does not get into them. Let's begin with how these two different mammals look. A vole (Myodes) very much matches the usual image we have in our minds when we think of a mouse. There are a number of different kinds of shrews, and their appearance can be somewhat varied. The preferred diet of the mole is a carnivorous one. So if a pest is taking bites out of your plants, you can rule out moles. Some may take up to a week to affect a vole, even after it has been ingested. And they have big feet used in digging! 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. Thus, metal guards are sold to prevent such vole damage. 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. Why is it important to know the difference between a mole and a vole? The vole, by contrast, is a rodent. The mole will eat worms, grubs, and adult insects.