Voles vs. Mice | Spot the Difference

voles vs. mice

Voles vs. Mice | Spot the Difference

Knowing the type of rodent you are dealing with is the first step to safe eradication. Voles and mice have an almost similar appearance, but a closer look at their features will reveal a difference in their look.

They also have different behavior and habitat preferences making them differ in their adaptation to different environments. While the mouse is an indoor rodent, the vole prefers the outdoors for exploration. Mice also stick to a warm and food stocked building while voles can survive outdoors in the cold winters and warm summers.


There are five different species of voles in Utah. Most of them measure between 5-8 inches long. They have a stout body with short tails that have more fur. The eyes of voles are also larger, and they have more prominent and rounded ears.

Mice, on the other hand, are less heavy than voles. They appear in five different species around Utah, namely; deer mice, field mice, white-footed mice, cactus, and Eurasian harvest mice. Mice have a long tail which is about the same length as their body. They also have grayish brown fur with an underside of gray.


It’s common to spot both voles and mice in the house. However, voles are usually one-time visitors that do not dwell indoors for long. Voles live at the ground level in yards where they can feed on roots and plants. They are dominant both in the cold and warm seasons, and their runway trails are visible after the melting of snow.

Mice like the indoors and will visit buildings in search of food and shelter. They stay in hidden in homes or other buildings, often in areas that are close to the wall. You will mostly spot them in kitchens, basements, and dark corners where mice nests and predatory activities are safe.


Voles prefer open areas that are ideal for digging burrows. They are herbivorous and will mostly feed on roots, bulbs, and the bark of trees. They often chew on tree trunks that are covered with mulch or snow at the bottom. The chewing can sometimes be damaging, leading to the death of a tree due to the irregular transfer of nutrients.

Mice live in secluded areas that are close to a food source. They have a habit of biting through stored foods, and it is common to observe chewed food particles in their paths. They always leave their droppings around food sources, which is the first sign of an infestation. For nesting, you will observe soft house items stashed correctly in a dark area. Some mice share nests, and it is possible to have 2-3 families living together.

Voles and mice have adverse effects around human habitation. Voles destroy the lawn and will feed on plants in your yard or garden. Mice are a health hazard because they carry diseases. Their contact with your food supply means possible contamination and spread of diseases. To effectively get rid of voles and mice in your surroundings, contact Bamboo Pest Control.




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