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Gray voles are rodents that look like mice. This small animal often becomes cause of great losses in farms.
Description of the gray vole and its subspecies
Adults can grow up to 20 cm in length, although average individuals reach 15 cm.
They look like mice, but they have shorter ears and tail... The color of the coat on the back is dark brown, and on the belly - ashy. Many species of voles are difficult to distinguish from each other with the naked eye.
The most common species of the common vole family are ordinary and plowed.
This kind of rodent slightly larger... It has longer tail, which can reach half the length of the body. The color is light in gray-brown shades.
Such a rodent lives in forests, forest-steppes and steppes from the Atlantic coast of Europe to Mongolia. Occasionally found on the Korean Islands.
Voles form family settlements... Such organizations consist, on average, of three females and their offspring in 3-4 generations.
The colony builds burrows with several exits and many passages, which are located close to the soil surface. A little deeper there are several repositories in which rodents keep their winter supplies.
Ordinary the vole is herbivore... In the warm season, it feeds on green shoots of cereals and legumes, as well as plants of the Asteraceae family.
It can feed on insects, their larvae, molluscs. During the cold season feeds on bark and underground parts of plants, seeds. Makes supplies for the winter... The pantry can hold up to three kilograms of food.
The activity of the common vole depends on the ambient temperature. When warm, it is active mainly at night. In the cold season, its activity is the same throughout the day, but intermittent.
The average age of the beginning of reproduction of such a rodent is 2 months... But a young female can become pregnant on the 13th day of life.
Pregnancy lasts 2 - 3.5 weeks... One offspring gives an average of five new individuals, but sometimes up to fifteen.
During the warm season, the female can give 2 - 4 broods, in some habitats 7 - 10. If the animal finds a good place for wintering, it can continue to breed in cold weather.
Mouse-like rodent with dark coat... Its other name is the dark vole. It has a wide body and a short tail.
Plowed vole can be found all over Europe and in Asia to Lake Baikal. Occurs in humid areas: river valleys, gullies, floodplain meadows.
In terms of the organization of the communities, they resemble the common vole.
Food is similar to other species of the vole family. In addition to the green parts of plants, it also eats berries and mushrooms.
Mostly night rodent... But in the daytime, it still shows moderate activity.
Female field voles very prolific... The average litter consists of six cubs... But the number of offspring can vary.
Illustrative photos of common and arable voles:
Why are they harmful to the human farmer?
In the cold season, gray voles move closer to the person... They populate stacks of straw, sheds, cellars, food warehouses. And they harm food supplies.
Some of the rodents settle in gardens and nurseries. They gnaw the bark of trees and damage the roots.
If the garden is inhabited by such animals, then by the spring many trees are sick or die. Most often they damage apple trees, less often pears and stone fruit trees.
Methods of struggle and protection
To prevent the migration of rodents, you should carefully prepare the land for winter:
- destroy weeds;
- clean bread thoroughly and thresh them;
- dig up tree-trunk strips in gardens;
- plow stubble.
They fight pests with the help of poisons, biological products or traps.
IN as poisons use zinc phosphide, glyphtor, baktorodencid.
Also attract predatorsthat destroy voles:
The gray vole is a large family of rodents. Common vole is the most dangerous pest for agriculture.
It is capable of not only destroying cereal stocks, but also contributing to the death of trees.