The Higginsons

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Attack of the Voledemort

Attack of the Vole-demort!

(Voldemort from the Harry Potter Movies)

No, this is not the Voldemort I'm talking about.  I will explain.  Today I went outside to get a 
box of tomatoes so I could start on a batch of salsa.  As I picked the box up, I noticed something dark and furry move very quickly out of the box.  At first I thought it was a mouse, but then I remembered we'd had problems with Voles last winter and spring.  They had left a maze of tunnels throughout our entire back yard, which happens to be kind of big.  

(Typical Vole tunnels found after the winter snows melt)

These kind of tunnels were EVERYWHERE in our yard this last spring.  It was so frustrating because we had tried so hard to get our lawn free of grubs.  Then the Vole disaster struck.  

(Vole tunnels with the dead grass removed)

Again, this is what our back yard looked like after the snows had melted this last spring.  Little did we know that a very tiny creature was ruining our beautiful yard all winter long underneath the thick blanket of snow!  I've twisted my ankles several times stepping in these darn tunnels.  They really are a pain to deal with!

(A view of a typical Vole)

ANYWAY.....This cute, adorable, tiny little Vole jumped from the tomato box right into our house because the back screen door was open, and I was trying to bring the tomatoes in!  As soon as he hit the floor I thought, "Oh Great!  I'm never going to catch this thing!"  But catching him proved to be quite simple.  I guess Voles are blind or mostly blind.  I just waited for him to run into a corner, and then I tried to grab him.  He escaped twice, but on the third try I was able to get him and keep him in my hand.  I thought everything was fine until I felt a sharp pain in my thumb.  I looked down to see my thumb in the Vole's mouth.

(A closeup of a Vole's set of teeth)

I checked to see if he had drawn blood, but I didn't see any.  I actually tried to pry him off my thumb, but he just dangled there, jaw firmly locked and teeth in my skin.  He finally let go, and I tried to find a little cage to put him in.  As I went to put him into an old pet rat cage we had, I noticed blood dripping down my hand.  Then I realized that he had really given me a serious bite!  That little sucker bit hard and deep!  The above picture shows why he was able to do the damage he did!  I guess Voles have teeth very much like beavers do!

(What the Vole looked like after it bit me!)

After being bitten and having my thumb bleed like mad, I decided that this Vole was more of a little monster than a cute, furry little animal.  I think he may have the same genetic makeup as Gremlins do.  

(What a Vole skull looks like.  Look at those TEETH!)

So to make a long story short, I went to the doctor and took my little Vole-demort with me.  The doctor said voles don't carry rabies, so all I needed was a Tetanus shot.  He also recommended antibiotics.  Needless to say, I've learned my lesson when it comes to picking up cute, furry little animals.  They are not what they seem!  

(A typical Vole)

I don't believe in just killing animals, even if they are ruining my back yard.  After the doctor's visit, I drove to a more remote part of town where there was a giant abandoned lot full of tall grasses and weeds.  I let the little guy go, and I hope he doesn't return!  And I just have to say thanks to my sister Lindsey for being so sympathetic about this whole thing.  When I told her I'd been bitten after picking up the Vole she said, "Well, DUH!!!"  I Love You Lindsey!!!  You are the best!!!

Love, Lisa