pasture holes and small black scat #112673 - Ask Extension


pasture holes and small black scat #112673

Asked January 22, 2013, 12:59 PM EST

Hi there. We have 4 acres on an untreed knoll in Oregon City, OR, where we will build our home this spring. We've noticed small 1-2" holes all over...but not near the mole or gopher-typical mounds of fresh dirt. The scat that the rodent in question leaves behind is numerous (up to 80 pellets or so) just outside each hole and black in color. The size is approximately that of long grain rice....what might the rodent be? Thanks for your help!!

Clackamas County Oregon

Expert Response

Hi there, and thank you for your question.
From your description, my first best guess is that you are seeing signs of voles. We have several species here, but all make numerous small holes and tunnels below ground, while also clipping the grass and creating "runs" or paths between the various holes on the surface. The scat is also suggestive of voles. I could be more confident if you had a picture of the holes and the scat (with something such as a quarter or an object to give size scale).
I hope that is helpful, and like I mentioned, if you want to send along a picture or two, we could get more definite in knowing what creatures you have there!
Best regards,
Dana Sanchez Replied January 23, 2013, 5:02 PM EST

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