Do Voles Eat Marigolds? A Comprehensive Guide to Vole Diets

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Voles are small rodents that can cause significant damage to gardens and crops. They are known for their voracious appetite and will eat almost anything.

Marigolds are a popular flower that many gardeners use to deter pests, but do voles eat marigolds?

Marigolds are a popular choice for gardeners because they are easy to grow and require little maintenance.

They also repel certain pests, such as aphids and nematodes. However, there is some debate over whether or not voles are attracted to marigolds.

Some gardeners claim that voles will avoid marigolds because of their strong scent, while others believe that voles will eat anything in their path, including marigolds.

This article will examine the evidence to determine whether or not voles are a threat to marigolds.


Do Voles Eat Marigolds


Marigolds are a popular choice for gardeners due to their bright colors and ability to repel pests. However, some gardeners may wonder if voles, a type of rodent, will eat marigolds.

According to research, voles do not typically eat marigolds. Marigolds are often used as a natural repellent for voles and other rodents. This is because marigolds contain a chemical compound called thiophene, which has a strong odor that rodents find unpleasant.

While voles may not eat marigolds, they can still cause damage to the plants by tunneling and gnawing on their roots. Gardeners can use physical barriers such as wire mesh or planting bulbs in baskets to prevent vole damage.

In addition to physical barriers, gardeners can use natural repellents such as predator urine or castor oil to deter voles.

However, it’s important to note that these methods may not be effective for all voles and require repeated application.

Overall, while voles may not eat marigolds, they can still cause damage to plants. Gardeners can take preventative measures to protect their marigolds from vole damage and use natural repellents to deter them from their gardens.


Impact on Marigold’s Growth


Marigolds are a popular garden flower known for their bright colors and ability to repel pests. However, it is unclear whether voles, small rodents common in gardens, eat marigolds.

If voles eat marigolds, it could significantly impact the growth and health of these plants.

There is some evidence to suggest that voles do eat marigolds. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension found that voles will eat the roots of marigold plants.

This can cause stunted growth and even death of the plant. In addition, voles may also eat the above-ground parts of the plant, including leaves and flowers.

However, it is important to note that not all marigold varieties are equally susceptible to vole damage.

Some varieties, such as the French marigold, are more resistant to vole damage than others. In addition, there are several strategies that gardeners can use to deter voles from eating their marigolds, such as planting them in raised beds or using vole repellents.

While voles may impact marigold growth, the extent of this impact will depend on several factors, including the marigold variety and the gardening practices used.


Preventing Vole Damage

Vole-Resistant Plant Varieties


Choosing vole-resistant plant varieties is an effective way to prevent vole damage. Some plant varieties have evolved to be less attractive to voles and are, therefore, less likely to be damaged. Here are a few examples of vole-resistant plant varieties:


Plant Variety Vole Resistance
Daffodils High
Alliums High
Fritillaries High
Snowdrops Medium
Crocuses Medium
Tulips Low

Natural Predators

Encouraging natural predators of voles is another effective way to prevent vole damage. Predators such as owls, hawks, snakes, and cats can help keep vole populations in check. Here are a few ways to encourage natural vole predators:

  • Provide nesting boxes for owls and hawks
  • Create habitats for snakes and other predators
  • Allow outdoor cats to roam in the garden

Gardeners can effectively prevent vole damage by choosing vole-resistant plant varieties and encouraging natural predators without resorting to harmful pesticides.


Alternative Plants for Gardens


When it comes to planting a garden, choosing plants that are attractive and safe from pests is important.

While marigolds are popular for their bright colors and pest-repelling properties, some gardeners may be concerned about voles eating them.

Fortunately, many alternative plants can be used in place of marigolds.

One option is to choose plants known to be unappetizing to voles. These include daffodils, alliums, and hyacinths, which have a strong scent that repels rodents.

Other options include plants with bitter or toxic compounds like foxgloves and hellebores.

Another approach is to choose plants that are simply less attractive to voles. These include plants with tough, fibrous roots that are difficult for voles to chew through, such as ornamental grasses and ferns.

Plants with thorny or spiky leaves, such as barberry and holly, can also deter voles.

Finally, gardeners can use physical barriers to protect their plants from voles. This can include planting bulbs in wire cages or using raised beds with wire mesh bottoms.

Gardeners can also use repellents such as castor oil or predator urine, although these may be less effective than other methods.

Overall, many alternative plants can be used instead of marigolds in a garden. Gardeners can protect their plants and enjoy a beautiful, pest-free garden by choosing plants that are unappetizing or less attractive to voles or by using physical barriers or repellents.


What Are Voles


Voles are small rodents that are part of the Arvicolinae subfamily, which includes over 150 species.

They are commonly found in North America, Europe, and Asia, where they inhabit various ecosystems, including grasslands, forests, and wetlands. Voles are known for their burrowing habits, which can cause damage to crops and gardens.


Habitat and Lifestyle


Voles are highly adaptable and can thrive in many different environments. They prefer dense vegetation, as it provides cover from predators and a food source.

Voles are also social creatures and live in colonies, ranging in size from a few individuals to several hundred.


Dietary Preferences


Voles are primarily herbivores and feed on various plants, including grasses, roots, and bulbs. They are known to cause damage to gardens and crops, as they will eat almost any vegetation they can find.

However, voles will also eat insects and other small animals if plant matter is scarce.

In conclusion, voles are small rodents with a wide range of dietary preferences and a habitat that spans several continents.

Their burrowing habits can cause damage to crops and gardens, but they play an important role in many ecosystems as a source of food for predators.



In summary, the evidence suggests that voles do not typically eat marigolds. While there have been some reports of voles nibbling on marigold leaves, these rare instances do not indicate a significant threat to marigold plants.

Several factors contribute to voles’ avoidance of marigolds. First, marigolds have a strong scent that can deter many pests, including voles. Additionally, marigold leaves contain compounds that are unpalatable to voles, making them less likely to eat the plant.

While marigolds are generally safe from vole damage, protecting them from other pests, such as aphids and slugs, is still important. Gardeners can use natural remedies, such as companion planting and organic pest control, to keep marigolds healthy and thriving.

While voles may occasionally nibble on marigold leaves, they are not a significant threat to the plant. Gardeners can rest assured that their marigolds are safe from vole damage and can enjoy the many benefits that these beautiful flowers provide.

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