Yeah they are pretty destructive to trees. They tend to eat the soft tips of new roots which eventually stunts, kills or causes the trees to topple.

If you can find someone with the work dogs for it they are the best way to deal with them in my experience.

I haven't seen any signs of them near the orchard yet, mostly just around the garden boxes. I currently have an abundance of raptors in the area, so I'm going to just set a couple spring traps near where they seem active and see if the hawks can keep this under control. I don't know anyone with dogs that are trained for this, but I do know a few ways to lure in feral cats.

Yeah they are hard on all vegetation. My experience with them just mainly involves trees. I am unsure how well the raptors or cats will deal with them because they spend most of their time below ground.

Some people use small metal weather vanes to create vibrations in the ground to drive both voles and moles away but I have heard conflicting information on how effective that is.

Penn State's website had some good looking info that covers my area, and I'm pretty sure these were from meadow voles, which apparently stay close enough to the top that birds and other predators will get them, and they can be caught with regular mouse traps. Pretty sure I saw one in the house this winter, and mistook it for a gerbil. I also had a lot of garter snakes in the area, which is probably why I never had moles or voles before. Letting the chickens run free for the last 4 years really decimated my snake population... another reason why I've been waiting to replace the chickens.

Enough trees have been coming down around here that it's going to change my local ecosystem a bit, so for now I'm just going to keep a close eye on things and see if they manage to balance out. I don't mind a reasonable amount of loss to pests, as long it keeps the overall system healthy. Ground diggers like this may actually be able to save me a lot of labor when it comes to turning this clay into soil!

Neat! The voles I have dealt with always burrow deep enough that the dogs have to dig them up.

LOL! Chickens are hard on everything!

I don't mind a reasonable amount of loss to pests, as long it keeps the overall system healthy.