Control of Mediterranean pine vole populations in the south of France
The control of the Mediterranean pine vole through manual bait placement is too fastidious. It prevents the realization of collective control on large areas. In this situation, mechanization is necessary. A burrow builder, made of a tubular ploughshare, has been devised in order to make artificial runs in the soil where baits may be deposited. This plough was successfully tested in fall 1989 in apple orchards with a wheat-based bait treated with chlorophacinone, chosen for its good resistance to moisture. The treatment efficiency varied between 86.7% and 96.4% with 25 and 50 artificial runs per hectare, respectively. A humid but well-dried-out (i.e., moist but not wet) soil is the necessary condition for successful treatments so that the runs may not collapse. New tests with other types of baits in other crops overrun by the Mediterranean vole are necessary to confirm these results.