Pest Guides

Water Voles

Arvicola terrestris


Water Vole

  • Water Voles are 12–22cm in length, with a tail a little shorter than half the length of the body.
  • The weight of a water vole varies from 60–180g.
  • DThe water vole is distinguishable from the house mouse and the rat by its compact, plump body shape and its relatively large, wide head and short tail.


  • A water vole has 3–8 young per litter and 3–6 litters per year, compared to the field vole that gives birth to 10–15 litters per year.
  • The gestation period (all species) is about 3 weeks.
  • Water voles reach sexual maturity in 8 weeks from birth.


  • Water voles inhabit cool, damp ground, ditches, edges of streams, embankments, extensively used meadows, grassy areas with young trees; gardens, orchards and vineyards.
  • Water voles eat roots and causes damage by burrowing.
  • These types of rodents are good swimmers and divers and are active both day and night.
  • Water voles do not hibernate during winter.