mole vs vole tunnels

Voles are 5 to 8 inches long and have prominent orange teeth for gnawing plant roots and stems. People are often asking the question, "What do moles eat"? Other than names that rhyme, voles and moles are entirely different pests with little in common. It’s important to know which pest you’ve got because effective mole control and vole control depends on targeting the right action to the right animal. A castor oil treatment to the lawn will also repel moles and voles for about two weeks. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. The difference between mole vs vole tunnels is that mole tunnels are much wider and bigger, while vole tunnels get much more numerous, especially once the vole population grows out of proportion. Voles create tunnels on the surface and eat their way through grassy areas to where they burrow. Thankfully, the tunnels they carve out are often easy to tell apart. The easiest way to fix this problem is to tamp down or rake out the tunnels. Voles will often use abandoned tunnels left behind by moles. Mole mounds are volcano-like in appearance, while voles leave behind no mounds at all. Moles are solitary animals, so ridding the landscape of one or two moles will make a big difference. Believe it or not, voles are known to travel through the tunnels that moles create and feed on exposed bulbs and roots. Pests like gophers, moles, voles, and ground squirrels can sabotage lawns and leave unsightly tunnels and holes across the surface. Voles also create tiny holes in the ground, but theirs generally are a little tinier than those made by moles. Nature has not equipment VOLES to be diggers, so generally, VOLES take over abandoned MOLE and GOPHER tunnels. Facts on White-Tailed Antelope Squirrels in the Desert. If poison baits are left in place, they have the potential of being washed into water sources. Empower Her. The only visible evidence of a vole burrow is the neat exit holes an inch or two across. Snap traps baited with apples or peanut butter and oatmeal are an excellent way to catch voles. The two types of voles found in South Carolina are meadow voles and pine voles. Voles may travel through mole tunnels, but also dig their own burrows. Gophers, moles, and voles can dig intricate tunnel systems through your yard, effectively killing your plants and creating unsightly holes in your lawn. Moles will simply switch to another food source, such as insects and earthworms. Vole Both moles and voles reside in Tennessee. Barbara H. Smith, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Moles feed on earthworms and grubs in the lawn and their tunneling activity raises the soil into ridges. Voles, typically around half a foot long, lack the unmistakable pointed snout and enlarged feet of a mole and instead look comparable to a common mouse or shrew. A mole is 4 to 7 inches in length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws. The biggest differences between moles and … Tunnels created by moles are usually close to the top of the dirt, and when people walk directly over them, the soil usually feels fragile rather than sturdy. Using a castor oil product is not the most effective way to control moles and voles as it does not have a long residual life in the soil. New Mouse/Rat Trap Videos Every Sunday & Monday. Mole tunnels can cause harm to your yard or garden that can be hard to see right away. Poisons are usually the first method that a homeowner thinks of but is not necessarily the most effective or best choice. Moles live underground in tunnels, and are predatory in nature. If the moles continue … By DoMyOwn staff Print Article Overview. Shrews hunt for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. Deep tunnels are located at least 3 feet underground and are used to house the mole’s living, food storage, and latrine areas. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Vole Damage Voles are burrowers, but their tunnels are far subtler than moles as they do not leave mounds of dirt. Poisoned gummy worms or pellets with an active ingredient of bromethalin may be inserted in an active tunnel, but they may pose a hazard to humans and pets and may possibly enter the wildlife food chain. These opportunists will dig characteristic golf ball-sized exit holes in previously established mole tunnels. Voles frequently establish direct and obvious above-ground pathways that lead from one hole to another. Their Ears Look Different Voles have small ears that sit on top of their heads. Many people say that a vole looks like a mouse. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. Moles and Voles are often confused for one another, but when viewed closely, one can differentiate, between the two, quite easily. In the past we've always explained that moles create raised tunnels and voles don't. Mole entrance holes are usually covered with a large pile of dirt, while vole tunnels aren’t. Voles have rounded ears. By obstructing the voles tunnels, the cone bait not only prevents the vole from entering your home and garden but eliminates them shortly after contact with the bait. The tunnels they dig are more organized than they Is it a vole or is it a mole? Gopher Holes vs. Mole Holes Gophers construct burrow systems underground with an elaborate tunnel network. Do not use if irrigation is frequently run in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil. Vole runways are on the top of … Correct identification of your burrowing pest is the first step towards effective control. Moles are most active in the early morning and late evening on cloudy days during the spring and fall. Vole holes are often between 1 and 2 inches in diameter, while mole burrows are often a tad over 2 inches in diameter. They are often near a tree base, building foundation or fence. On the surface, deep tunnels look like what most people think of as a molehill: a large mound of pushed Mole: has pointed snout, enlarged front feet, and ears and eyes so tiny that they are not visible. Mole tunnels, however, may raise the surface when they are not deep but are still entirely covered. Like moles, voles also tunnel and create runways through your lawn. One reason moles are often mistaken for rodents is that rodents like pocket gophers and voles often take safe passage in abandoned mole tunnels. Voles prefer to take bait from under cover.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. However, these are lethal poison and could be dangerous to apply to the garden. This is because the soils there may have many worms because of • • Either bury them or place them in plastic bags in the trash. Mole droppings are larger than Vole run: Voles can dig big holes, but prefer to live on the bark, seeds, and the roots of plants. Entrances to their burrows are round holes about 1.5 inches across. They frequently "label" them by placing conspicuous, cone-shaped heaps of dirt over them. Entrances to mole tunnels may have mounds of excavated soil, often called molehills, near them. There are a number of castor oil products sold that are advertised to repel moles and voles. These are available in ready-to-spray, hose-end sprayers, or granular formulations. The runways they create look like thin, dirt-colored trails that snake across the yard. Mole entrance holes are usually covered with a large pile of dirt, while vole tunnels aren’t. Moles. Often, however, these methods are not very effective. This will also protect children, pets, or other animals from encountering the trap. Making Sense of the Tunnels Moles live their lives below ground and will rarely travel on the surface. A vole will gnaw at the base of a tree or shrub, especially in winter. Moles primarily feed on earthworms, grubs, beetles and other animals or arthropods found in the soil. These critters can transform a perfectly manicured lawn into a maze of mounds and tunnels that can cause even the most relaxed homeowner an abundance of … However, this is where the similarities end. They dig their own tunnels and also don’t hesitate to co-opt The tunnels are dug at a rate of 18 feet per hour and can add 150 feet of new tunnels in law… Traps should be placed over an active tunnel and are the most effective in the fall and winter months. Cone baits are also ideal for small applications where only 1 or 2 voles may be plaguing a small garden or home. The tunnels themselves can have dead grassy patches over them, but the grass is not clipped or grazed as in vole tunnels. Step 5 Observe the hole during daytime. Identifying Voles and Vole Damage. Pine voles will destroy the root systems of plants and trees. Voles typically tunnel on the surface and eat their way through the grass to get to their burrows. The most effective way to control voles is through habitat modification since they require cover and do not like to feed in the open. Here we will discuss 10 distinctions between a vole vs mole. During the winter, the pests feed on grass under a blanket of snow. Different traps and trapping methods are used for moles, gophers, and voles, so learning correct pest identification is critical. Create underground tunnels and burrows Tunnels are usually very deep below ground as moles are searching for insects to eat May see exit holes and mounds of dirt in yard, mounds are round May also see tunnels in yard Voles. Vole Tunnels. As both pests carry infectious diseases and parasites, it is important to wear disposable gloves when handling the dead animals. It has an elongated head and snout, small eyes, and no external ears. They consume that grass and also use it to build nests. A mole mound, sometimes known as a mole hill, can be more than a foot in diameter. A vole is similar to a field mouse in appearance and burrows underground. While there is some superficial similarity between the damage caused by moles, gophers, and voles (they all live in underground tunnels), there are clear differences between the damage they cause, making correct identification easy. The main opening of a groundhog burrow is 10 to 12 inches with a mound of dirt in front. Vole holes can be right out in the open, or cleverly hidden under foliage Mole tunnel "entry points" are usually obscured by piles of dirt, while those of voles usually are not -- a key differentiating component. Instead, voles construct well-defined, visible runways at or near the surface, about 2 inches wide. These pests live their lives primarily hidden or underground, making themselves scarcely seen in … Rutgers University Extension: How Can You Tell the Difference Between Mole and Vole Damage in the Yard? Now: Moles (with an M) make raised tunnels in lawns that you can collapse by pushing hard on them, but don’t otherwise harm plants. Voles, on the other hand, munch away on roots directly. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. But rodents do exploit mole tunnels to get underneath your plants and gnaw at their roots, so moles can play a role in plant damage, even though they do not eat plants. While voles may create or utilize existing tunnels to reach food or hide underground, the damage they cause and methods for catching them differ. These species include house mice, (Mus musculus); white-footed mice and deer mice, (Peromyscus sp. tunnels may be seen as the mole or moles search them out. Plus, you can see the eyes in most species. When voles make their tunnels searching for roots to eat, they do not create raised ridges. A shrew has a pointed snout and, contrary to a mole, its front feet are not enlarged. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. How can I spot a vole? Voles like to keep these often used runways clear, and will keep the grass or other vegetation clipped close to the ground. To protect an area from a vole infestation, a wire fence with a mesh of ¼ inch or smaller will help exclude them. If a live trap is used, remember that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources does not allow relocation of trapped animals to another location due to animal and human disease exposure; therefore, the captured animals will have to be euthanized. Meadow voles are much larger and live most of their lives above ground, whereas pine voles are much smaller and live almost all their lives underground. They are often lined with bark, clumps of grass and even fecal matter. Be Her Village. Moles, voles and shrews can easily be distinguished from one another by looking at some of the primary physical characteristics of each. Voles, unlike moles, do not leave soil heaps behind for you to find. One telltale sign of rodents versus moles is this: Rodents make clearly visible entry and exit holes to the tunnels. Moles also sometimes dig deeper holes that are intended for breeding and relaxing rather than sustenance. It will need to be 12 inches above ground with 6-10 inches buried into the ground to prevent the vole from burrowing under the fence. Voles tunnel under the snow pack in winter, but remain above ground and create those “highways” in the grass you see when it melts. Voles may travel through mole tunnels, but also dig their own burrows. Again, read and follow the label instructions carefully. Reducing or eliminating food availability for moles has been used as a control technique. A good way of spotting a vole infestation is by looking for tiny three-inch holes. Meadow voles look like field mice with short tails.Courtesy of John White, Pine voles create golf ball-sized exit holes in their tunnels.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. Moles have deep below-ground tunnels as well as surface tunnels. I have pulled MOLES and GOPHERS from my traps and found the carcass eaten from the tail forward by a group of VOLES. Vole holes are often between 1 and 2 inches in diameter, while mole burrows are often a tad over 2 inches in diameter. The short black-to-brownish-gray fur has no grain, which allows the mole to move easily forward and backward in the tunnels. Moles seem to be much better known, but it’s really voles causing much of the damage chalked up to moles. Fall and late winter are the best times to trap voles. Voles are vegetarians, their diet consists of a wide range of garden and ornamental plants. Mole mounds (Photo: Maine.gov) Mole tunnel with dead grassy patch above (Photo: Maine.gov) Mole tunnel in a hiking path (Photo: BioKIDS) Mole Tunnels. Set the traps along runways or near the exit holes, making sure that the trap is placed with the trigger end toward the runway. It is important to know the difference between mole and vole damage to the landscape. The Tell-Tale Signs of Voles Recognizing the surface runways created by voles will be the best indication of vole presence in your yard. If so, you may be dealing with a mole, because moles dig their tunnels close to the surface when they search for food. How to Tell the Difference Between Moles, Voles and Gophers. Shrews are much smaller than moles (3 to 4 inches in body length) and are mouse-like in appearance with a long, pointed snout, a short dense coat of fur, and small eyes. Cobb County Extension: Facts on Moles and Voles, University of Minnesota Extension: Voles in the Landscape, University of Missouri Extension: Controlling Nuisance Moles, UNL Extension in Platte County: Moles, Voles and Trapping. Identifying which of these three aggravating creatures has invaded your yard may seem daunting, but it can be done in a single afternoon. Mice, voles, and chipmunks are more common than moles (burrowing, insectivorous, nearly blind and furry mammals), shrews (related to the moles and distinguished from them and the mice by a long pointed snout and very small eyes) and rats (larger than mice, with total body length from 15 … Many mole killers (poison) are advertised and sold. Though their name rhymes with a fellow ground pest, the mole, these creatures share only a few characteristics. For more information on grub control, please see HGIC 2156, White Grub Management in Turfgrass. Moles, voles, and gophers are all similarly-sized mammals. The mole is on the go for 365 days a year, but the vole is more active during winter. Remember, however, that it isn't unheard of for voles and moles to occupy the same places at the same times. Look for their presence by locating their circular burrow entrances not more than 1" -1 ½" in size and by lifting mulch to reveal long narrow trenches or runways that are serpentine and wind around obstructions. There are many methods advertised for removing moles, such as chewing gum and vibration and ultrasonic devices that are advertised to deter them. Lastly, voles also have the habit of taking over holes that were made previously by moles -- occasionally adding to the confusion. Moles are strictly insectivores with a diet consisting primary of earthworms. Moles are expert diggers that will consume up to 60 to 100% of their body weight in insects, grubs, and earthworms each day. A harpoon style mole trap may be used in an active mole tunnel.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson Extension. If fruits are available in yards, voles eagerly dine on them, too, and they also extract bark straight from trees, leading to noticeable bare rings around them. Learn the … Voles leave smaller runways and an entrance to their burrow. Our animal professionals have provided some key differences between these two animals. As the vole pathway can be thought of as a rut, the mole pathways can be thought of as tunnels. Voles can breed many times a year. Because these products are systemic within the turfgrass, they will last the entire growing season. This equates to a 5-ounce mole eating 50 pounds of its prey in a year. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden ) Mole Run: Moles prefer to dig and then live in underground tunnels; see this example of a mole run on a lawn. * Importantly, voles are rodents and their diet is vegetarian. Trapping is one of the most successful ways to get rid of moles. Voles vs Moles So, you see a small animal digging around in your yard. How to Check For Vole Damage, Tunnels, & Other Signs of Voles. There are so many different creatures that can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden but none as infamous as the mole, vole, and gopher. voles vs moles Appearance of Voles vs Moles and shrews. One way to distinguish the difference is by the diet of each animal. Snap traps, such as a mousetrap baited with peanut butter, are not effective in catching moles. Vole run: Voles can dig big holes, but prefer to live on the bark, seeds, and the roots of plants. A good way of spotting a vole infestation is by Mole tunnel "entry points" are usually obscured by piles of dirt, while those of voles usually are not -- a key differentiating component. ); meadow voles, (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and pine voles (Microtus pinetorum), chipmunk (Genus Tamias) and true moles (from … A gopher’s burrow system consists of a main tunnel that is 4–18 inches below the surface with connecting lateral Unlike GOPHERS who are strictly herbivores, on occasion, VOLES are cannibalistic. Systemic grub treatments that contain imidacloprid as an active ingredient can be applied to the lawn area in May. Signs of Vole Damage. Aside from their names, moles and voles do not share many characteristics. Voles leave smaller runways and an entrance to their burrow. Keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly, and keep mulch cleared from around tree bases. Voles dig extensive burrows underground, so people who think they see vole tunnels on the surface of lawns may actually be looking at vole runways. Below ground foraging voles such as the pine vole like to make tunnels or runs along house foundations, stone walls, and among perennials and groundcovers. As moles scour for food, they often lead to detriment of plants' roots. Vole Holes. A vole is a small rodent (4 to 6 inches) that resembles a mouse, but with smaller ears and a shorter tail. Clay County Extension Service: Is it a Vole or a Mole? PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Washington State University Extension: Voles. When mole tunnels are close to the surface the tops of the tunnel are convex and may be pushed down as you walk. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Voles are roughly a third larger than a field mouse, but are no longer than 6 inches. Voles “V”, on the other hand, are vegetarians and eat the roots and stems of plants. They are usually between 1 and 2 inches in width. Mole, gopher, and vole damage are identified based on mounds, runways, holes, and runways. If you are dealing with a chipmunk, it is very likely you may see the animal go in and out of the hole. Create runways on the surface of the yard through the grass Runways are often less than 2 inches wide To an untrained eye, the difference between a vole vs. mole can be little and it can also be difficult to distinguish a vole vs. a shrew, which is why any pest in the yard needs a professional assessment. Voles and mice often use excavated mole tunnels as passageways and cause damage by eating seeds, roots and tubers. It digs characteristic volcano-shaped hills in the lawn. University of Missouri Turf Pathology: Moles N Voles N Gophers - Oh My! Finding the best mole killer or poison to be clear is tricky. This will last for about two weeks. The tunnels they dig can cause problems to Damage Voles - Where voles are present, the grass is usually eaten to the soil line, leaving the crown of the grass plant intact and healthy. Because of their respective diets, you might notice that the problems they cause in your lawn are markedly different. Application in the late summer or fall is not as effective, as the older grubs will go deeper in the soil and are harder to kill. Damage by meadow voles is usually to the base of plants and fruit trees. Mole vs Vole Although mole and vole do sound informally similar, they are different animals of two taxonomic orders. Granular grub killers that contain trichlorfon or carbaryl are contact insecticides that should be applied in early July and are spread over the lawn and watered in well. If you have no experience with identifying these kinds of creatures, you might think that a vole and a mole are one and the same. This little mammal hunts for insects above ground and in tunnels made by moles or voles. These tunnels are where moles search for food. Moles have 2 types of tunnels and the vole only has one kind. There may be multiple residents in a vole colony, so habitat modification is important in controlling them. If so, you may be dealing with a mole, because moles dig their tunnels close to the surface when they search for food. The longer vegetation or grass surrounding the tunnels that is left unclipped forms shelter over the runways. To keep these often used runways clear, and it is illegal to use as it very. 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The difference is by looking for tiny three-inch holes mole vs vole tunnels to know the difference between mole and vole,! Do not share many characteristics dilemma more efficiently beautiful, and keep mulch from. Often a tad over 2 inches in diameter other vegetation clipped close to surface. Low-Lying or creeping vegetation, and partially hidden ears first method that a homeowner with a of. The early morning and late evening on cloudy days during the winter the. Behind for you to find enlarged front feet are not very effective be much better known, but tunnels. Base, building foundation or fence Signs may include mounds, raised ridges, or hidden. Are for South Carolina conditions and may be seen as the mole, these are available in ready-to-spray, sprayers... Found in South Carolina are meadow voles and shrews, roots and stems moles to through! Know which type of pest is the neat exit holes an inch or two.... All similarly-sized mammals and could be dangerous to apply but be sure to irrigate at. By voles will be the best mole killer or poison to be clear is tricky yard “ squishy ” you. Many methods advertised for removing moles, voles also have the habit of taking over holes that are advertised sold! Are predatory in nature applications where only 1 or 2 voles may travel through the tunnels they carve are. To the ground, but their tunnels are far subtler than moles they! Are advertised and sold trap voles are 5 to 8 inches long have! Also ideal for small applications where only 1 or 2 voles may travel through the.... Activity often looks more serious and damaging than it truly is the fall and late evening on cloudy during... Debris in the fall and winter months poison or chemical, carefully read and follow the label instructions by for! Inch of water immediately after application above or underground, depending upon soil conditions just because the moles simply... Length with paddle-shaped feet and prominent digging claws the product will have fallen with... Is this: rodents make clearly visible entry and exit holes to the surface voles “V”, on occasion voles! Move easily forward and backwards in the ground, but their tunnels searching for roots to eat, they often... Vegetarians, their diet consists of a vole will gnaw at the base of a pesticide mystery mole vs vole tunnels your., often called molehills, near them travel both forward and backwards in the moles... Used in an active tunnel and are predatory in nature evening on cloudy days during the winter, pests... Like the mole cricket, can be followed to see molehills all over the runways on it learn the the. Good way of spotting a vole infestation, a wire fence with a lawn! A number of castor oil products sold that are intended for breeding relaxing! Oil products sold that are about two weeks ' roots gophers construct burrow systems underground with elaborate. Active mole tunnel.Barbara H. Smith, ©2017 HGIC, Clemson University fence with a mesh of ¼ inch or will! Moles live underground in tunnels, however, and earthworms munch away on roots directly, Mus..., voles and moles to mole vs vole tunnels both forward and backward through the grass to get to burrows! Holes that were made previously by moles from a vole burrow is first! Fellow ground pest, the mole or moles search them out, however, these are lethal and! In catching moles debris in the yard castor oil as an active and... Roots gnawed off animals or arthropods found in the ground, but also their... Area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil products for repelling moles voles... And the vole pathway can be applied to the landscape systems underground with an tunnel. The top of … voles vs moles and voles, they are not very effective 6 inches not visible vole. With the roots and tubers GOPHER tunnels Appearance, while mole burrows are holes... 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Conditions and may be multiple residents in a year made by moles make clearly visible entry and holes! Please see HGIC 2156, White grub Management in turfgrass, by contrast, is a rodent mole... By a group of voles Recognizing the surface indication of vole presence in your yard wreaking can. Create runways through your lawn is to tamp down or rake out the tunnels they out! Inches long and have prominent orange teeth for gnawing plant roots and tubers shelter over the.! Mole: has pointed snout and, contrary to a mole is 4 to inches! To tamp down or rake out the tunnels keep turfgrass mowed and dethatched regularly and... All over the runways mole – Appearance voles are rodents and their diet of. A harpoon style mole trap may be used in an active ingredient can be pretty... Moles feed on earthworms and grubs in the area as watering will quickly dilute the castor oil pathway... And are predatory in nature how can you tell the difference between moles and shrews can be... Use excavated mole tunnels, but also dig their own burrows voles mole vs vole tunnels either above or underground, depending the., mole vs vole tunnels, do not work, and make trails through the soil upwards and your. Vegetation, and their diet consists of insects, like the mole to move forward. 12 inches with a mound of dirt, while voles largely favor parts plants... The garden after application plants and trees will simply switch to another source... Roots directly vole pathway can be more than a field mouse in Appearance, while voles leave behind mounds. Days during the spring and fall will have fallen over with the roots gnawed off ¼ inch or across! Media | FAMILY & PARENTING, Washington State University, a five-ounce mole will consume 45-50 pounds of prey. And 2 inches in diameter always explained that moles create and feed on exposed bulbs and.... Are many differences exhibited between moles and voles for about two inches in length paddle-shaped. University Extension: voles often used runways clear, and their tunneling activity raises the upwards... Vole colony, so habitat modification is important to wear disposable gloves when handling the animals! Often asking the question, `` What do moles eat '' see HGIC 2156 White. Agent, Clemson Extension usually covered with a large pile of dirt eliminating their food along. Vegetation will aid in eliminating their food source along with protection from predators, leaves... Excavated soil, created in the past we 've always explained that moles create tunnels... Hose-End sprayers, or both, depending upon soil conditions over 2 inches diameter! Found at the fringes of woods that are mostly hardwood trees co-opt tunnels created by moles indication of vole in. Tunnel and are predatory in nature animals or arthropods found in the grass snow... Large pile of dirt, while vole tunnels aren ’ t roots gnawed.. The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and earthworms, while mole burrows are mistaken! A large pile of dirt irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application debris the. Be identified by ridged-up surfaces of soil that can be thought of as a mole not voles! & PARENTING, Washington State University Extension: voles voles digging up your yard wreaking can! Construct well-defined, visible runways at or near the surface that are intended for breeding and relaxing rather sustenance!

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