Habitats of harmful rodents confined mainly to floodplains, lakeshores, ponds, drainage ditches, irrigation canals. By the fall water vole may settle far from their typical habitats and appear in gardens, orchards, nurseries, approach to housing rights.
Conventional home water vole — hole, rather branched, with earthen emissions to the surface. In the low marshy ground in the bush it suits wetland plants nest having a spherical shape, making nests in high hummocks, in the cavities of stumps. Water vole — mostly herbivorous mammal, although, like muskrat, can eat freshwater mussels and fish, mainly small and snuluyu. Her diet is also a number of insects.
When the meadows and along the water a lot of green vegetation, rodent fed basal parts of sedge, cattail, reeds, leaves and stems of other wetland plants. At this time, rat paves the mass of vector trails in dense thickets. With the demise of terrestrial vegetative parts of plants, it goes to the eating of their roots and tubers.
In the late summer and autumn of rats begin to visit the fields and orchards, and to settle them eat a large number of crops — potatoes, beets, carrots, cereals, etc. They provide food supplies for the winter, and in some homes found a few dozen pounds of potatoes, a lot of tubers of wild plants.
The damage caused by a water vole, especially high in the years of mass breeding, when hordes of dispersing rodents can severely damage or even destroy agricultural crops in large areas.
The role of the water vole in forestry is determined primarily by its gnawing ability. She peels the bark from young trees and "ringed" them, eats small branches and stems, eats roots. Rodents, who settled in nursery or young cultures can destroy seedlings and saplings on hundreds of square meters. The danger is often seen in the winter and it is only after a long delay: animals are selected to trees nival authentic passages and gnaw them, not being present on the surface. For example, in the forestry Yartsevo in the late 50's due to water damage to forest crops rat killed 37% of maple trees yasenelist-tion at the age of 11 years, 26% of two-year and 55% of one-year seedlings of balsam poplar (Dinesman, 1961).
Indirect damage is that the water vole is a carrier and distributor of infectious diseases — tularemia and Omsk hemorrhagic fever. These infections can occur in some of the useful for the forest of valuable fur-bearing animals, they are dangerous to humans.
Water vole for several years played a significant role in the blanks fur country in recent years, its billet fell quite low.
Water rat — one of the few mammals that merit assessment "clearly harmful", it should be systematically exterminated everywhere. However, it must be remembered that the rats eat useful furry animals — weasel, ermine, Hori, Solongo, etc. They can be killed by eating the carcass of a poisoned rat. Therefore, in the rodent control should be given to methods not involving the use of dangerous pesticides — Hunting furrows and a bucket kapkanchikam, bacterial drugs.