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What can Voles teach us about oxytocin?

Every once in a while, certain parts of our brain make the news for one thing and the interpretations of them including sometimes absurd applications go wild. You may have heard of Oxytocin being a love hormone, so what can voles teach us about oxytocin?

Voles teach us about life mating

There are different kinds of voles that live around us. Many of them we will never deal with in our home yards, but prairie voles and montane voles love to take over our landscaping designs. Prairie voles happen to be the vole that is closest to mating for life. There are exceptions to the rule as with any population rule, but they are strong pair bonders. This is not only on account of the high oxytocin production in their brains, but also because of the numerous receptors for this hormone.

Mice following what voles teach us about oxytocin effects

In order to test the observations in voles, scientists engineered the brains of mice to have the same receptors as voles and found that the engineered mice spent more time grooming each other and huddling with familiar mice.

What this finding means for people

It turns out that this hormone has similar effects across species. It helps promote bonding practices further along the spectrum. This means that when we are petting our dogs or our cats, our brains are using the oxytocin hormone to increase bonding. It can increase social caring and even charitable acts in individuals who are already charitable and caring.

Does this mean we have to love voles?

Definitely not! Oxytocin isn’t a magical hormone that can turn anything into a love connection. It simply helps us connect more to the familiar and the things that benefit us, but if voles are using their pair bonding super powers to trash our landscaping, it is time to change the story. Oxytocin can help increase our bonds to our pets, but it decreases our cooperation with strangers. Voles are strangers when they cause problems for us. Fortunately, the vole stoppers at Rove Pest Control are ready to build a cooperative effort with you to push the overly-prolific voles out for good.

About Rob Greer: Pest Control Expert and Industry Leader
Rob Greer, co-founder of Rove Pest Control, has a deep connection with nature, developed during his upbringing in rural Idaho where he raised horses and cattle. He began his career in pest control in 2001 to support his university studies. After earning a BS in Business Management, Rob, along with Lenny Gray and McKay Bodily, founded Rove Pest Control.
Rob has played a pivotal role in shaping the operational framework of Rove Pest Control, with a focus on personal development for team members, public health awareness, and tailoring services to meet the needs of individuals and communities.
As an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) and Subject Matter Expert (SME), Rob has made significant contributions to the pest control industry. He has collaborated on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s UMN Extension certification manual and exam development, the National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual for the EPA, and the Quality Pro Customer Service Credential Task Force. His expertise has also been recognized in his testimony for the pest control industry before the Minnesota state legislature as a State Policy Affairs Representative. Currently, Rob serves as the President of the Minnesota Pest Management Association Board. Learn more about Rob Greer.