When you spend your valuable time caring for your yard and garden, the last thing you want is a pesky pest ruining all your hard work. Unfortunately, moles have dedicated their lives to doing just that.
Raised tunnels and mounds of soil on your lawn or garden is a sign that you have a mole problem on your hands. Luckily for you, this article will share tips on how to keep moles at bay.
There are several things you can do to get rid of moles. The oldest trick in the book is trapping the animal. But you can also poison it, create a physical barrier, look for a predator, or use a repellant.
There are also some bizarre methods as well, including annoying them away with high-frequency sound waves or foul scent. However, you have to make sure you are dealing with a mole before trying any of these methods since other pests such as voles can cause damage to your lawn as well.
How to Identify and Get Rid of Moles
Although moles live underground, some of the soil they excavate is pushed to the surface forming volcano-shaped mounds. Their diet includes worms, grubs, and other insects. They will not feed on your plants. If by chance you see the mole, it will be six to eight inches long with black or brown fur. They have an elongated pink nose, outward-facing front teeth, and large front claws that they use to dig around your garden for food.
The mole will not harm your plants or flowers, but the mounds of soil they leave behind can be a nuisance. So let’s examine methods of eliminating these pests in detail.
1. Erect a Barrier
A standard fence around your yard or garden is not enough to keep away moles since they dig deep into the ground. The barrier should be at least 30 inches deep and six inches above the ground to be effective. Start by digging a trench then fill it with gravel. You can also use wire mesh or wire cages. This method can be labor intensive, especially if you have a large yard or garden. Insert MoleGo Granules for extra incentive for the moles and other yard diggers to stay away.
2. Use Baits and Poison (Risky)
Several products act as both bait and poison on the market. These are usually infused with bromethalin, which is toxic to moles and are shaped like earthworms or grubs to trick the pest into eating them.
But this may not be the best option for you if you have a cat or dog around the house as most of these products are also toxic to pets and other animals. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the bait because some poisons can also endanger the lives of human beings and may harm the environment. Also, note that it is illegal to poison moles in some states, so do your research before trying this method.
Personally, I would always recommend all humane options before trying this method.
3. Look for a Predator
Another effective method to get rid of moles is letting a predator do all the dirty work for you. Owls and hawks are a great choice here. Consider installing an owl nesting box within your yard, preferably during late winter or early spring, when the birds are looking for a nest.
If luck is on your side, you will be pleasantly surprised by an owl. These animals do not make nests of their own and are happy to move into habitable structures. If there’s enough food around, these animals will bring up families and hunt in your garden for a long time.
Cats and dogs also like to dig up moles and willy typically quickly take care of the problem. This will probably depend a lot on the breed or temperament of the animal.
4. Apply Castor Oil
Castor oil is a natural mole repellent. Applying it on the soil will release an odor that moles find irritating. The oil will upset the mole’s digestive system but won’t kill the animal. Other repellents in liquid or granular form are available on the market. But ensure you pick one that is safe to use around your children or pets if you have any.
Recommended: Organic USDA Organic Castor Oil
5. Plant Deterrent Plants
If you have a problem with repellents that may be harmful, go for protective plants instead. Such plants include marigolds, garlic, alliums, fritillaries, shallots, and daffodils. Plant these around your garden or yard to deter the moles.
6. Install a Sonic Repellent
You can annoy the mole away by installing an ultrasonic device that emits high-frequency sound waves and pushes them down into the soil. The frequency will not annoy you since it is undetectable to humans. However, sufficient scientific evidence proves that such devices may not be very effective because the moles may get used to the sound and carry one with digging as usual.
However, if you would like to try, these Molemax Sonic Spikes are rated highly with reviews saying they seem to work well.
7. Flood the Tunnels
You should only try this method if you’re ready to come into contact with the mole. You may also need to find one more person to help you. Once you find help, follow these five steps:• Ensure you are wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves.
• Find the end of one of the tunnels and make an opening.
• Insert a hose inside the tunnel and start filling it will water
• Check for any movements along the tunnel
• If you see any activity along the tunnel, use your gloved hands to snatch the mole.
Good luck! 🙂
8. Cut Back on the Water
Don’t overwater your lawn. Moist soil will act as a breeding ground for grubs and worms that will attract the moles. Proper drainage is key. Ensure you eliminate any water that may have collected around your garden or yard during the rainy season. Apart from attracting grubs and worms, a moist ground makes it easy for the mole to dig around.
9. Use Traps
If all else fails, trapping is an effective option. Some traps like the harpoon trap and scissor trap kill the mole instantly, but it is still possible to trap the mole alive. Live mole traps are cylindrical with a one-way door on either side. To set up the trap effectively, follow these five simple steps.
Recommended: Easy set Mole Trap (Humane, No Poison)
• Identify the active run. Use a shovel or your foot to flatten the mounds and check back after a few hours. If the soil has been pushed back again, you have found an active run.
• Dig a hole deep enough to fit your preferred trap
• Place worms or grubs inside the trap and lay it at the bottom of the tunnel
• Cover the hole with a piece of wood or metal
• Check often to see whether the mole has been caught
Before using a quick-kill trap, ensure it is legal to do so in your state to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law. The humane traps seem to work just as well, so I would suggest giving it a try first. Dump the mold in a field far away and move on.
Will Getting Rid of the Grubs Work?
Can you get rid of the moles by eliminating their source of food? Since moles eat grubs and worms, spraying your yard regularly with insecticides to kill the insects seems like a good idea. However, this method is not effective for keeping the moles away. If you already have a mole problem, getting rid of the grubs will only make the mole dig deeper in search of food. The use of insecticide is also an expensive undertaking. Again, you are likely going to kill useful organisms in the ecosystem.
Are Moles Different from Voles?
It is important to learn the difference between moles and voles since they don’t cause the same damage. While the evidence for moles is raised mounds of soil in the garden, voles leave well-worn traveling paths above the ground. They will also nibble on tree barks and eat roots, tubers, and bulbs. While moles live alone, voles live in a colony. One mole is easier to control compared to a colony of voles.
A single mole is enough to decimate your beautiful yard or garden. Luckily, there is more than one effective way to get rid of the problem, and most of the solutions are safe and natural. If you have to use any poisonous products, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep them away from pets or children.
Also, before buying any commercial product that claims to exterminate moles, always be cautious and do your research first. The methods listed above are DIY and are quite easy to follow, but you can also consider hiring an exterminator if the problem is too much for you to handle.