Monday, November 16, 2009

Driving moles out of the garden?

I have a huge population of moles in my yard. The yard is riddled with dozens of mole hills and tunnels. It makes planting flowers a total waste of time and energy. I've tried searching the net for ways of getting rid of them, but am finding mostly conflicting information (such as whether moth balls really work or not).

Are there any natural ways of driving the moles elsewhere that have worked for you, not wives' tales but actual tried-and-true solutions? I'd rather not use chemicals. Are there any particular plants that moles find unappetizing, for example?

Driving moles out of the garden?
I like the idea that the whirlygigs's thumping may be able to chase them away. I'm currently experimenting with using red hot pepper seeds around my plants %26amp; in their holes.

Many articles say using Castor oil is effective. Mix up a spray of 3 parts castor oil to 1 part dish soap; use 4 tablespoons of this concoction in a gallon of water, and soak the tunnels and the entrances.

If you have a lot of moles, you probably have an oversupply of grubs and bugs.

Elimination the mole's food source...grubs..and bugs ...should help. It would help a lot if you spread a quality grub control on your lawn. "The idea is to kill the grubs to make your yard less like a mole fast food drive through."

In the meantime, short term solutions may help. Besides Castor oil, some people pour cat litter or human hair clippings into molehills %26amp; refill them until signs of the mole have disappeared.

"In Cole's Art of Simpling we are told that if a garden is infested with moles, Garlic or leeks will make them 'leap out of the ground presently.' "

Some sites say garlic deters moles, others say garlic has mixed results. This site also states that: "Planting chocolate lilies or “skunk lilies” around your yard can help keep moles away. The bulbs and flowers of this flower have a terrible, strong odor and moles find it distasteful."

Here's a site that illustrate/explain traps, flooding, %26amp; gravel, mesh or concrete barriers:

This site, from Washington Dept. of Fish %26amp; wildlife, gives a more detailed explaination of using Castor oil, flooding, barriers, trapping %26amp; natural controls: "Grub control is part of the the solutions for long-term control. Grubs make up only a portion of the mole's diet. During dry periods, moles are known to frequent well-irrigated lawns just for moisture. Thus, moles often are present even in grub-free yards. If all the earthworms, grubs, and other soil animals in a lawn are eliminated by repeated insecticide application, moles may be forced to seek other areas. However, the use of soil insecticides is an expensive approach with no immediate reduction of damage and little likelihood of long-term control. In the process, soil insecticides may poison the groundwater, kill beneficial soil invertebrates, and damage songbirds and other desirable wildlife."

You could use beneficial nematodes. They attack many different types of white grubs and are an effective, natural, %26amp; safe biological control alternative to pesticides. Just as one must select the appropriate insecticide to control a target insect, so must one choose the appropriate nematode species or strain. Ask Your county Agricultural Extension agent for recommended matching of insect target and nematode.

This is Bob Villa's site with suggestions from members:

Good luck! Hope this is helpful.
Reply:You're welcome! I didn't have a problem with moles until recently, %26amp; I'm always checking my plants for holes around their base. I'll grab some fine stones %26amp; the dried hot pepper seeds, mix it with the soil around the plants, pat it down %26amp; then place a big stone over the newly covered hole. Report It

Reply:What happened to the habitual "%26amp;" character? It's not healthy to talk to ones self don't you know! Report It

Reply:may sound extreme...... a 12 gage will get the job done.................... OK no guns got it. Maybe you could flood their home with water from a garden hose Caddy Shack style!
Reply:Castor bean plants!

Plus the plants are quite attractive, they have huge leaves. They give your yard quite a tropical feel.

The seeds are available many place online.
Reply:Unfortunatly you must be a little cruel or plant your yard

in cement. I tried granuals, gas bombs,and things that look

like gummy worms. Every day a new hill. Golf course

super turned me on to TALPIRID. Looks like the gummy

worm I used prior, but in three days no mo moles. That

was three months ago and still no sign.
Reply:Without using chemicals I can suggest this. Ways to discourage them is by pushing rags soaked in creosote down their runs, or to bury bottles upright, as far as their necks, where moles are active. they dislike both the smell of creosote and the hum of the wind in the bottles.Alternatively you can remove their food source, earthworms, with a proprietary worm-killer. if you feel more dramatic action is necessary, use a mole trap or one of the proprietary smoke generator deterrents, Hope this helps you a little
Reply:Paul James from HGTV says:
Reply:Having 2 dogs, it is necessary for you to be safe when applying a deterrent for your mole problem. There is a product that is guaranteed called "Liquid Fence". It is an all natural ingredient and is 100% safe to pets and humans. It is very easy to use and also comes in a 1 qt. hose-end sprayer, then you can go to town on the entire lawn area with ease. The way this product works is that it "coats" the food source of the pest, which in this case is "earthworms" and "grubs", with a unpalatable natural chemical. The moles will not eat these nasty tasting worms and will move on to greener pastures and to a food source that doesn't taste so bad. (Hopefully the neighbors yard)!! I had the privilege of chatting with a company representative a few months back and he said that they have had great feedback on all their products from customers (they have a product for every type of pest you could think of). Here is a link with some info. I do believe that this product is available in alot of large garden centers, but Iam not sure which ones. Or you could buy directly from them. You may wish to call them and ask for your nearest retail distributor. Hope this answers your question. Good Luck!

**Billy Ray**
Reply:Spray castor oil on the ground. You can get by the gallon at most garden/hardware stores. Not too expensive, either.

I've tried trapping them too. That is the best solution, since they are GONE not just MOVED OUT. Just be sure to put the trap inside the tunnel and cover it with a rug or something so the dogs don't bother it. Mine never does when it's covered but otherwise, he is digging craters in the yard.


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