Moles in the Garden? How to get Rid of These Destructive Creatures
If moles in the garden are driving you crazy, there are a number of ways to safely remove them. Certain garden mole removal methods involve no harm to the actual animal, all the while saving the life of your precious plants.
If you’ve got moles in the garden you are not alone, this is a very common problem. The underground tunnels these vivacious creatures create help them find the way to the base of your plants. Once they get here, they can nibble on the roots or simply suck the plant right down into their underground dwelling. Not only is repetitive planting annoying and counterproductive, it can get too expensive to manage. Before tossing in your gardening gloves, here are some ways to fight back and get the moles in your garden out!
Castor Oil Granules
If you’re hesitant to get rid of moles in the garden because you’re not one for killing a living creature, rest assured that this method does not kill any mole families. Castor oil granules simply chase the rodents off to another location. While you can sprinkle the stuff all over your property, you can also pick and chose how you distribute the granules and dictate the direction the moles will move out in. Expert gardener and blog-extraordinaire, Cisco, suggests starting wherever the worst damage has occurred, and then moving out from there at a slow and steady pace; he also advises using a spreader for the task. Within a few hours you will already see the moles starting to flee. This product is routinely sold under the name ‘Mole Repellent.’
Mint Hole Blaster
Go-to Gardener, Cisco, also suggests a homemade concoction that will cost you a lot less than a bag of Mole Repellent. By simply brewing water and mint on your stovetop you can help remove moles in your garden.
- Gather a good amount of mint leaves and stems (a couple handfuls).
- Place mint plant parts and a small amount of water through the blender. Keep the consistency slightly moist.
- Transfer to a large boiling pot. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Dilute your final product and it should make around 6 gallons.
Whenever you notice mole activity, pour this mint mixture directly into the holes. The smell of mint is unbearable to moles, this homemade product is known to make them flee an area.
If trapping gophers does not bother you, set your traps where the bulk of activity is occurring. To find the exact location, go out after dark and stomp all land down flat—the next morning, you will see the exact spots where the moles are running wild. Set your traps here, keep them going all of the time and if you have a huge population problem it’s advised to use more than 1, many people set up to 3 traps routinely. Cisco offers a detailed description on how to set traps in one of his blogs.
Moles Vs. Voles
You might think you have moles, but really you could have voles! Knowing which pest you are dealing with will better help you decide which method to use for relief.
Despite what many think, moles have an appetite for blood and guts, eating a diet full of rodents, worms, and other juicy selections. Voles are the ones who directly eat your plants for food but moles still poise risk to your garden. Moles will chew on the roots of plants and run wild tunnels just beneath the roots, creating almost equally annoying destruction.
Professional gardener, Paul James says, “Frankly, I don’t mind moles that much. The tunnels they create can be a nuisance, but in the process of tunneling, they help aerate the soil.” Perhaps Paul’s positivity comes from the fact he doesn’t have much of a mole problem these days, as he uses castor oil granules to keep the population down.
Voles, on the other hand, recently caused Paul a great deal of damage—after returning home from vacation he found many of his hostas missing; racking up around $2,000 to $3,000 thousand dollars in damage.
Remove Moles for Good
There are many options when it comes to garden mole removal, no matter the severity or particular nature of your problem, there is a solution for you! Although I wouldn’t suggest shoving garlic down the holes—as popularly suggested. While this chasses the moles away in the short term, most agree they only quickly return!