How To Get Rid of Moles In The Garden
One thing that people often take for granted is how hard you have to work on your garden. To flourish, a well-maintained lawn requires a decent understanding of landscaping and dedicated trimming.
While people might think they’re cute, moles can actually do a significant amount of damage to your garden. Whether through their molehills or their constant burrowing, they‘ll do a number on your garden. However, that doesn’t mean you completely lose hope. There are several different ways you deal with a mole infestation.
From effective mole traps to completely eliminating their food source, here’s everything you need to know about dealing with a mole problem.
What Are Moles?
For those that are unfamiliar, moles are ground-dwelling carnivores or insectivores. These guys generally tend to stay away from your garden plants and flowers.
But, they‘re still a significant danger to your garden. They‘re typically found where soil contains high quantities of organic matter.
If you have a very large mole infestation, it might also indicate other issues. It might mean that your soil contains a large amount of grub. These moles definitely enjoy eating other ground-dwellers like earthworms.
What do moles look like?
Moles are generally between four to seven inches long. They feature paddle-shaped feet and have long claws. They’ll use these long claws for digging.
They have an elongated head and snout with small eyes. One of their most unique features is that they have no external ears. After digging through the ground with their claws, they can move easily thanks to the fur that features no grain.
They’re fairly strange-looking creatures, so you’ll immediately recognize them.
Why are moles a pest?
While they do get rid of other common pests, that doesn’t mean they will do your gardens any favours. Moles can dig up to a speed of four meters per hour.
That can often lead to them creating a complex tunnelling system. The problem with moles is that they enjoy staying in dark environments. As a result, they end up disturbing the surface, which completely ruins the mounds of soil around the garden.
What are the symptoms of a mole infestation?
Due to the fact that moles rarely come from out of the ground, most people won’t ever spot them. Yet it’s pretty easy to identify whether you have a mole infestation or not.
One of the most clear-cut signs of a mole problem is the molehills they’ll leave in your garden. These are fairly easy to identify.
Aside from that, they’re burrowing activities underground may leave some of your plants or flower beds displaced. They may not seem as dangerous as some other pests, but they’ll cause you a few headaches.
That’s why learning to spot the signs of a mole infestation early is crucial in effectively dealing with your problem. When their population reaches high levels, it can lead to different issues.
Why are moles attracted to gardens?
While moles are a reasonably common pest, not many people know why they choose to infest gardens. Understanding what attracts these voles to your garden is a good way of dealing with the infestation.
Here are a few reasons why moles find their way to your garden!
One of the main reasons why moles are attracted to gardens is because they’re full of critters. In addition, moles are insectivores, and fertile soil tends to be a great breeding ground for all sorts of food.
Alternatively, gardens tend to be a decent shelter for moles. There aren’t usually tons of animals to worry about. Most domesticated dogs aren’t bred to hunt out moles and will often just be surprised by them. It serves as an effective shelter for them.
Lastly, moles look for cool environments, and the grass on top helps make the underground much cooler. The periodic watering also helps keep the temperature down and makes the environment perfect for critters. Moles can often eat almost half their body weight when it comes to insects!
How to get rid of a mole infestation?
There are many ways that you can effectively get rid of moles. We’ll break down every known and effective method, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Acute sense of smell
Moles don’t see very well and use their incredibly acute sense of smell to navigate and find prey. While this may help them find their prey, it leaves them vulnerable to an effective counter mole tactic.
You can get rid of them by putting something that smells bad in their tunnel systems. There are plenty of substances that you can use to deter moles. Some of the most popular choices are coffee grounds or cayenne peppers mixed with castor oil.
One of the disadvantages of using this method is that you’ll have to cover many of their tunnels to effectively deter them. It can be quite laborious.
Additionally, moles are often smarter than people give them credit for! They’re always capable of digging more tunnels if the food source is too attractive.
Eliminate the food sources
One of the main reasons why moles are attracted to your garden in the first place is because of grub. Worms and insects are present in any fertile soil, so naturally, moles will come hunting.
There are quite a few products available in the market that will effectively help eliminate moles. However, some solutions like insecticide will provide immediate results. While more natural remedies might take slightly longer.
Once again, relying solely on this method can often provide mixed results. The moles can often find other insect species to hunt underground. It can be difficult to completely remove moles using this method alone.
Strong Smelling Plants
Due to their super-strong sense of smell, moles also struggle with flowers with a strong scent. Therefore, flowers like daffodils, marigolds, and others belonging to the allium family will effectively deter moles from entering.
If you need an immediate solution, you can purchase these flowers from your local garden store. It’ll save you the trouble of growing them while combatting the moles at the same time.
Dig A Boundary
Moles treat your garden as a hunting ground, and their main burrow will be far away. You can protect your garden by digging an artificial boundary.
You’ll need to dig a trench around your property that’s two feet deep and six inches wide. After digging, you’ll have to fill up the trench with a protective barrier.
There are plenty of objects that you can use to fill up the trench. Something like rocks or a wire mesh will work as a very efficient deterrent.
While it might be time-consuming, it’s an effective long-term solution to the mole problem.
Making your garden a disruptive place to live is also an effective pest control method. Rather than searching for mole tunnels and mixing castor oil, you can purchase a sonic spike.
A sonic spike will effectively transmit electronic pulses. These pulses will be at a frequency that irritates the moles. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to hear them.
However, it might not be effective enough to function as the sole deterrent.
Keep a well-maintained lawn
Moles are attracted to cool, protective spaces. If there’s a lot of coverage in your garden, then it’s highly likely that moles will find their way inside.
To prevent that from happening, keeping a well-maintained lawn is a good idea. Ensure that the grass is cut short, and don’t use any thick layers of mulch. It’s also a good idea to remove any sort of wood stacks that you might have or piles of organic debris.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how much you water the garden. If you add too much water, it becomes a breeding ground for the grub that moles love.
A well-maintained lawn can definitely prevent future mole infestations. However, they won’t be able to effectively get rid of a severe mole infestation.
Staying on how much you should water your lawn, manufacturing an artificial drought is an effective mole repellent.
It’s a good idea to keep your lawn on the dry side. That way, you’ll effectively limit earthworm activity and discourage moles from entering your garden.
Once again, if you have an existing mole infestation, you’re better off looking for another solution.
Conventional Mole Control Methods
If you want a sure-fire way of getting rid of the moles in your garden, then there are a few conventional methods available. You can order a pest control service for these methods, or you could do the work yourself.
It’s a good idea to use these techniques when you start seeing initial signs of moles in your vegetable garden. That way, you won’t have to end up trapping or killing a significant amount of moles.
While it’s always better to use more humane methods of controlling mole activity, sometimes the home remedies won’t work effectively.
Mole netting aside, plenty of different kill traps are available in the market. Once you place these traps in their tunnel systems, you’ll eradicate the mole population effectively.
To get the best results, you need to identify the most active mole runways and target them. You’ll have to remove the dead moles from the traps, though, so it’s best to prepare yourself.
If you don’t feel like you have enough experience, the best idea is to go for a pest control service. The professionals may be a bit more expensive, but they’ll provide you with the best possible results.
If you don’t want to deal with removing dead moles, then there’s another option available. You can bait the moles with poison baits. These are designed to look like earthworms and other insects that moles would enjoy.
Place these bait into active mole tunnels, and they’ll die from the poison in around 12-24 hours. You won’t have to worry about disposing of their dead bodies either.
However, using this method does present a risk if you have other animals. An animal that consumes a poisoned mole might also pass away of secondary poisoning.
To avoid any unfortunate incidents, it’s best to hire a professional to deal with these sorts of situations.
More often than not, some of the home remedies that we mentioned should be more than enough to help deal with your mole problem.
A mole infestation is definitely not going to be the end of the world for your garden. There are plenty of solutions available, from home remedies to pest control services, and you can deal with the problem quite easily.
Once you manage to rid yourself of the mole infestation, it might be a good time to check out some new garden sets! These will help you get the most out of your lawn and help you enjoy the summers.