Moles are not only unsightly, but they can cause some serious damage to the aesthetics of your garden.
On the positive side, moles aerate the soil and eat up destructive insects. But if you need to rid your garden of moles before they do extensive damage, here’s what you’ll need to know.
Trying natural remedies can be difficult and time-consuming so in this article, we will discuss all your options and provide an effective solution to rid your garden of moles permanently ish.
In a rush then use our table of contents below to jump to the section of most interest.
Table of Contents
What are moles?
Moles are small, furry carnivorous mammals with long claws that live in the ground. They come out of their underground tunnels and eat earthworms, eat insects or your precious garden plants at night time.
Moles need to eat around half their body weight every day, so if they are limited for food they’ll be digging more surface holes to maximize their chances of trapping prey.
The body of a mole typically measures up to six inches, with a one-inch tail. They have short cylindrical bodies, soft black-grey fur that hides their small eyes, broad shoulders, spade-like feet and pink hairless snouts.
Not to be confused with Voles
Voles mouse-like critters with fur like a mouse but the body of a small rodent. Voles usually average 5-8 inches in length and are known for their teeth that resemble orange peels. These opportunists will often go through previously established mole tunnels making it easy to spot an access point from the ground level – they’ll leave diamonds shaped entrance holes 2-3 inches in diameter.
One easy way to distinguish the difference is by the diet of each animal. Moles “M” are meat-eaters and their diet consists of insect, grubs, and earthworms. Voles “V”, on the other hand, are vegetarians who eat leaves shoots or roots of plants.
Are Moles A Pest?
Moles are not generally a pest like other garden pests such as slugs, moths or snails.
But because they dig large tunnels and often create molehills in your flower beds, lawns or borders; it’s easy to see why you might want to get rid of them before they do more damage.
Not only can that spoil the look of your garden but it will also affect its ability to grow healthy plants. Moles eat invertebrates from the soil and leave behind fertile soil when finished with their diet which is great for flowers and vegetables!
How to know if you have a mole infestation
Moles can be a pest because they make large tunnels in your garden and create molehills, which leaves soil exposed to the elements.
When you suspect moles are in your garden take note of any holes or tunnelling activities. Moles will often leave behind (molehills) dirt piles on top of their burrows that look like small hills.
If the ground is raised up with furrow marks around it then this could also indicate there’s been some digging going on from below!
How to get rid of moles
Some would say that moles are harmless and you should let them be. If you are like me and take pride in getting your lawn in perfect condition with lovely stripes the last thing you want is to see raised ridges of unsightly soil. Below we will look at some options from humane deterrents to mole traps that will kill moles. I have tried them all and we give you my opinion at the end.
Use a mole repellent
Granular mole repellents are a food-based scent that the moles find offensive. These products are most effective when they’re placed near the molehills.
Granular products can be applied by hand or with a drop spreader to the soil surface. Made from castor oil and other ingredients, granular mole deterrents, such as Defenders, provide a way to keep the critters away through scent and taste cues.
When used according to package instructions it doesn’t kill or poison the moles but rather forces them out of their territory. The downside of this type of mole repellant is its limited duration and if it rains, the smell can be washed away.
Liquid Mole Repellents – The other method to trap moles on offer is liquid repellent which use plant-based scents that are more long-lasting than their counterparts available for purchase as a powder or pellet.
Control moles with repellents like Liquid Fence that can be applied easily simply attach it to your hose and spray the area. Liquid versions may also have some insecticide properties too so look for one with both! As these do not rely on rain washing away any surface evidence there will be no need for continual reapplication.
The key thing to look out for when buying pellets liquids is whether they are suitable for use around pets or children so be sure you purchase the right ones!
Ultrasonic mole spikes
If you have tried the repellents and spikes without success then there is another option that may deter moles from your garden – ultrasonic mole repellers or sonic mole deterrents such as Jokrester Mole Repellent that use sound to repel them! As with other techniques, it will take time before we see any results so be patient.
We are now getting to the serious solutions which involve killing moles. If I am honest I do not like this option and I will tell you why.
These baits are inserted into active mole tunnels or other locations where the animal is likely to be found. Moles feed on these baits and will die within two days. You can purchase baits like Tomorat to do the job.
CAUTION, this method of trapping moles is not without its dangers. Ensure you wear gloves when applying and BEWARE many can be harmful to your pets and the reason why I never use them!
This is a final solution to get rid of moles but the one I would recommend and have had the most success with.
Mole traps are a humane way to get rid of moles and you want the job done right. The best mole trap will have either a round metal bar at one end (the trigger) or a small plastic box on top with two holes in it.
Placed into the soil level with mole tunnels a powerful spring closes the trap on the mole when it dislodges the loose plate.
Conclusion paragraph: I hope you find this article helpful when deciding how to get rid of moles in your garden. There are many different options available, so it’s a good idea to test one or two out before committing. Which method do you think will work best for your yard? Let us know what worked for you and we can share the information with other readers who might be struggling with mole management!