Ridding Your Property of Moles

Ridding Your Property of Moles
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Emily asked last year about moles, and I shared my answer, plus the tips readers sent in. I also added a few new things I have found out!
Do you have any idea how to help get rid of moles in your yard? They seem to tear my grass up and eat my bulbs so most of my bulb flower are gone shortly after planting ~Emily

Usually moles don't eat bulbs, but they may be rooting for insects --it might be the squirrels or chipmunks munching the bulbs. One thing you can do is mulch your bulbs with clippings from a rose bush, or other thorny plants. You can also use chicken wire or old screens. The plants look more natural, but either will work. You can also buy little "cages" for bulbs if you aren't planting too many. You can also try planting the bulbs that were eaten along with daffodils and alliums, which animals generally don't like.

While moles will sometimes eat bulbs and the roots of plants, they mainly dig their burrows under lawns to eat the grubs of cutworms and larger beetles. So, in some ways the moles are doing a good thing eating the grubs, which are destructive and will leave you with dead patches in your lawn. Determine how bad the damage is, and put up with it if it's not too bad. The chemical treatments for grubs are generally very toxic-- so it may be worse than the moles in many ways.

If you want to attempt to deter the moles try planting castor bean plants-or using castor oil. Plant the caster bean plant where they are the worst, BUT it is very poisonous so you have to be careful where you plant it and be aware of how accessible it is to kids. OR you can buy caster oil and spray it around the border of your lawn in a 2-3 inch strip. However, it would have to be reapplied after rains, so there would be limitations.


For the mole situation, how about planting a stick of Juicy Fruit gum in the wrapper with each bulb? That isn't very costly and will end the mole problem as well... ~Lois

Regarding the reader question about moles eating her bulbs: Here in Virginia we have a real problem with voles and moles. The voles, a relative of the mouse family, use the same tunnels the moles burrow. Where moles hunt for bugs and grubs, voles eat plants...flower bulbs, roots etc. Last year voles ate the roots off one of my roses. They also devoured almost all my tulip bulbs. They're not as fond of daffodils, I still have a few of them. I have tried everything and still have a problem. Jerry Baker has a temporary fix, but it has to be repeated occasionally. Mix Texas Peet, chili powder and dish soap with a quart of water. Pour into mole holes. I don't remember the amounts for the ingredients, so experiment. He also recommends putting sticks of Juicy Fruit gum in their holes, foil and all. It did seem to help. ~Media

I don't know if this will help get rid of moles but it worked on our gophers. Drop regular ole Bazooka Bubble Gum into their holes. They eat the gum and are unable to digest it, killing them. Our yard is gopher free! ~Debi


Lauren sent me an alternative to the chewing gum method, which many do not prefer because the animal dies a slow death:

Gardener's Supply Company carries Mole and Gopher Repellent that uses a castor oil-based repellent tested in a Michigan State University study with much success. The area treated is protected for at least 30 days and as long as 75 days depending on soil and rainfall. ~Lauren

To help keep moles away put whirly gigs anywhere in your garden. The twirling vibrates the ground and the moles hate it. When I lived in Ohio I bought a couple at a Big Lots or Dollar store and it worked great. Depending on your garden theme you can usually find something that will fit in without looking tacky. I used the ones that looked like sunflowers and the petals were the part that whirled you can also find them in birds, stars etc. It doesn't harm the animals and is a natural alternative to keeping the pest away. ~Karen C.

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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