Quiet, lush green gardens with pretty flowers, potted plants, and trees are delightful and give the much-needed rejuvenation everyone needs. However, as much appealing as it is to have a garden, the amount of effort it takes to maintain it tremendously. In particular, dealing with pests that infest your garden can be a huge pain.
Have you spotted a series of rounded, raised ridges of around 3 to 5 inches accompanied by little mounds of soil in your garden? This could mean that moles have infested your garden.
Moles are infamous for their underground tunnels. These ground-dwelling creatures can cause quite a havoc in a short span of time. You need to get rid of them before they can cause excessive damage to your garden.
This may seem like a huge pest problem, which is difficult to get rid of. There are, however, several ways and methods to both prevent and get rid of moles in the garden. Read on to find out.
What Do Moles Look Like?
Moles are often confused with voles. So firstly, make sure that the pests you are dealing with are indeed moles.
Moles are little furry creatures with short, cylindrical bodies. A mole measures up to 6 inches in length with soft black – grey fur that conceals its small eyes and ear canals. A distinguishing characteristic of a mole is its pink hairless, pointed snout and spade-like feet with slender claws.
Voles, on the other hand, look like mice with identifiable eyes and ears and a small nose rather than a snout. Moles are solitary creatures, unlike voles, which live in groups.
Do Moles Eat Your Precious Garden Plants?
No, moles are carnivorous creatures. They are not going to eat your garden plants. They prefer worms, grubs, and larvae. They also eat a variety of bugs, including crickets and ants.
Moles need to eat as much as half of their body weight per day in order to survive. If food is limited, they end up digging more surface holes to better trap insects.
Are moles Destructive?
Moles are infamous for their underground tunnels. These messy tunnels can ruin your garden in a short span of time. They can dig about 4 meters long tunnels an hour! This creates a complex underground tunnelling system, which greatly disrupts the surface soil. The mounds of soil they leave behind wreaks havoc across the garden.
As they dig through the earth, roots get damaged. These tunnels make protrusions or ridges, which can cause inconvenience for plants to grow. The tunnels could also become an easy pathway for other rodents to invade your garden and feed on your plants.
With that being said, moles are also known to help aerate the soil. This makes the soil and the garden plants healthy.
Where Do Moles Live?
Moles live underground. They prefer moist, sandy soils and love hilly, wooden sites.
Moles are solitary creatures. They tend to live alone, except during the breeding season, which is in early spring. The long tunnels in your garden are more often home to only one mole.
What Makes A Mole to Infest Your Garden?
It is important to know what attracts moles to your garden in the first place. Their primary motivation is food. So, the reason could be that your garden offers abundant insects and worms for their meal.
It is best to invest in products that can keep such insect growth in check. If you successfully cut off the moles’ food supply, they will eventually turn elsewhere.
Moles also enjoy wide spaces for the ease of digging through the soil. If your garden is large and unobstructed, there are high chances of a mole infestation.
When Do Moles Appear the Most?
Moles are most active during early mornings or late evenings. Spring and fall seasons witness more mole infestations. Moles also tend to come to the surface after a warm rain.
Although moles live underground all year long, they are most active during the warm, wet months.
How Do You know If You Have A Mole Infestation?
It is unlikely that you will spot a mole because they prefer to stay underground. However, the following signs are certain indicators of their presence:
- Fresh volcano-shaped mounds of soil
- Round, raised ridges around an opening in the soil surface.
- Disturbed plant roots and grass
- Uneven ground or surface area
How to Keep Moles Away?
While it may be tempting to believe that moles would go away if you destroy their little hills, it does not have any effect. They will easily make more tunnels without getting deterred in the least.
It may seem tricky to find the method which effectively keeps moles away from your beloved garden. Do not worry, we have got you covered.
The comprehensive list below covers different methods as well as some top recommended mole repellent product suggestions:
Products to Fix A Mole Infestation
Thankfully there are many products available in the market and online, which help in getting rid of moles.
The following methods can be tried both to prevent and get rid of moles from your garden:
Defender’s Mole Scatter Granules comes with natural plant oil extracts combined with biodegradable granules. These granules make the environment undesirable for the moles with their combination of unpleasant scent and taste cues. You can easily distribute these granules over the molehills by hand or a shaker cap.
This product is also considered a humane way to get rid of moles as it does not kill them. Rather, they are forced to leave the area. Additionally, it will not harm your plants and is suitable to use around kids and pets.
This liquid repellent is based on natural extracts and essences. It is easier to spread Pestnet liquid-repellent in comparison to granular products. First, flush the earth mounds created by the moles.
The next day, pour this liquid repellent into the tunnel without covering it. You need to use a hose-end sprayer to spray it on the infected area. Make sure to spray it into each entrance of the mounds created by the mole. Moreover, this product is resistant to rain and water.
Pestnet liquid mole repellent helps evict moles from the treated areas. It also prevents their subsequent relocation. It is recommended to use this product every week until the moles completely disappear. In the case of high infestation, spray it every day.
If repellents seem too time-consuming, you may opt for mole traps. Swissinno SuperCat mole trap is described to be effective in trapping moles without much investment of your energy. It can easily be installed into one of the mole tunnels. This trap is known to effectively catch moles as soon as they pass by it. It could trap them in both directions in the tunnel. Once it has made the catch, the trap gives out a visible signal above the ground.
Swissinno SuperCat mole trap is quick, simple, and effective. Since it requires no bait, poison, or chemicals, you will find it easier to maintain it. All you have to do is check whether the mole is caught and if it is, then remove it. Reset the trap again, and you are good to go.
Gardigo Mole Repeller sends out sound waves in the surrounding ground area. These vibrations are highly irritable to moles. It incites them to move out of your garden to a quieter place. The frequency of these vibrations ranges between 400 and 1000 Hz and occurs every 40 seconds.
All you need to do is install the ground spike into the ground up to a maximum of 25 centimetres. Ensure that the end of the tube is approximately 2 centimetres above the surface. The battery replacement cylinder makes it easy to change batteries without removing the device from the ground.
Install two ground spikes every 100 feet in your garden and chase the moles away. However, there is much debate about whether these devices work effectively.
Other Methods to Deter Moles from Entering Your Garden
Plant Daffodils, Marigolds, and Alliums
Moles dislike daffodils, marigolds, and alliums. You can grow these flowering plants at the border of your garden. They act as natural mole repellents. These plants are also a much safer choice, especially for children and pets.
Additionally, these plants make your garden more pretty. It is undeniably a win-win.
Your furry friend can come to your rescue once again! Let your pets into your garden more often. While your dog barks away happily and your cat adoringly saunters around, moles would prefer residing elsewhere.
Use Castor Oil
Castor oil is considered an effective natural mole repellent. Moles dislike its taste or smell. Additionally, it contaminates the ground for insects. You can make your DIY spray with three parts of castor oil, one part dish soap, and three parts water. Spray it over tunnels and molehills.
Make Use of Your Household Items
Scatter your household items like cayenne pepper, red pepper, coffee grounds whenever you see signs of a mole infestation. Sprinkle these substances across your garden.
Standard privacy fence fails to keep moles out of your garden because moles can dig deeper. However, smaller physical barriers can help deter moles from entering your garden. Place them around the entrance of your garden and around trees to prevent moles from tearing up roots and grass.
Make sure these barriers are fairly deep in order for them to be effective. The barrier should at least be 30 inches deep and five to six inches above the ground. This task can, however, be quite labour-intensive.
The following materials can be used as a physical barrier to keep moles away:
- Gravel: It must be inside a trench and covered with dirt
- Wire Mesh
- Wire Cages
Reduce Your Soil Moisture Levels
Moles love moist soil as it is easy to dig through and offers the required nutrition for insects to flourish. By reducing the moisture of your garden soil, it becomes less conducive to moles. They will then seek soils that have more moisture elsewhere and leave your garden.
You can follow these methods to help prevent your garden from becoming too moist:
- Rake up fallen leaves and other debris from your garden frequently. This is because such piles retain moisture and allow the below soil to remain wet.
- Keep mulch to a minimum
- Regularly trim your trees and bushes. This gives them more exposure to sunlight. It, in turn, helps in eliminating excess moisture from the soil.
- Use a dry garden roller regularly. This makes the soil compact and keeps it from retaining too much moisture. Compact soils also prevent moles from digging through it.
When Is it The Right Time to Bring in A Professional?
You could try the above methods to get rid of moles. However, if it takes too long without any results, the problem could quickly aggravate, and your garden can get further damaged. If the problem continues to persist, professional pest control is recommended.
Mole removal services are usually fast and effective. They will first conduct a thorough inspection of your garden. Next, an assessment is provided regarding the size and scope of your mole infestation. They generally do not cost a lot. Moreover, professionals are not only known for their efficient equipment to eliminate moles but also for preventing moles from returning.
Other Mole – Related Frequently Asked Questions
How to Effectively Trap Moles?
Firstly, it is important to locate the tunnels dug by moles. To check if a tunnel is active or not, stamp over the hole and see if it has been dug out again on the next day. You can use
SWISSINNO Mole Trap SuperCat x1 - Europe Design - Ultra-Effective with High Catch Rates - Easy to Use, Safe & Reusable previously mentioned or another one according to your preference.
Make sure to properly place the trap in the tunnel dug by the mole. You could use a trowel to dig deeper. Before placing the trap, pat down the dirt in order to compact it. This ensures that the moles do not dig under the trap.
Cover the hole well with soil. You can also place a large plant pot over it to prevent accidents. Check your trap the next day and get rid of the entrapped mole.
Do Moles Come into Your House from the Garden?
No, your house is safe. Moles enjoy living underground. They prefer the quiet and tend to stop digging if they are anywhere near noise.
Can Moles Damage Your House Foundation?
While moles do not enter your house, the tunnels dug by them can displace dirt under the foundation of your house. This can cause the foundation to crack or subside.
Are Moles Nocturnal?
Moles are not nocturnal. They keep altering between work and sleep. They tend to take 4-hour shifts among these two tasks.
Is it Possible for Moles to Go Away on Their Own?
Yes, it is possible. However, that would happen only if the mole has no food left in your garden for its survival.
How Do You Kill Moles?
Traps can effectively kill moles. As moles do not live in many numbers, capturing only one or two will get rid of your problem.
If you do not wish to do it by yourself, you can always contact professional pest controllers. They would do it efficiently and discreetly.
Is There A Way to Get Rid of Moles Without Killing or Harming Them?
Yes, there are plenty of ways to do so. You could always try the natural prevention methods which were previously mentioned. You could also spread cat litter and coffee grounds to keep them away.
Moreover, many mole repellent products are now utilizing humane ways to get rid of moles. Non – lethal prevention devices include installing ground spikes, spraying the infested area with liquid mole repellent, or spreading granular mole repellent. You could use these methods and products to force moles to relocate.
Do Moles Bite Humans or Pets?
It is extremely unlikely for a mole to bite you or your pet. They only use their teeth to sift through soil or eat grubs. However, if threatened, moles could nibble. It is best to keep a safe distance from them, especially if it seems aggressive.
Can Moles Infect You with Diseases?
Moles have never been recorded to transmit rabies. Although, it is a possibility that you would get a disease from the fleas that may live in the mole’s fur.
Moles like to be left alone and prefer travelling in the dark. It is thus unlikely for a mole to come in contact with you. However, if you do get bitten, it is necessary to wash the area and apply an antibiotic cream.
Go ahead and try the above methods and products to prevent and get rid of moles. Do not let these tiny ground-diggers ruin your garden or your gardening spirit!