If your garden is a place that animals love then you can embrace it, or try to keep them away without hurting them of course. For example, you can try to keep squirrels at bay but in a humane way! What else can you find in your garden then? Moles! Let’s start with some interesting facts about moles! Some of you might feel a little angry with them because they tend to create bumps and lumps in your beautiful garden or yard. And some others might think they’re kind of cute. But did you know that:
- A mole bypasses the very wet fields, as it is a good swimmer and knows how to climb.
- On the skin of a mole, there are more nerve endings than on the skin of any other mammal.
- The moles emit some great sounds, a peep and a chit, and sometimes a shrill sigh.
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What are moles and how do they look like?
They are animals with soft grey fur, tiny ears, small eyes, and short, strong limbs with large, digging paws. The moles are small insectivores (mammals) that even if they weigh only 170 grams, they can dig through the ground at a speed of up to 5.5 meters per hour.
All in all, moles might be of use in the garden if you can stand a lumpy lawn. There is no doubt about it, the molehills can be rather disturbing, so it’s only natural to look for mole repellents or even to want to call pest control.
However, you should know that they do not attack plants, but they do feed on the insects, larvae and earthworms in the soil. Harmful insects such as beetles are also included in their diet. So, if you are among the homeowners considering how to get rid of the moles, you should know that they actually help you get rid of other garden pests.
Mole is the only animal that’s almost completely blind. Besides, the sight would not help the little mole, as long as it lives only in the underground mole tunnels. Moles prefer the soils under the meadows and forests, avoiding rocky lands, which they can’t cross. Any escape from the darkness is very dangerous for them, as their exit to the light can be the perfect opportunity for its enemies.
How to understand you have moles in your yard?
Do I have a mole problem in my garden? This is the question you should ask yourself before setting up a DIY mole trap.
Signs of moles in your yard are the molehills and the tunnelling. It starts with just one and then the whole garden is full of them. Under the soil, there is an impressive tunnel system with new tunnels being created at need.
To spot a mole, you will need to do a night check. All you need is a pair of thick rubber gloves, a torch and a pair of rubber boots.
To be sure they’re moles, check if the vegetation is being attacked by predators, it might be just field mice or other small rodents. Just as well, you can use an infrared camera and record the nocturnal activity.
Whatever method you have chosen, you need to know that you should check for moles in early spring, when they are mating.
Why do moles come into your yard?
The main reason why moles invade your yard is to search for food. Their primary food sources are earthworms, grubs, lawn insects and other critters. If no food is available, they won’t find your yard attractive. To help limit the moles’ food supply, use products labelled to control the population of all those insects that they love to feast on.
The mole is a super eater, it can consume twice its own weight on a daily basis. They need food constantly. If they can’t feed for 12-16 hours, they starve.
How to get rid of moles?
A single mole can destroy the lawn and all the work we put into it to make it look perfect. The flower beds we pride ourselves on, the vegetable crops or even the entire harvest in a solarium. Even if they are beneficial beings in many ways, sometimes we have to take the necessary measures to keep them away from our garden.
There are ethical solutions, as well as home remedies to clean the garden and get rid of moles without having to use traps or deadly chemicals.
Want to banish moles? There are 7 ways to do it:
1. Ultrasonic devices
Being blind, moles have a great sense of smell and hearing. But it is precisely these special qualities of animals that can easily be transformed into weaknesses and used to clean your yard.
Ultrasonic devices are by far the easiest way to get rid of moles and other small rodents. The devices are made in the form of spikes, and all you have to do is stick them in the ground for them to start emitting ultrasounds. You can choose between a solar device or one that only works with the battery. Ultrasounds emitted can cover an area of 700 to 1,000 square meters.
2. Naphthalene pills (mothballs)
It’s not just moths that are afraid of these pills, but also moles and gophers. All you have to do is insert the pills into the tunnels they dug, and the strong smell will keep them at bay.
Keep in mind, however, that naphthalene is toxic. If you have pets, keep them away from these hills in which you have put the pills.
3. Castor oil
This method was traditionally used to remove small mammals from the garden. Moles can’t stand its smell either. In addition, the oil kills the majority of insects in the soil, depriving the moles of their main source of food.
You can mix the castor oil with water in equal parts and then apply the solution obtained in holes. An alternative is to put castor beans from place to place, but they are considered very toxic.
4. Certain types of flowers
Consider also planting flowers whose smell cannot be tolerated by moles. You can plant Lavender, Daffodils, and Marigold. While their smell will keep the pests at bay, their colours will certainly adorn the garden.
5. Oil or turpentine-soaked rags
The smell of these substances may be unpleasant, but it is strong enough to ward off unwanted mammals. All you have to do is soak a cloth, either in turpentine or in an oil-based substance (diesel seems to be the most effective solution), and put it in the right places.
Since turpentine is produced from conifer resin, an organic alternative would be to insert fresh fir branches directly into the mole tunnels.
6. Pet poop
It might not be the most pleasant method, but dogs and cats are natural enemies of moles. If you put a small amount of excrement into their habitat, the pests will think a predator is nearby and they will run away.
7. Metal mesh
This is rather a method of pest prevention. The operation is done before planting the lawn and involves placing a layer of zinc wire over the levelled ground. The wiring layer is then covered with a new layer of soil of at least 10 cm, and on top of them are planted the lawn rolls.
Before using any of these methods, don’t forget to arm yourself with a lot of patience because the moles won’t disappear overnight; even in the case of ultrasonic devices, it will take at least a week until you see results. In the end, you will have the beautiful garden you want.
How to keep moles away?
For many homeowners, moles can be a real problem, being famous for their destructive activities that have to do with the lawn and the flower beds. Their dedication to digging tunnels can compromise all your hard work and turn your garden into a battlefield. But there is no need to kill moles, as you can use some very simple tricks to keep them away from your garden such as:
1. Use insect repellent to deprive them of their source of food
Like we mentioned before, moles are present in your yard as they consider it a good feeding environment. To keep them away, all you have to do is get rid of the insects in the ground.
2. Don’t overwater your lawn
Abundantly watering the lawn can lead to an explosion of critters in the soil. To make sure moles are kept at bay, limit the number of insects in the garden.
3. Use windmill toys
If your kids are a big fan of windmill toys, you should know that maybe you’re a big fan as well. They could be a very efficient solution to keep moles away from your yard. All you have to do is place one of these windmills on top of the molehills or close to the fence. The noise they make is very disturbing for the moles, so they’ll stay away.
4. Use empty plastic bottles to drive them away
All you have to do is to take the bottle cap off and place the bottle upside down inside the hill. Repeat the procedure until you covered all of them. Soon enough, you won’t have to worry about moles in your yard. The functioning principle is similar to windmills.
5. Get a dog
Most sources say that it’s likely dogs sense pests through their smell and hearing. So, you might notice your dog is on high alert if it hears or smells a mole in their yard. You might also see it sniffing around the general area where the mole may be hiding. Your dog will probably start barking and may even begin digging to find the mole. Dogs with high-pitched voices scare them away, making them not want to come back to the garden.
Moles can help you if you’re dealing with a bug infestation in your garden; however, the molehills can be hard to tolerate, if you’re fond of your lawn. Either you find them cute or a big headache, watching your place being turned upside down can’t be fun. Follow our simple steps and tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your yard once again. Don’t give up if you don’t see the results that you want from day one. Some things take time. Be patient and always protect the environment and its animals even if you don’t want to share space with them.