Moles are small carnivores that fall under the category of burrowing creatures. They prefer to dig through your garden soil and eat insects that live beneath. Although they struggle with poor vision, their exceptional sense of smell helps them navigate and target their prey.
Do you have soil that is rich in organic matter? Do you often use plenty of high-quality compost?
If yes, then the odds are mole rodents would be attracted to your garden. Another luring ingredient for moles is soil pests. Increased soil pests call for a higher mole population in your backyard.
Even worse, whether your garden has been targeted by vole, mole, or gopher holes, each creature contributes to some amount of damage. They create big holes and get underneath your garden surface. Moles This creates numerous paths for several rodents to crawl and sneak through.
Moles in yard spaces will munch on the earthworms, beneficial soil bacteria, and grubs, reducing the immunity of your soil.
How to Identify Vole VS Mole VS Gophers?
If all you get is a glance at them sneaking around your garden, you may fail to identify the difference. But if you have experience in dealing with such rodents, then you may know the basics of mole traps, vole types, and blocking gopher holes.
The mole animal has a pointy nose and sharp front feet. Looking at their faces, you will almost believe that they don’t have eyes or ears. The downfall of the tiny size of their eyes and ears is neutralized by their razor-sharp sniffing abilities.
Their carnivorous diet comprises of beetles, grubs, or arthropods like centipedes, millipedes, spiders, and mites. Soil tunnels that are around 14 to 20 inches deep are generally a sign of a mole’s home.
The vole animal has evident ears and eyes, being the primary differentiating factor from a mole. You will notice they possess a grey underside and a combination of red, brown, and black external coating.
Another critical difference is diet. They feast on seeds, barks, and roots, making them herbivores. These rodents reside in scrubby vegetation and low-lying areas.
Gophers have a more extended body structure than voles and moles. Their face showcases fur-lined patches along with four teeth that are continually popping out. They make use of their quick feet, short necks, and long claws to create tunnels.
If you notice a freshly dug up hole with soil plugs within the diameter range of 15 to 20 inches, especially in the fall or spring season, there’s probably a gopher in there.
Once a channel of tunnels has been created via several gopher holes, their herbivorous nature leads to them feasting on tubers, roots, and other plant matter (under the soil).
Remedies to Promote Garden Mole Removal
Mole traps are one way to tackle the issue. There are several other routes a gardener can follow to ensure their backyard is rodent-free. Here are a few more remedies one can adopt to combat moles:
Pet Cats Tackle Moles in Yard Spaces
Cats are considered a fearsome animal by garden moles. Besides, a couple of instances where you cat spots and chases a mole would be enough to scare the mole away.
If you were struggling with cat problems in your backyard, you know how much cats love their food and catnips. Placing some scattered catnips in your garden, especially around mole holes, could be effective in keeping moles from burrowing several holes.
Once your cat is aware that the holes around your flowing beds denote the presence of a mice-like rodent, they would be hellbent on catching them.
Moles hate the smell of roofing tar. This oily and dark mixture constitutes of by-products made from petroleum and coal. You can either purchase this tar from a store or easily make a semi-strong mix at home.
Simply shove an entire corn bud into a cup of roofing tar and place it inside these holes. The tar smell guarantees that moles are never even to attempt to come near the hole. The more vents you manage to cover, the lesser routes for them to escape, and the quicker your mole removal technique will work.
If you do not want to spoil your backyard aesthetics, then simply dip the corn bud into holes until the tar rolls into the soil. You can then remove the corn bud and repeat the same process with other holes. This way, you wouldn’t have random corn buds stuck into your garden soil.
Improve Soil Drainage
Moles love gardens where the soil type is moist. This makes it easier for them to dig holes. Although you never know, as older moles can survive even with wet soil.
Start by increasing water supply around the one-mole hole and see how often does the mole yet use the same hole. If the mole seems to appear less frequently, the improved drainage is leading to increased natural underground mole traps.
The thing is that moles find it hard to navigate through wet soil and need to put in extra effort to carve their tunnels. Thus, the increased drainage can prove to force them to find an area where the soil is moist.
Keep in mind; this remedy must be implemented depending on how old or young you think the mole is.
Dig a Trench
Consider digging a trench on the exact same spot the mole has created a hole. Disrupt the hole structure and dig a channel that is around 5 to 6 inches wide and 1 ½ to 2 feet deep. This already ruins more than half of the mole’s tunnel.
To make this a foolproof solution, throw in some rocks, wired mesh, or rugged hardware materials. Make sure that none of these materials leave holes more than ½ inch in diameter. This ensures that the mole cannot find a way up or down on its previously established tunnel.
If some plants are too precious to risk mole rodent attacks then dig a trench and place the plant in a wire mesh screening. This restricts the mole from munching on soil matter around the base of your plant.
Sprays, Powders, and Fertilizers
The one peculiar scent that moles cannot stand is that of castor oil. Pouring a little bit of castor oil over the soil or into mole holes would repel these creatures and force them to look for a new home.
This castor oil technique has a high success rate, but sometimes there are stubborn moles who do not wish to leave your rich-soil establishment. In the case, you can add some extra granular repellents such as garlic and cinnamon. These ingredients cause irritation in their snout. Even better, it will disrupt their strong scent-detecting skill and they would fail to hunt for food.
Another common remedy is targeting the insects in your garden soil. If you manage to kill the excess insects then the mole animal would struggle with a shortage of food. This can be done by applying insecticides that are made of natural ingredients and have no adverse effects on your plant growth or garden pets.
For best and long-term results, consider fuelling your backpack sprayer with non-lethal sprays. Although the main ingredient would be castor oil, the presence of several other ingredients would intensify the spread and prove effective for gardens up to 10,000 sq.ft. in size.
What’s best about all these solutions is that they can be made at home and are also safe for backyards that are used frequently by children and pets.
Bonus tip: Make a mixture of 3:1 parts of castor oil and dish detergent. Add 4 ½ tablespoons of the mixture to one gallon of water and pour this water into their gopher holes, moles holes, and any sort of soil tunnel entrances you notice.
Planting Mole-repelling Flowers
How cool is it to add more beauty to your backyard in an attempt to avoid moles in yard spaces?
Take up the task to nurture plants from the allium family. These include chives, shallot, daffodils. scallion, or even marigolds.
Moles hate the scent of plants from the allium family. Besides, this remedy will not lead to any restrictions on your kid’s and pet’s backyard activity. Rather than digging holes and spraying mole-deterrents, you would be further beautifying your yard with several colorful plants.
If the mole traps aren’t working and the rodent problem is severe in your backyard, you can install a couple of ultrasonic devices based on your garden size. They send vibrations into the ground and are known to scare moles away.
Although moles are not dangerous to humans, they can be the leading cause of ruining your efforts in maintaining the landscape and quality of your backyard.
Looking for an extreme backyard makeover that comes with no chance of mole rodent problems? Check out these grass-free backyard ideas.