Ground moles, sometimes referred to as voles, can be real headache for the both the gardener or homeowner. Once they decide to take up residence, they act like they’re the property owners! They can be gotten rid of, although the best answer to the question of how to get rid of ground moles is up for debate.
As with other unwanted pests, there are an abundance of, “I heard somewhere” kind of anecdotal methods for the elimination of this pest. Some claim that they feed on grubs if the grubs are eliminated the ground moles will also be taken care of.
Others claim that, “ground moles eat their weight in earthworms every day.” If this is true, it’s bad news for gardener and homeowner alike. Earthworms keep soil healthy be aerating with their tunnels. Without their help, plant roots have a very difficult time spreading, especially domesticated vegetables and flowers.
“Green” Methods to Get Rid of Ground Moles
Everything today seems to have a green or earth-friendly or humane solution. Ridding the property of ground moles is no different.
One of the highly advocated methods is trapping the little critters and freeing them far from home. Mole traps are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased at many garden supply stores or feed supply stores. The average price is about ten dollars.
The trap will have to be baited with a food they enjoy and checked periodically for residents that have checked in.
Is there an animal control center locally? Contact them. In many cases they will furnish the trap and even pick it up once it has done its job. Also try the ASPCA.
Things that do NOT Work
Forget the old wife’s tale of sticking the garden hose in the hole and filling it up. That won’t make the ground mole leave; it will just make him relocate a few feet – possibly where some other prized plant or vegetable is.
Poison gas. Please do not try this. It doesn’t work. It will poison your soil and most likely make you ill. Once again, another old wife’s tale.
Ripping up your yard or garden. This one is lunacy. Imagine the cost and work involved. Besides, once the lawn or garden is restored they’ll move right back in.
The most common and popular home remedy for how to get rid of moles is Castor oil. It seems it’s not just kids that hate it! The reason it’s effective is because it stings the critter. The recipe is one liquid ounce if Castor oil mixed with one cup of Murphy’s Oil Soap, one quarter cup of cayenne pepper, and three cups of water. Mix well and spay it on the invaded area with a hose sprayer.
Other folks insist that planting skunk lilies in the garden or yard will repel them, along with other pests such as possums and squirrels. The root system of the lilies smells like skunk and is offensive to ground moles.
Keeping Moles at Bay Once They are Gone
Getting rid of ground moles is only half the job. The rest of the work is in keeping them away. This means keeping grubs out of your soil. This involves using pesticides so while it is a good idea in the lawn if should not be used in a vegetable garden.
The solution is to first get rid of the ground moles and then keep the ground around the garden treated, but not so close that it will leach over to your vegetable garden. And it can’t hurt to plant a few skunk lilies.