Many people do not realize they have a mole problem until someone walking in their yard steps in one of the mole’s holes and twists an ankle. These burrowing rodents spend most of their lives underground and may have dug hundreds of feet of underground tunnels for each visible hole in your yard. A simple treatment that does not harm the moles will convince these meddlesome diggers that your yard is not the place for them.
Pour 4 ounces of castor oil and 1 tbsp. of dishwashing liquid into the bottle of your garden sprayer. Add water to fill the sprayer to the top and shake very well.
Coat your lawn with the mixture. Be sure to give it a thorough coating. For large lawns, a sectional approach may be necessary to adequately coat the lawn. Simply mix another bottle and go back to spraying.
Fill in the visible mole holes with dirt, soaking the dirt fill with the mixture.
Repeat Steps 1 to 3 after about a week, filling in any new holes. Most of your moles should be gone, but a second soaking will ensure that any remaining moles move out and don’t return.
Repeat the application as needed if mole activity reappears. Spray the lawn at least once with the mixture early each spring to keep moles from moving into your yard.
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Home Hacks & AnswersGarden & LawnPests, Weeds & Problems
Yard Mole Removal
By Karyn Maier
If you’ve noticed a network of tunnels and patches of spongy earth marking your landscape, then it’s likely that you have moles. Since these subterranean creatures engage in making these unsightly, zig-zag “runways,” they are classified as pests. While moles generally don’t harm plants and other vegetation, they can turn an entire yard upside down in short order. Various yard mole removal strategies exist to eliminate them, but only a few are truly effective.
credit: maulwurfhÃ¼gel image by Kalle Kolodziej from Fotolia.com
These range from plant deterrents to homemade formulas using soap, hot peppers and even bleach. However, many of these methods are problematic for people, not moles. For instance, the castor bean plant is noted for its pest-deterring qualities. As an added bonus, these plants have attractive foliage and flowers. However, they are poisonous and may not be a suitable landscaping plant if you have small children or pets. Pouring super spicy or corrosive liquids into mole tunnels also presents some difficulties. Aside from the fact that these materials can also be harmful to children and pets, most people make the mistake of using them on inactive tunnels and never reach the moles.
Mole Menu Modification
One popular method of attack for removing yard moles is to remove the mole’s primary food source, which is Japanese beetle larva, commonly known as grubs. This can be accomplished by using a spreader to put down a fine layer of diatomaceous earth, which consists of the powdered fossilized skeletons of ancient fresh-water organisms. This substance will dehydrate the grubs but is considered safe for humans and other animals. While this tactic often meets with a degree of success, you’ll need to be diligent in terms of reapplying the material after each rain.
According to Purdue University, one of the most effective baits is a product designed to look and smell like an earthworm, another common mole appetizer. The methodology here is to entice the mole to take the bait, which is laced with bromethalin, a powerful neurotoxin.
The experts at Purdue also maintain that the only effective yard mole removal method other than poison is the use of traps. Unfortunately, these are not of the capture-and-release variety. In fact, the three types of traps to choose from are engineered to strangle the rodent, slice it in two or impale it with a miniature harpoon.
Digging shallow trenches around gardens, patios and walkways may serve as protective barriers against moles. Moles have a hard time digging through dense materials, so filling in the trenches with a layer of clay topped off with gravel should keep them away from these areas.