Have you ever walked out into your garden only to find unsightly tunnels and dirt mounds littering your previously pristine lawn? If so, you may be dealing with a mole infestation. Moles are burrowing mammals that can wreak havoc on your garden, turning it into a lumpy mess. But before you resort to harmful chemicals or expensive pest control services, there are natural ways to keep moles out of your garden. In this article, we’ll delve into the basics of moles and explore ten natural methods for deterring them from your garden.
The Basics of Moles
As gardeners, we all love to watch our plants grow and thrive, but unfortunately, we are not the only ones who enjoy the fruits of our labor. Moles, which are small, furry mammals, can wreak havoc on a garden and cause extensive damage to plant roots and bulbs. In this section, we will delve into the basics of moles – from their physical characteristics to the reasons why we consider them pests. Additionally, we’ll explore how moles damage gardens, and provide you with some natural and effective ways to keep them away from your beloved plants. To learn more about keeping moles at bay, check out our other articles on keeping moles away, natural deterrents using plants , garlic as a mole repellent, using marigolds as a mole deterrent, DIY solar mole repellents, using aluminum foil to deter moles, planting bulbs in mole-free soil, and using coffee grounds for mole exclusion.
What Are Moles?
Moles are burrowing mammals that are quite common in North America, Europe, and Asia. They are known for their small size, cylindrical bodies, and velvety fur. Moles have strong forelimbs that are curved for digging, and they burrow underground to create nests and forage for food.
|Moles are small, cylindrical mammals
|Moles are solitary animals
|Moles have velvety fur that can be brown, gray, or black in color
|They are burrowing animals and live underground
|Moles have small eyes and ears that are covered by fur
|Moles are most active at night
|Moles have strong forelimbs with curved claws that are excellent for digging
|They have keen senses of smell and touch, which help them navigate their underground burrows
|On average, moles grow to be about six inches long, including their tail
|Moles are mainly carnivores, feeding on insects, worms, and other invertebrates
Despite their small size, moles can cause significant damage to gardens and lawns. It’s important to understand their behavior and habits in order to effectively prevent them from causing damage.
Why Are Moles a Problem?
Moles can be a menace, especially for gardeners. Their constant burrowing and tunneling can cause a number of problems, making them more of a nuisance than anything else. Here are just a few reasons why having moles in your garden can be a problem:
- Damage to plants: Moles often damage the roots of plants while digging their tunnels, leading to stunted growth and even death. This is especially true for delicate and shallow-rooted plants like bulbs and annuals.
- Damage to garden structures: Moles can damage garden structures such as walls, patios, and paths as they dig their tunnels. This can lead to costly repairs and maintenance.
- Attracting other garden pests: Moles can attract other pests to your garden, such as voles and mice, which can cause further damage to your plants.
- Cosmetic damage: The unsightly mounds of earth moles leave behind can ruin the appearance of a well-maintained garden.
- Inconvenience: Finally, having moles in your garden can be inconvenient. The constant burrowing and tunneling can make it difficult to walk or work in your garden, and can even be a tripping hazard.
It’s no wonder that gardeners are always on the lookout for ways to keep these furry little creatures out of their gardens.
How Do Moles Damage Gardens?
Moles are small animals that can cause significant damage to gardens. Their underground tunneling often leads to the uprooting of plants and the destruction of root systems. This, in turn, can cause considerable stress on the plants, which can result in their death.
Here is a table explaining the types of damage caused by moles:
|Type of Damage
|Moles create underground tunnels that can cause the uprooting of plants. The plants may still be alive, but their roots will be exposed, which can cause them to wither and die.
|Destroyed Root Systems
|Moles can destroy root systems, which can lead to the death of the plant. They often damage plants that are close to the surface, such as vegetables and flowers.
|Moles can loosen and displace soil, which can lead to soil erosion. This can be particularly problematic in areas with heavy rainfall, as it can result in the loss of topsoil and nutrient-rich soil.
|Holes and Mounds
|Moles create holes and mounds in the garden, which can be unsightly and pose a tripping hazard. These holes can also be an entryway for other pests, such as rodents.
Moles can be quite destructive to gardens, and it’s important to take steps to prevent them from causing damage. There are various natural methods that can be used to keep moles out of your garden, which we will discuss in the next section.
10 Natural Ways to Keep Moles Out of Your Garden
Now that you know the basics of moles and why they can be a problem for your garden, it’s time to explore natural ways to keep them out. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods that can deter moles without using harmful chemicals. From planting specific flowers to utilizing natural predators, here are ten natural ways to protect your garden from pesky moles.
1. Plant Daffodils
One effective way to keep moles out of your garden is by planting daffodils. Daffodils contain a toxin called lycorine, which moles find unappetizing. When planted around the perimeter of your garden, daffodils act as a natural barrier and deterrent for moles. Here are some key points to keep in mind when using daffodils as a mole repellent:
|Daffodils are a beautiful addition to any garden.
|Daffodils have a relatively short bloom time, so they may not remain an effective deterrent throughout the entire year.
|Daffodils are hardy, low-maintenance plants that require minimal care.
|Some pets may be attracted to daffodils and attempt to eat them, which can be harmful.
|Planting daffodil bulbs is a one-time investment that can provide a long-term solution to mole problems.
|Over-planting daffodils can lead to soil depletion and a reduction in other beneficial plant species.
If you decide to use daffodils to repel moles, it is important to plant them strategically. Plant the bulbs in a ring around the outside of your garden or in targeted areas where moles have been known to burrow. Make sure to space the bulbs evenly and plant them at a depth of 6-8 inches. It is also important to note that while daffodils can be effective in repelling moles, they are not guaranteed to work in every situation. Using a combination of natural deterrents may be necessary to keep moles out of your garden for good.
2. Use Castor Oil
One natural and effective way to keep moles out of your garden is by using castor oil. The strong scent of the oil is a natural repellent for moles, and it can also affect their digestive system if they ingest it.
Here are some steps to follow when using castor oil:
- Choose pure castor oil: Make sure to choose pure castor oil without any additives or chemicals. You can find it in most health food stores or online.
- Mix it with water: Mix 1/2 cup of castor oil with 1 gallon of water in a large container. Stir well to ensure that the oil is evenly dispersed in the water.
- Apply the mixture to your garden: Use a watering can or a sprayer to apply the mixture to your garden. Make sure to cover the areas where moles are present or where you suspect they might be. You can also apply it around the perimeter of your garden to create a barrier.
- Reapply regularly: Castor oil is not a one-time solution. You will need to reapply the mixture every few weeks to ensure that the moles stay away.
It is important to note that castor oil may also affect other wildlife in your garden, so use it with caution and avoid applying it near any plants that are toxic to animals. Additionally, while castor oil is safe for humans to use, it may cause skin irritation, so wear gloves when applying it. Castor oil may not provide immediate results, so be patient and persistent with its use.
3. Add Spicy Ingredients
Adding spicy ingredients to your garden soil can help repel moles. Moles do not like the strong smell of spicy ingredients and will avoid areas where they are found. Here are some common spicy ingredients that you can add to your garden:
|How to Use
|Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the borders of your garden or mix it into your soil.
|Red Pepper Flakes
|Spread red pepper flakes around your garden and in mole holes.
|Plant garlic bulbs throughout your garden or mix crushed garlic into your soil.
|Plant onions in and around your garden or chop up onion and sprinkle it around your garden.
It’s important to note that these spicy ingredients may also repel other animals, such as squirrels, rabbits, and deer. So, if you have a problem with those animals in your garden, adding these ingredients may be a viable solution for you. However, it’s important to avoid getting these ingredients in your eyes or on your skin as they can cause irritation.
4. Use Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are a byproduct commonly found in most households. However, they are an excellent natural tool that can be used to keep moles out of your garden. Coffee grounds contain a high concentration of nitrogen, a nutrient that is essential to the growth and development of many plants. Although moles are generally not attracted to coffee grounds, they still find their strong smell and taste repulsive.
To use coffee grounds as a natural mole repellent, you need to spread them generously around your garden beds, flower pots, and in areas where moles are known to be active. As a general rule, you should mix one part coffee grounds with ten parts soil or sand and spread the mixture evenly over the affected areas. You can then water the grounds, which will release nitrogen and gradually fertilize the soil, encouraging healthier plant growth.
While using coffee grounds as a natural mole repellent is effective, it does come with a few limitations. Firstly, this method requires a lot of coffee grounds, which can be quite difficult to obtain in large amounts. Secondly, the grounds will need to be reapplied frequently since they tend to break down rather quickly.
To effectively keep moles out of your garden using coffee grounds, you need to understand that this method works best as a complementary natural repellent. If moles have already established their burrows in your garden, using coffee grounds alone might not be enough to get rid of them. You should consider combining this method with other natural remedies such as using plants that moles don’t like or installing vibrating devices.
Coffee grounds are an excellent natural tool that you can use to keep moles out of your garden. However, you need to mix them with soil and sand before spreading them and understand that they work best when used alongside other natural mole repellents.
5. Install Vibrating Devices
One of the natural ways to keep moles out of your garden is by installing vibrating devices. These devices emit vibrations that disturb the moles and make them want to leave the area.
How to Install Vibrating Devices:
- First, locate the mole tunnels in your garden.
- Next, purchase vibrating devices specifically designed for mole control.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the devices.
- Typically, these devices are inserted into the ground near the mole tunnels.
- The vibrations should be set to a level that is strong enough to irritate the moles but not strong enough to harm them.
- Check the devices frequently to ensure they are still working properly.
- Some vibrating devices require batteries or electricity, so be sure to check and replace these as needed.
It’s important to note that while vibrating devices may be effective for some gardeners, they may not work for everyone, and some moles may simply move to a different area of your garden. Additionally, other factors, such as heavy rain or frost, may impact the effectiveness of vibrating devices. Consider using other natural methods in combination with vibrating devices for best results.
6. Use Plants That Moles Don’t Like
Plants that moles don’t like can be a great way to keep them out of your garden. Here are some options:
|Daffodil bulbs are poisonous to moles, so planting them around the perimeter of your garden can be an effective deterrent.
|Fritillaries, also known as snake’s head lilies, are another poisonous bulb that moles don’t like.
|Alliums, such as garlic and onions, have a strong scent that moles find unappealing.
|Marigolds have a pungent smell that can help to keep moles away. Plus, they add a pop of color to your garden!
|Dill is another plant with a strong scent that can help keep moles away, making it a great addition to any vegetable garden.
Remember that while planting these types of plants can be helpful in deterring moles, they will not necessarily completely solve the problem. It is often best to use several different methods in combination to prevent mole damage in your garden.
7. Utilize Natural Predators
One effective way to keep moles out of your garden is to utilize their natural predators. These predators can help keep the mole population under control and reduce the amount of damage they cause to your plants.
Predator | Description
———— | ————-
Owls | These birds are known for their excellent night vision and can easily spot moles moving around in the darkness. Owls are natural predators of moles and will actively hunt them down. Encouraging owls to nest in the trees near your garden can help keep moles away.
Snakes | Some snake species, such as garter snakes, are natural predators of moles. These snakes are not harmful to humans and can even be beneficial to your garden, as they also eat other pests like slugs and snails. Encouraging a healthy snake population in your garden can help keep moles at bay.
Cats | Many domestic cats have a natural instinct to hunt small rodents like moles. Allowing your cat to roam around your garden can help keep the mole population under control. However, keep in mind that some cats may also dig up your plants while trying to catch moles.
Foxes | These clever animals are natural predators of moles and will actively hunt them down. Encouraging a healthy fox population in your area can help keep moles away from your garden. However, keep in mind that foxes can also cause damage to your garden by digging up plants or burrowing.
Weasels | These small mammals are natural predators of moles and can easily squeeze into their tunnels to catch them. Encouraging a healthy weasel population in your garden can help keep mole populations at bay. However, keep in mind that weasels can also prey on other small animals in your garden, such as birds or rabbits.
Utilizing natural predators is a natural and effective way to control the mole population in your garden. However, it’s important to keep in mind that allowing predators into your garden can also have unintended consequences, such as damage to other plants or animals. Always research the potential risks and benefits before introducing any new species to your garden.
8. Use Broken Glass
One unexpected way to keep moles out of your garden is by using broken glass. This may seem like a strange solution, but it can be effective in deterring moles from tunneling through your garden.
How does it work? When moles encounter broken glass while tunneling underground, it can be uncomfortable for them to continue digging. They may also be deterred by the reflective properties of the glass, as it can give the impression of movement and danger.
How to use it? To use this method, you’ll need to break up glass bottles or jars into small pieces. Then, bury the broken glass pieces about 2-3 inches deep in the areas where you’ve noticed mole activity. Be sure to wear thick gloves and take precautions to avoid injury when handling the sharp glass.
|Can be an effective deterrent
|Sharp glass can be dangerous to handle and may injure animals
|May not be aesthetically pleasing in the garden
|Can reuse materials from home
|May not be effective for all types of moles or in all garden areas
Precautions to take: While broken glass can be an effective way to deter moles, it’s important to take precautions when using this method. Be sure to wear thick gloves and work carefully to avoid any possible injuries from the sharp glass pieces. Additionally, it’s important to consider potential risks to other animals, such as pets or wildlife, who may come into contact with the glass.
Using broken glass can be an effective and inexpensive option for keeping moles out of your garden. However, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and take precautions to ensure safe handling and placement of the glass pieces.
9. Use Fencing
Fencing is a proven way to keep moles out of your garden. It is an effective method to physically block their movements and prevent them from entering the garden. Here are some tips on how to use fencing to keep moles out:
- Choose the right type of fencing: The fence should be made of materials that are resistant to mole digging. Materials such as galvanized metal, hardware cloth or welded wire mesh are best for this purpose.
- Install the fence: The fence should be installed deep enough into the ground to prevent mole tunnelling. The recommended depth is at least 2 feet (60 cm). The fence should also extend above the ground by at least a foot (30 cm) to prevent them from climbing over it.
- Plug any existing mole tunnels: Before installing the fence, it is important to plug any existing mole tunnels in the garden. You can use soil or rock to fill up the holes.
- Maintain the fence: Regular maintenance is important to ensure the fence remains effective in keeping moles out. Check the fence regularly for any damage or holes that may have been caused by other animals. Repair any damage immediately to maintain the integrity of the fence.
Using fencing as a method to keep moles out of your garden requires some effort and investment, but it is a long-lasting and effective way to keep your garden mole-free.
10. Use Water
One natural way to keep moles out of your garden is by using water. Moles prefer moist soil and are less likely to burrow in dry areas. You can create an environment that is less favorable for moles by reducing the moisture level in your garden.
One way to do this is by using a soaker hose instead of overhead watering. This method allows water to be delivered directly to the roots of your plants, without saturating the soil.
Another method is to install drainage systems to prevent water from collecting in your garden. This can be done by installing French drains or a sump pump.
Additionally, you can also use a motion-activated sprinkler system. Anytime a mole comes into the area, the sprinkler will activate and scare them away. This method is effective because it uses the element of surprise to deter moles from entering your garden.
Finally, you can also consider flooding the tunnels made by moles. This can be done by digging a small hole near the molehill and pouring water into it. The water will run through the tunnel system, forcing the moles out of their home.
Overall, using water to keep moles out of your garden is an eco-friendly and effective option. By using these methods, you can drive away moles and keep your garden looking healthy and beautiful.
In conclusion, keeping moles out of your garden can be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible. By using natural methods, you can keep the rodents away without harming them or the environment. It’s important to remember that moles play a vital role in the ecosystem, so it’s crucial to find a balance between deterring them from your garden and allowing them to exist in their natural habitat.
Planting daffodils, using castor oil or spicy ingredients, using coffee grounds or vibrating devices, and utilizing natural predators are all effective ways to keep moles away. Other natural methods like using plants that moles don’t like, broken glass, fencing, and water can also be helpful.
Remember that moles are prolific burrowers, and it’s important to take action as soon as you notice signs of infestation. By implementing natural methods, you can not only keep your garden safe but also maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem.