While moles do not actually cause widespread damage, they can disturb the root system of your lawn and plants as well as cause unsightly mole hills. The little critters are also notoriously difficult to get rid of.
There are however a variety of different mole control measures that can be implemented to effectively manage and control these pests in your garden.
Contrary to popular belief, moles do not feed on the roots of plants but rather grubs and insects that live below the surface in the soil. Getting rid of these pests is therefore one of the most common measures used to control moles.
It is recommended to identify which insects are invading your garden and therefore attracting the moles in order to use an insecticide specifically aimed at eliminating that species of insect. A general approach to eradicate all underground insects, worms and grubs can also work to deter moles.
Be aware that controlling insect populations could result in moles tunneling and foraging more aggressively to find their food and that it could take a few weeks of increased destruction before the moles relocate.
2. Poison Bait
Poison is a very effective means of eliminating a mole population in your garden. However, this means can be considered inhumane and the downside is that although the poison is effective, getting the moles to consume the toxic material is problematic.
Most poisons that are designed to eliminate rodents are plant based and because moles are insectivores, they are less likely to be attracted to or eat the toxic material or bait. Newer poisons, specifically targeted at moles, have taken this into account and are visually, orally and nasally more attractive to moles.
However, moles have very poor eyesight and rely on their noses and whiskers to detect vibrations from insects moving around in their dark, underground world. The effectiveness of poisons on moles may therefore still be quite limited.
There are two types of traps that can be used to help control a mole population. Quick-kill mouse or rodent traps are very effective control measures but ideally need to be placed in the tunnels that the mole uses to navigate around the yard and forage for insects. The traps will need to be checked, removed and replaced on a regular basis and the trapped moles disposed of.
Traps that capture moles are also very effective. Normally these are placed below the "active run" which is a straight tunnels that runs between the nest and the feeding ground.
It can be difficult to detect where the active run is located especially as one mole can dig numerous tunnels and create multiple mole hills in just one night. This often creates the impresssion that an entire colony of moles have taken up residence in a garden when just a single mole is responsible for all the damage.
It can also be difficult to dig a hole under the tunnel without collapsing it to place a trap designed to capture the mole. Once the mole has been captured, it will need to be relocated and released in an appropriate area. This area should preferably located far from any other residences or gardens where they can continue to disrupt the soil and roots of plants and lawns. Relocating a mole too near to it's current location will result in it's return.
Gas bombs can be very effective at eradicating moles in their tunnels. It is however necessary to ensure that the gas is released in the nest area or active run as the other tunnels are normally quite well ventilated allowing the gas to dissipate before it can work. It is recommended to locate the nest and use this method during the day when the mole is most likely to be in the nest for the greatest success.
As mentioned above, moles have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell and different odors can therefore be used to deter or repel the rodents from entering the yard. Most types of effective mole repellents contain castor oil, garlic and/or citronella oil which are all odors that repel most insects, rodents and other wildlife.
Repellents are available in granular or liquid form. Granulated repellents are most likely composed of organic materials while the liquid varieties contain chemicals. Different types of repellents may be more or less effective in different locations.
Before opting to employ one of these mole control measures, it is important to first establish that a problem does exist as well as the extent of the mole infestation. This will help determine which measure or combination of mole control techniques will be most effective at eliminating the moles and keeping them away.
To discuss the various options available and formulate a plan of action to get rid of moles on a long term basis, contact us today to talk to one of our experts.