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Moles

Moles are ground–dwelling carnivores that prefer to eat insects instead of your garden plants. However, their underground tunnels can ruin your garden and lawn and make an easy access to your plants for other rodents.

How to Identify Moles in your Garden

Check your soil and lawn for their tunnels. They will look like raised swellings in your yard. They prefer moist, loamy soil and are most active in the early morning or evening in the spring or fall; they also come out after a warm rain.

How to get Rid of Moles

  • Moles love to feast on lawn grubs, so try spraying your lawns with milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes to get rid of the grubs.
  • Moles are carnirvores that make themselves at home in lawns rich in grubs and insects. When their food is seasoned with castor oil, they will go elsewhere for meals. (Wouldn't you?) Mix up a spray of 3 parts castor oil to 1 part dish detergent; use 4 tablespoons of this concoction in a gallon of water, and soak the tunnels and the entrances.
  • Check out your soil for the presence of pests; if you have a lot of moles, you probably have an oversupply of grubs and bugs.
  • Dip an ear of corn in roofing tar and place it in one of their tunnels. Moles hate the smell of tar and you'll block their escape.
  • Try sprinkling powdered red pepper in their tunnel entrances.
  • If you want to protect specific plants, dig a 2– to 3–foot hole and line the sides and bottom of the hole with wire mesh. Fill the hole with soil and plant.

Trapping Moles

  • If you have a persistent mole problem, the best solution is trapping. Frankly, this is often the only way to eliminate moles. Set one or two scissors-type traps in active runs. You can use a straightened wire coathanger to find the long runs; the wire will penetrate the soil easily. After you set the trap, cover it with a board or turf to exclude daylight.  Over time, you'll reduce the mole population. Be persistent!

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Comments

Great article - I was having

By CarolineLB on December 4

Great article - I was having problems with a mole in my garden for many years, and tried various methods of getting rid but with no such luck! So a neighbour recommended that I used a traditional mole catcher, and called this guy www.lancashiremolecatcher.com

Couldnt recommend him enough!

Don't forget mole crickets.

By mark menser

Don't forget mole crickets. Very destructive to gardens and a real problem in Florida..even the pythons won't touch them (lol).

last year I had something

By mickey5020

last year I had something eating my cantaloupe , for every 6 it got I got 2 not good odds there. I thought it was a mole because there is a hole in the garden box (fenced in) and inside of the fence are 3 12x12 garden boxes . there are what I had always been told are mole trails through the yard kind of a country setting with creek down over the hill. But I see you say they primarily eat insects and grubs so what would be eating my cantaloupe ? If it didn't eat so many I wouldn't mind oh tomatoes too, but the ratio me to them is not even close to fair, and what ever it is has to go. what do you suggest is eating everything and what should I do? also could it be rabbits and the mole trails are just coincidental?

What animal it might be will

By Almanac Staff

What animal it might be will depend on your location. It is likely not a mole, because of its diet. Voles (similar to mice) dig shallow tunnels that run along the lawn, as moles do; these rodents can be destructive in the garden. Other small rodents, such as mice might be a possibility as well. Chipmunks also dig tunnels, although you might not see the tunnels running along the surface. Gophers leave mounds of dirt at tunnel entrances, but not tunnels along the grass. Large holes could be a woodchuck, but they don't have shallow tunnels. Rabbits, crows, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, deer . . . just about any animal that eats fruit as part of its diet will take advantage of a melon. Raccoons like melons (and corn) especially. What animal it is will affect how you protect the fruit. Good luck!

What do I have that is making

By Al Szpek

What do I have that is making large mounds of dirt all over my yard. I have been told they are not moles so what are they. There are tunnels for one to the next by not surface tunnels. They seem to be everywhere but no one can tell me what they are or how to get rid of them.

I had a mole tunneling under

By hlnny

I had a mole tunneling under my flowers and read a web site on how to get rid of moles...didn't want to go the poison route so I set a mouse trap with salami and got him that night..was so surprised and pleased that it was that easy...try it if u have moles

I also got a mole in one day

By Jen on the hill on December 2

I also got a mole in one day using a mouse trap, but I used peanut butter.

Why not moles? They are the

By Almanac Staff

Why not moles? They are the big tunnel-makers. The eastern mole is the mole that creates surface tunnels all over the place, but the star-nosed mole is the mole that forms the big piles or volcanoes of soil on the surface. Castor oil based products are widely available. Other tips are on this page.

I'm trying to find out if

By LINDA EINSFELD

I'm trying to find out if Moles and get inside the walls of your house and make their way to your attic? It's the dead do winter and I've been hearing something in my wall that moved from the corner of my home inward about 5ft then the noise went up toward my ceiling. It's been driving me crazy so I called my insurance company asking about termites. They tell me termites, bees etc normally are dormant during the winter. Now I'm freaked out...please help!
Thanks,
Linda

Raccoons.

By Barb F.

Raccoons.

We own a wildlife control

By Southern Wildlife Management

We own a wildlife control company in Georgia. I assure you that it is not mole in your attic that is making noises in the attic at night. Flying Squirrels and Rats are nocturnal and are most likely the problem.

I would call a professional to inspect your attic to determine the species and then come up with a plan.

Moles are underground animals

By Almanac Staff

Moles are underground animals and probably not the source of your attic troubles. If it feels like a bigger critter scurrying around, we would guess squirrels. See our tips on controlling squirrels here: http://www.almanac.com/content/squirrels

I have ground moles in my

By Dana Santore

I have ground moles in my attic. I have caught them on my mouse traps so I know they are ground moles I have. How can I get rid of them in my attic...certainly no vegetation or dirt in my attic.

We would recommend using a

By Almanac Staff

We would recommend using a havahart trap to remove the mole(s). To prevent any more moles from moving into your attic, try placing several jars filled with mothballs throughout the space. You can also try dipping cotton balls in mint or eucalyptus oil and spreading them throughout the attic.
Good luck!

Thank you for your help,

By LINDA EINSFELD

Thank you for your help, however these are not in my attic. They are in my wall and just moved toward my attic. The 'scratching sound' if you will, has stopped between my picture window and my ceiling..but from what I can tell it seems to still be coming from between the front wall of my home. I know..it's the craziest thing. Still no signs of critters or bugs in my home..thank God! :))

Animals can sometimes get

By Almanac Staff

Animals can sometimes get stuck inside the walls, or set up residence there--anything from raccoons, opossums, and squirrels (including flying squirrels) on down to smaller animals such as mice, roof rats, chipmunks, etc., including baby animals. (Pets can also sometimes get stuck, if they fall through the attic flooring.) Sometimes birds and bats get into attics, but rarely walls. When you hear the noises, night or day, will help to ID it.

We'd recommend that you consult an animal pest control company. They can determine whether the animal is trapped in the wall or has entrance/exit sites on the outside of the house. They can also remove the animal safely (wild animals will be scared and may retaliate, and some may carry diseases), and determine if it is just one animal, or several, such as a mom with babies. During the process, they may need to cut a hole in the wall to gain access. Good luck!

I am finding my Mexican

By Carolyn Belew

I am finding my Mexican Feathergrass laying over and I can pick it up by the handful, no root system. I am also having problems with my autumn sage. Will moles eat the roots of these plants? I just had my flower bed landscaped this past March.

Mexican Feather Grass does

By Almanac Staff

Mexican Feather Grass does lie down. If you don't like this affect, you can give it a haircut with a few inches of the top to prevent flopping. It probably looks best if cut once or twice during the season. Also, be sure to pull out dead foliage new foliage emerges. However, if everything is pulling out easily, then the plant didn't root well. Provide a well-drained soil (not too compact) and water regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Reduce watering after establishment. In terms of the sage, we haven't heard of mole problems. Moles tend to eat grubs in lawns. Voles, however, love spring perennials. If you are concerned, we'd suggest raised garden beds or dig a trench around the area that you want protected.

My problem that I haven't

By petryss

My problem that I haven't figured out yet is this:
I planted my garden 6 weeks ago. I put out corn, purple hull peas, bush beans, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers, squash, cucumbers, and beet. Approximately 1/3 of everything is coming up. I see these little trails of semi-broken ground that appear to follow my rows and then skip to the next. I thought moles at first but the tunnels seem too narrow being about 1/2" I have dug at the ends or beginnings of these trails and turn up nothing. I even replanted in the vacant areas only to have the same problem. Does anyone have any suggestions.

How about adding VOLES to the

By gardengurl

How about adding VOLES to the list of garden Pests. I have one that has eaten everyone of my marigolds and chwews off one whole patch of Bee Balm. Now the beast is eating my tomatoes to get all of the seeds. Yes it is a vole because I have seen him or them scurrying in an around my planting beds. I have put out three live catch traps and all have remained empty. I put out glue boards up next to the foundation of the house and he kicked dirt all over them. I put out poison and it hasn't been touched in two weeks. These thinks are the bane of my summer gardening.

If you can have an outside

By Red

If you can have an outside cat, your vole problem will probably disappear.

The beneficial nematodes work

By Teresa Mcdaniel

The beneficial nematodes work the best: plus there aren't any fleas, or ant piles in the yard. Just make sure you put enough out to cover the yard.

We had moles all over our

By Ann Meyers

We had moles all over our lawn (2 acres) in FL. We were told to put 1/2 stick of juicy fruit gum in soil at the new end of the tunnel. So we went to Sams Club, bought alot of gum, "planted" it in the front of their tunnel. They were gone in no time. Note: don't touch the gum with your hands.

What kind or brand (juicy

By Alvaro

What kind or brand (juicy fruit gum) did you buy?

my wife planted caster bean

By brad litchfield

my wife planted caster bean plants last summer about a couple of weeks after they came up the moles left our yard

That's good to know. Will

By Bernadine Harmon

That's good to know. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks

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