Every year as the gardening season arrives, the thought of moles that you may have to battle with is of great concern.
Through their underground burrowing activities, heavy European mole (Talpa europaea) infestation will cause valid concerns for your vegetation if not resolved.
Therefore, know the early signs of moles and be ready with all-natural solutions to get rid of them from your vegetable garden.
Signs of Infestation
The earliest sign that you have the critters in your yard or garden will most likely come from the raised mounds of dirt showing up. These molehills appear all over, as the creatures begin their descent underground to build feeder tunnels.
Tunnels where they find the food necessary for their survival can run in erratic patterns. Moreover, this will become noticeable from grass that starts dying as the roots injure beneath the surface.
Additionally, plant damage can be a more advanced sign of issues related to the displacement of roots, or exposure through their digging activities.
How to Get Rid of Moles in the Garden Naturally
Utilizing your preferred choice, or a combination of these natural methods can help rid your garden of them and prevent recurrences.
Most of these are household items while the others are safe and natural commercial mole repellents. Moreover, these products contain only natural ingredients that are safe for use on your organic farm.
1. Eliminate Grubs
Grubs being one of the moles’ favorite foods, follows that eliminating them can deter moles from new homes.
Additionally, tilling the soil, adding beneficial nematodes, or even soapy water are ways to ward off grubs.
Also, these other natural remedies can get rid of grubs. By utilizing these, hopefully, you’ll see a diminishing amount of root damage.
2. Castor Oil
By far, one of the most noted means of controlling moles in vegetable gardens is castor oil. Applied to the soil, the smell and taste turn them off.
When ingested, castor oil will upset their digestive tract which leads to an upset stomach.
Combine 6 ounces of the oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Afterward, shake well and spray the soil where the mammals appear.
Whether applying through this diluted homemade solution or the products discussed below, castor oil is a fabulous natural mole deterrent.
Ensuring you apply in concentric patterns and methodically is essential, as the critters will burrow to get away from it. Otherwise, the result would cause more damage if not appropriately controlled.
3. Plant Barriers
Known plant deterrents for getting rid of moles include:
- Caper spurge
- Castor beans
Plant them around gardens and lawns to deter the critters. These plants will also add beauty to your yard and control other pests.
4. Holy Moley
One ready-to-use option to eliminate moles is Holy Moly by St. Gabriel Organics. This mixture of castor oil and fuller’s earth has a taste and smell that repels them.
Fuller’s Earth is used in many products as it is the clay material that helps preserve the smell.
When bound with castor oil, it will last longer than if you applied the oil alone directly to the soil surface.
This compound is also safe to use in organic vegetable gardens.
5. Victor M & G Repellent
This is another natural product containing fuller’s earth. It repels burrowing mammals such as ground moles, voles, and Gophers.
Apply the mixture in stages to the garden or lawn area. Application in one large swoop can cause them to burrow more frantically to try and escape the smell and cause additional concerns.
Start in a healthy part of your garden. Move out slowly, systematically applying it to drive them away.
Victor M & G can be bought in resealable bags for ease of use and is tested safe to use around children and pets.
6. Chase Granular Repellent
This is a granular castor oil compound that when ingested, will cause them not to want to repeat the snack.
Driving them away will again cause a temporary uptick in activity as they try to find untreated areas to retreat to get away from the granular.
Chase Granular is spread much like other repellents by hand or spreader and should be watered after application for absorption into the soil.
7. Root Guard
If looking for yard mole traps, this deterrent for use in flower or vegetable gardens is a basket for your plants. It stops them from chewing on roots.
However, choose a basket one size more significant than the root bulb of the plant it protects. This will allow for growth while keeping pests away.
Simply shape the basket when removed from the packaging and place it in the pre-dug hole. Finally, plant, water, and fertilize as you usually would and let the root guard go to work.
8. Dig a Trench
Another pretty simple solution is to dig a trench.
A barrier of rock or wire lined six inches wide, and two feet deep will help keep burrowing animals away.
Ideally, filling this with gravel, along with a lining at the bottom of the mesh can add stability and a wall.
When they hit this wall in their tunnel space, it will force them to retrace or head in another direction.
9. Coffee Grounds
Applying coffee grounds directly to holes found in your yard or garden deters them from returning to the area.
Unfortunately, this method does require you to find all holes and apply the grounds. Also, when rain dissipates the effectiveness of it, it needs to be reapplied.
However, one thing to note is that grubs, which are the primary food source for garden and lawn moles, actually enjoy coffee grounds.
So this remedy, if not carefully monitored, could backfire by creating a more common food source.
Now that you know how to get rid of a mole, let’s learn how to identify them.
Mole pests are tiny mammals that are insectivores. They spend their lives burrowing for food (insects) underground.
They live about three years and have a strange body shape consisting of extended snouts, hairy bodies, and paws that appear to flap.
Additionally, when looking at them, they appear to have no eyes.
About four weeks after mating, the female will have her babies. These babies then take about 33 days to mature, ready to begin burrowing on their own.
What Do Moles Eat?
These creatures are mammal-labeled insectivores for their choice foods of grubs, earthworms, centipedes, and insect larvae. All choices are found deep within the soil of gardens, lawns, and the like.
They burrow deep in the ground in search of food and will consume their body weight daily in insects. This sounds like good news, and they do serve a purpose in their culling of the insect population.
Unfortunately, the incessant burrowing is what can cause concerns for roots. They will not snack directly on plants but rather cause root issues with burrowing.
However, if the plant exhibits direct damage due to being bitten; this will possibly be a gopher or vole and not a mole.
As the first molehill appears and you know this subsoil mammals have arrived, be prepared to deter naturally.
Smells such as castor oil applied in a variety of ways, or repellent plants that also do not appeal to their noses are excellent natural deterrents.
Additionally, try the other natural mole control methods above and you will enjoy all the benefits of a garden free of those eyesore burrows.