Moles eating my garden...help!

thebrewer
By thebrewer on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - 3:17pm

I live in NW Connecticut and I am having a terrible problem with moles around and under my garden. I need suggestions to make them leave. I'm not interested in poisons because of my chickens and pets and if I tried those moles killing traps my kids would be very unhappy.

I've read that if you get rid of the grubs the moles will leave. I've tried confining my chickens around the garden perimeter to get the grubs but that doesn't seem to do enough. I've now just read the moles like the earthworms as well but you don't want to get rid of those so I'm at a loss. Two years in a row now the moles start tunneling around and in my garden and eat the roots and then within a couple weeks everything dies. I think it's has started again! My garden is looking anemic. Help!!!

9 Comments

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2833
One approach

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Starting to feel that way

I'll keep that option in my back pocket;-)

captain.k's picture
captain.k
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Joined: Apr 13 2013
Posts: 4
You can flood their tunnels

If you have abundant water, you can flood their tunnels.  A high volume output hose stuffed into the hole and left to run for an hour will drown any in the passageway or force them to the surface where you can trap or kill them.  If you want to be really aggressive, then use boiling water.

For what it's worth.

All the best.

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 28 2013
Posts: 323
audible repellent

I haven't tried it yet, but my neighbor swears by these.  I think it must be working because all the moles seem to have fled her yard and headed for mine which now looks like WWII London.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_72585-74129-TX-MOLE_0__?productId=3736221

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Reviews not great

There are 3 reviews on the Lowe's site and none of them are good. I have considered some sort of audible device but held off because I tried them with mice in my house and they didn't work. Since I've added cats...no more mice;-)

Need to find natural enemy of moles that won't cause more problems then they solve.

jasonw's picture
jasonw
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1019
Spied this thread.. then this post...

Might be something to try?

https://shine.yahoo.com/at-home/rid-gophers-moles-203900401.html

Tall's picture
Tall
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2010
Posts: 564
Probably voles, not moles

Meadow and pine voles eat plant material (vegetarians) and burrow in the ground. They are considered a garden pest. In general, moles are innocents in the garden as they eat grubs and worms (carnivores).

I too have voles in my garden. They increased when I: mulch with straw or hay, stopped turning the soil, and used 'lasagna' gardening methods. I control them by collapsing their tunnels, trapping (apple is a good bait), keep the surrounding area mowed close, mulch with wood chips or around fruit trees, round pebble mulch and if you have them use predators. Dogs, foxes, owls, etc. can reduce populations, but nothing totally eliminates populations of voles.

 

Here is a IPM fact sheet from Cornell: http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/treefruit/pests/vole/vole.asp

Good luck! - and I feel your pain.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
raised beds with hardware cloth bases

We knew we had a problem with voles in the yard before we planted our garden. The cats kept catching them; one cat had no whiskers from jamming his face down the vole holes.

So I designed a raised bed garden with hardware cloth stapled to the bottoms of the boxes. This also stops gophers.

sdmptww's picture
sdmptww
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 18 2008
Posts: 56
welcome to the family!

Brewer, I had the same problem a couple of years ago.  It is bad enough to watch your leafy plants slowly go down hill and even more frustrating to pull up a carrot and there is nothing below the first inch.  I've done several things and seem to have decreased their activity in my garden.  Same with sweet potatoes.  I was using lots of colorful metaphors that first year.

I did dig out my raised beds and put wire down and built some of the beds up more to keep the roots above the wire.  They seem to seriously dislike castor oil (I can't blame them for that).  Pour it into a new tunnel and try to coat the walls and let it run down a good ways.  Buy it in bulk not small bottles.  Some of the snake repellents are heavy on castor oil in the pellets and might be easier to use but I've not tried them.  Moth balls might also work but I've not tried them.  I bought several of those noise making things.  Try to find some that have solar batteries that can be replaced, otherwise they will last a year and you will have to toss them.  I wouldn't say they were that much help for just a year's use.  My cat really dislikes the little buggers so sometimes I let her try her luck in places other than my raised beds.  It can be fun to watch and she's gotten pretty good at thinning the herd some.  I am experimenting with hardware cloth around the area where I grow corn and beans, rather than below, but not sure if it will really work long term. 

Good luck

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