Moles are interesting little creatures, with their underground tunnels, and their complex underground navigation systems that often throw us for a loop. However, if one decides to take up permanent residence in your yard, it can rapidly become a nuisance, both for yourself, and for your garden bed, since the mole’s underground tunnel will make quick work of your freshly planted flowers or succulents.
Luckily for you, there are things you can do to prevent moles from getting into your yard and garden, and even steps you can take to actively deter them.
1. Use plants to your advantage
One interesting trick that doesn’t immediately come to mind when we think about mole damage and mole prevention is using our plants to our advantage. Moles, like many other wild critters, have notably poor eyesight, and subsequently heightened sense of smell. Which means they’re easier to deter through strong scents, rather than visually.
How can you do this? If you’re worried about moles digging up your garden, you can surround it with a “plant barrier” made up of plants that you know the moles will not tolerate, such as marigolds, basil, chives, daffodils, mint, geraniums, or lemongrass.
Not only are these plants useful to you or at least pretty in the garden, but they also serve to keep pests at bay.
2. Remove food sources
It’s important that we consider why the mole is attracted to your home in the first place, and in this particular case, it’s most likely coming to dig up your grubs and insects. But what can you do about that? To kill off unwanted insects that may be attracting predators, you can invest in an insecticide, or use nematodes or milky spores (which is a bacteria), although these may take a few seasons to work properly.
3. Call a professional
This should go without saying, but if you are struggling with a mole infestation, one of the best things you can probably do is reach out to a professional wildlife removal company. They will be able to come and inspect the situation, determine both the size of the problem, as well as the root cause (e.g. why you’ve got moles in the first place).
You can ask for help at Nuisance Wildlife Rangers, and they will design a quick and efficient wildlife removal plan that will remove the problem, and hopefully prevent future infestations.
4. You can try DIY remedies
While DIY remedies are usually known for their poor efficiency, you never know, and using a DIY non-toxic repellent is a cheap method you can at the very least try. If you’re looking for something to deter moles from getting into your garden, know that castor oil works well, as it upsets the mole’s digestion. Luckily, the castor oil is non-toxic, and won’t actually kill or hurt the mole. However, ingesting it will make digestion difficult, and get the mole to look for a home elsewhere.
Cook up a mixture of diluted castor oil (with water, and additionally, dish soap), and spray it around your garden soil regularly to see an effect.
5. Trench it up
A great way to stop digging intruders is to dig a trench. This works particularly well if you’re only looking to keep the moles out of a specific region, e.g. a succulent bed or garden. In order to dig yourself a lucrative trench, dig around the area you wish to “fence off”, and go about three feet deep. Fill the hole with either wire mesh, or rocks. You want something that will act as a wall, essentially, and stop the mole from digging into that specific area.
Alternatively, you could plant a special mole fence around your garden patch.
6. Use a sonic spike
A sonic spike is an electronic device that’s designed especially for repelling moles. It can be purchased at specialty stores, and should be planted inside the ground near where you’re experiencing the infestation. The spike will emit electric vibrations through the soil, which will create a disruptive, unpleasant environment for the moles to be in. This, in turn, will discourage the moles from living on your property, and make them look for a new home elsewhere.
7. Bring in a predator
A great way to deter unwanted wild animals from digging up your garden, or bothering you, in general, is to simply introduce a natural predator to your property. For moles, this would be the owl. And the way you can introduce one to your home is by installing a perch (may also attract hawks, but those work, too!).
Moles are clever enough to know they would do best to avoid properties where one of their natural enemies might dwell. So signs of the owl around your home can convince moles to look for a home someplace else.