The Q&A Archives: Plant that Deters Moles

Question: I recall that an old friend used to deter moles from her garden by planting something around the perimeter. Do you have any idea what this plant was, and does it work?

Answer: There is an old-fashioned annual plant that is sometimes called mole plant or gopher purge. The Latin name is Euphorbia lathyris. This plant exudes an irritating sap and was said to repel moles if simply planted at regular intervals around the garden.

Castor-oil plants (Ricinus communis) bear beans that are extremely toxic -- this includes being toxic to people. Castor oil is made from these beans and is often suggested as a repellent for moles. Some companies now sell castor oil-based sprays for the purpose of repelling moles. Do not plant castor-oil plants if there is any chance that the beans could be inadvertantly ingested.

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