The Q&A Archives: moles/squirrels

Question: Moles & squirrels tear up my grass(tunnels),eat my garden and spring bulbs. How can I get rid of moles? tried lime, mouse sticky traps-(can't use poison, neighbors dog also in my yard &garden???

Answer: Moles create characteristic mounds and tunnels that rise above the soil level; voles have trails through tall grass, but have been known to use mole tunnels to feed on roots and bulbs. There are many ways to try to get rid of moles. Moles feed on grubs and earthworms living in your lawn or garden. The damage they do is to plant roots while they are tunneling. Your first consideration should be to control the grub population in your lawn with beneficial nematodes or milky spore powder, both of which are spread on the lawn. Another tactic is to flush the tunnels with water (best done in the spring), or protect your garden by burying a fencing of small mesh, tightly woven hardware cloth. You could also try trapping them live in a Havahart trap. Moles hate the smell of castor oil beans, and there are repellents containing castor oil. There's also a device that creates underground vibrations that deter the critters. You may need to try a variety of these options, and keep it up.

Dealing with squirrel is tough, but there may be some help for you. One of the easiest solutions is to cover the soil around planting beds with sheets of 1-2 inch diameter wire mesh. Squirrels don't like to walk on it. Another suggestion is to try pruning trees so the lowest branches are at least 6 feet above ground and placing 2 foot wide metal bands around the tree trunks, positioning them so the bottom of each band is at least 2 feet off the ground. This will discourage squirrels from taking up residence in your yard. I realize these aren't really simple solutions...but it's not a simple problem!

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