Ask a Question forum: How to get rid of moles. What actually works?

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Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
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tgarden711
Apr 4, 2014 2:56 PM CST
I am had a problem last fall with moles tunneling everywhere in my yard. I have lost a whole bed of Columbines and several daylilies that were just shredded to pieces. I fear they are still around because I never caught one with a trap and the granules I purchased did not keep them out of my daylilies. I am just sick about the plants I lost and I fear losing more if I do not find a solution. HELP!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 4, 2014 6:07 PM CST
Theresa, moles do not eat or shred plants. They eat insects that are in the soil. Sometimes their tunneling is destructive, though.

The best way I've found to make them move somewhere else is to simply flood the tunnels with the hose whenever I am out in the garden.

No chemicals, no traps, no mole murdering. They do serve a purpose to rid the garden of grubs and other plant destroying bugs. If you have a natural (non chemical) garden, you have all kinds of bugs, both good and bad, so the moles are going to be attracted to your garden.

But if you consistently flood their tunnels for a week or two they will decide there must be a better place to live.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Apr 4, 2014 8:04 PM CST
Could your moles actually be gophers? They will eat the roots of many plants. - And, no, I don't know how to get rid of them either.
Porkpal
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Apr 4, 2014 8:07 PM CST
Rent a couple of cats.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 4, 2014 8:25 PM CST
Hah, Ken, Rolling on the floor laughing my cat is a great mouser and ratter but in all her 13 years she's only ever brought me a mole once!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 4, 2014 8:33 PM CST
As @dyzzypyxxy said, I agree moles to not eat the plants and roots. You must have a different critter at work. Possibly a vole or gopher?

http://www.gophergoner.com/faq_gophers_and_moles.shtml#faq_0...

If you do have any moles, Talprid Mole Bait works to kill moles, but is expensive. It is shaped like earthworms which is another thing that moles like to eat. Better to make your yard uninviting so the moles move on. Flooding is the easiest and least expensive solution for moles. (Don't tell my dog I said that.)

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
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tgarden711
Apr 5, 2014 4:48 AM CST
They are not eating the plants. Confused They are tunneling near the surface shredding the roots and tear their way around the flower beds. I have tried the mole granules and I have tried the trap but so far it is not working. I hate to call pest control because they charge about $70.00 per mole Blinking .
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 5, 2014 4:52 AM CST
Please consider posting photos.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 5, 2014 6:27 AM CST
I sympathize with your mole issues. I have had them destroy my dwarf Monkey Grass in trails. If you don't pound down their surface tunnels, the roots on lawns stay exposed and die. The sad thing is my Left Neighbor's lawn is unhealthy and that is what attracts them. We have a healthy lawn and they scoot over to our house for their dessert.

I hear they live 4-5 feet below the surface and what we see are only the feeding tunnels. I have flooded out the tunnel before and caught one. I saw it running across the street. I didn't want my Across-the-Street Neighbor to have moles so I grabbed the closest tool I was working with and killed it. It was my red wagon! Rolling on the floor laughing

I have been using Sweeney's Mole Repellent and it seems to work. Trouble is you chase them away to your neighbor's yard and they come back first chance they get! I am tired of reapplying the repellent and going to try the worm-like poison. There is a inverted cone container of mole poison also put out by Sweeney's that supposedly works well, too. I hope I don't wake up to a lawn full of dead moles. But then again, I hope do! I would much rather they die in their under ground tunnel so I don't see nor smell them.

http://m.lowes.com/product?langId=-1&storeId=10702&catalogId...
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Apr 5, 2014 6:36 AM CST
I hope that product works on moles - it certainly does not on gophers.
Porkpal
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 5, 2014 8:41 AM CST
You need to flood the tunnels every day for a week or two. That will make the critters believe that this is not a good place for them to live. Flooding will eventually get water all the way down to the burrows that are deeper underground. It may drown the babies, but you won't have to see that (or smell it, thankfully).

If your neighbors complain that you've chased the moles to their property, tell then how to keep chasing them . . eventually they'll get out to wild lands, or to another neighbor you don't like so well. ?? Big Grin
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 5, 2014 11:17 AM CST
We have been battling moles for 30 years, and we've tried every 'sure-fire home remedy' out there - none of which has ever worked for us. The only reliable thing we have found is mole traps, and that only gets one at a time. @dzzypyxxy, we have never had luck with flooding, glad it has worked for you. We've also tried chewing gum, castor beans and/or oil, numerous mixtures of household gunk, urinating in the run (my sons really got behind that one), running the car exhaust into the run, various vibration devices, human hair, etc. etc. My dog occasionally catches one, although she makes as much of a mess getting them as the moles do themselves. I've accepted the fact that moles are just one of my local nuisances and I now just schmoosh down the hills, using the excess dirt to fill in low spots in the lawn or to pot up plants. Mine tunnel mostly in the lawn, rarely in my garden beds.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Apr 5, 2014 12:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Apr 5, 2014 11:51 AM CST
I second those comments for gophers.
Porkpal
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Apr 5, 2014 12:54 PM CST

Plants Admin

When they get too close to a plant I want left undisturbed, I pour Pine-Sol into the tunnel. Pine-Sol drives them away from a particular spot (just as it would drive you away if it were poured into your dining room). Smiling
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 5, 2014 5:29 PM CST
Ah, Pine-Sol! I tried and failed with moth balls and Chlorox; you give me new hope.
Porkpal
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Apr 5, 2014 6:31 PM CST
Pine-sol just went on my shopping list!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 5, 2014 7:24 PM CST
MSDS for original Pine Sol:
http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/downloads/msds/pinesol/origi...

Why not skip all that and just use pine oil? Please consider what you are doing to ground water when you pour Pine Sol and other things onto the soil, into holes, etc.

One thing that has worked for many people is to place a length of rebar into the ground in the area of activity and top it with a glass bottle. If you use colored glass bottles it's even kind of decorative. As the wind moves it creates a vibration which is sent via the rebar into the soil. A 2 foot length of rebar costs about $1.50 at Home Depot.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 6, 2014 7:57 AM CST
I agree on the PineSol, greene. Back in our parents' day they used whatever chemicals came to hand, and poured all sorts of toxic stuff on the soil. We are still reaping the woes of that careless attitude.

I don't even use PineSol to clean the house any more. It's too noxious. Every chemical you use ends up in the water or air eventually. Got to think about cleaning and solving pest problems in a non-toxic way.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Apr 6, 2014 10:45 AM CST
Please don't think I was the one who suggested to use this stuff.

I am warning people to not use Pine Sol for this purpose. I don't pour Pine Sol on my soil, nor do I pour Clorox, or place moth balls. It was someone else who suggested the use of Pine Sol, not me, thanks. What's more important? A few pretty plants or our entire ecosystem? Thumbs up

If I have a mole, I let my dog get rid of it. If others have moles, well, I already made my suggestions.
But first, the poster needs to be sure that the critter is a mole before trying any of our well-meaning suggestions.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Apr 6, 2014 10:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Apr 6, 2014 12:29 PM CST
According to Extension Service guidelines the ONLY way to effectively remove moles is by trapping them. It is true the trap will only kill one at a time, but since moles are seldom found in groups (they are sort of "loners"), there is usually only one or two to kill.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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