Natural Methods For Dealing With Moles

By Jonathan Parker

A common enemy of gardeners and lawn aficionados is this little critter to your left. Moles are amazing little creatures that are well suited to their subterranean lifestyle. They eat all manner of insects and earthworms. Their wide paws and sharp claws make them proficient diggers that can tunnel 15 feet or more in an hour. Unfortunately, these last two points make them a destructive force in your yard. Earthworms are good for the soil and tunnels … well, are just tunnels.

In doing some reading and talking to people with critter issues, it seems the most effective way to rid yourself of moles is by trapping them. There are a variety of traps available, most of which seem to have pretty good success rates. However, if you are opposed to killing them, or simply want to do things the natural way here are a few methods you may want to try.

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Plant Barriers

As with many garden pests, moles have been controlled with varying degrees of success by surrounding your yard with plants they find offensive. Luckily they aren’t ugly weeds. You can choose from a variety of plants, including the lovely daffodil. Another interesting defensive flower is the crown imperial. The odor that emanates from the flower is said to resemble the scent of a fox, which of course would not be pleasant to the small tasty mole. Allium bulbs are considered a good choice as well. This family consists of garlic, onions, leeks, chives and shallots all of which have a sharp aroma that tunneling animals find unpleasant. Planting these has the additional benefit of providing some delicious veggies for your table. Castor bean plants also act as a natural barrier, but it should be noted that these beans are poisonous, and should not be used around children or pets.

Natural Repellents

The most common mole repellent recipes I’ve found contain some combination of castor oil and red pepper. Interestingly enough, you can even plant castor beans, and the plants themselves will act as a mole repellent. In this recipe however, you are combining these ingredients.

1/4 cup castor oil
1/4 cup ground red pepper
1/4 cup of dish soap ( other types of soaps can be used as well.

In case you were wondering, the soap is to create a foamy, sticky film that can coat the moles. The combined castor oil and red pepper then irritates them and with any luck they will avoid your yard in search of more appeasing locales.

Yard windmills

Yup. Yard windmills. Several people swear up and down by them, and the pseudo-science of it makes enough sense that I think it would be worth a try. Take another look at that little guy up there. Notice anything missing on his face? How about eyeballs big enough to see out of? That’s right. Basically, for all intents and purposes, moles are blind. Their other senses however, such as smell, are heightened. This is why strongly scented plants and repellents work so well. They also keenly sense vibrations in the soil. With their annoying spinning propellers and long metal shafts, those little yard windmills create a vibration that disturbs the moles’ sonic senses. Moles use this sense to hunt earthworms and insects underground, and also to alert them to predators (like you) approaching. They won’t want to hand around in a place where they can’t hunt or feel safe. However, if you really want to get primal…

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On a more crazy note…

The battle for backyard flatness apparently reaches epic proportions for some folks. Browsing other methods for warlord-scale yard defense I ran across …. The Rodenator. Yeah, It deserves a drum roll. You pump the holes of aforementioned rodents full of propane gas. Then, standing within what I consider to be “Death Proximity” you ignite the propane and blow the everlovin snot out of your yard. I can only imagine that by the time you’ve reached this point, either the rodents have wronged your family and earned your rage through a long history of malicious acts or you are Wile E. Coyote, in which case, why are you reading a natural health blog?

One of the other more insane sounding methods reminded me of an episode of Dexter. Plunging shovels into the ground to trap your prey and pounding the ground with a sledgehammer until you satisfy your bloodlust. Actually, if you’re into Dexter, that would be an interesting plot twist. Remember episode… OK, never mind.

If you are feeling a little evil-geniusy you could tilt to the safe side of chemical warfare and use the Underground Exterminator. Honestly, this one seemed to be pretty effective, depending on how well you sealed the surrounding holes. Obviously you want to be very, very careful attaching a hose to your vehicle. Carbon monoxide and dioxide can make you seriously ill, or even kill you. This goes for your pets as well. The gasses fill the tunnels and work their way into the deep holes. One big red light popped up when someone told how a gopher hole reached their basement, followed by the exhaust when hooked up to this system. Safety first people! And go natural whenever possible. Happy hunting! (or repelling)

Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.

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