Wondering how to get rid of moles and voles in your yard? Here we have got you some tips and methods to get rid of these critters in your garden.
As aesthetic and fascinating as that sweet little backyard of your house may seem to you, you know it’s quite vulnerable and is likely to be invaded by unsolicited guests like Voles, and Moles, anytime and how.
Moles are quite a troublesome garden pests that can ruin your landscape. On the other hand, Voles can devour your vegetation, flower bulbs, and damage your trees and shrubs, eat your grass, and leave well-worn paths through your yard.
Don’t forget to read our helpful guide on ways to repel mouse and rodents.
Learn about moles and voles and the difference between them. A little knowledge about these critters will help you to get rid of moles and voles before they ruin your well-maintained lawn.
What are Moles?
Moles are animals that are considered to be one of the unavoidable threats to lawns or gardens in general.
Their niche is restricted to underground specifically tunnels and holes excavated by themselves or naturally occurring in space. So it’s pretty hard to locate and find them.
Wondering what does a vole looks like? Now, to talk a little about the morphology of the “culprits”, they are either of greyish or brownish shades, covered with fur and about 6-7 inches in length. They possess tiny eyes and do not have external ears.
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At a glance, you might just overlook their presence in your garden because of their exterior but there are few prominent features such as their long nose and paddled, webbed feet that will get your attention if you watch out for any trespassers.
Moles are fortunately anti-social mammals and it is one of the graces that naturally saves your yard from large-scale infestation. Usually, only one or two moles are active in a given yard.
One interesting fact is those webbed feet can dig out mole tunnels at a rate of 1 foot per minute! That’s a lot of damage undoubtedly.
What do Moles Eat?
Moles are solely dependent on insects (insectivorous) and their major diet consists of earthworms along with a few grubs (beetle), snails, spiders, other small animals, insects or larvae, etc. They do not eat plants under any circumstances.
It’s true that this hard-working animal is virtually blind, but that doesn’t come in its way of looking out for prey.
They have a pretty good vision that enables them to detect the difference between day and night time. They can eat almost nearing their body weight per day.
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No wonder these ever-hungry animals are constantly foraging for their appetizers. This explains the occurrence of those endless mini hills you see in your lawn.
They can dig out as deep as 100 feet if they sense their meals or can just go on digging in a random fashion.
By looking at these facts, it might occur to you that getting rid of these enemies is quite a real task but just continue reading.
How to recognize Mole Activity and Damage in Your Yard?
The very two conserved ways of recognizing mole activity in yards are:
Moles produce two types of runways (tunnels); deep sub-surface runways. They dig vast underground tunnels in search of insects, worms, and nesting/living space.
- Presence of big raised ridges in lawn and
- Presence of hilly bumps also referred to as molehills.
These are formed as they dig out ground soil and dirt from beneath and move deeper to make their dens or just in search of food.
A mole’s den may be used for different purposes based on convenience and several such dens may be connected internally with runways.
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The deeply dug ones are usually used as their residence as they may provide protection against predators such as foxes, snakes, and dogs while the shallower ones are used as hunting grounds.
Tips to Getting Rid of Moles Your Yard Fast
There can be a long list of methods or remedies that can be followed to keep moles at bay. The following are possibly the best ways to get rid of such creatures without any delay and have a clean and tidy garden at home.
REMEDIES TO KEEP MOLES AWAY
1. Use Repellents to Repel Moles Away
The most traditional way of controlling persistent moles is to use repellents. A wide array of deterrents are available in the market commercialized as Mole-Med for mole removal.
A very popular repellent being Castor oil which can be used in raw form or can be mixed as a homemade treatment. This DIY remedy is easy to control moles infestation in your yard.
This helps in eliminating moles because it makes the soil smell bad to them. Castor oil doesn’t kill these critters, but it does upset their digestive systems.
Castor oil can repel moles by causing discomfort to their noses and preventing them from invading the plant beds treated with the oil.
2. Eliminate the Food Source of Moles
As one of their primary treats, moles feed on beetle grubs hence by eliminating their favorite food, they can be discouraged humanely from invading the space. This can be achieved by mixing bacterial based Milky Spore Disease granules with the grubs that will banish the grubs.
You can also use a chemical insecticide grub killer. Always follow your product’s directions before applying it to your yard.
You can also use coffee grounds to repel moles. Sprinkle some fresh coffee grounds throughout the lawn and garden, or toss your brewed coffee grounds into the garden each day after making your morning pot of coffee.
Repeat daily until the moles are gone, then at least once every 2 weeks to keep the moles from returning.
3. Trap and Release Method
Trapping and releasing moles or voles is another effective control of them on your lawn. Many traps are quick-kill, but it is possible to capture a mole without killing it.
The key to success in trapping is determining where the voles are most likely to be passing by; that’s where you want to locate the trap.
One of the kindest solutions of removing moles from lawns is to sink a glass jar on the floor of one of the active runways by which they can be easily trapped and relocated elsewhere.
You can also use mouse snap trap to trap voles. Place the trap perpendicular to the vole runway, aligning the trap’s trigger with the very path the vole must take in using the runway.
Peanut butter is an excellent bait for trapping voles. The best time to trap is either autumn or late winter. Once trapped you can relocate them to far of places.
4. Barrier Methods to Control Moles
Barriers can be used such as wire meshes that can be dug underground up to a depth of 30 inches and extending 5-6 inches above the ground. This might be tiresome as a task but can be used as a preventive measure for your yard.
5. Scare them Away With Ultrasonic and Vibration Devices
Some gardeners suggest the high-frequency intermittent pulses from the Ultrasonic devices are intended to irritate Moles and Voles and drives them away.
However, there is not a lot of scientific backing that they work and some frequencies can be heard by dogs or other pets too, so research the product you’re interested in before you buy.
The simplest way could be letting your pets to go outside and feed on them. For example, cats love rodents more than fish and they can be really helpful in controlling voles in gardens.
7. Other Methods to Control Moles
Sonic chasers, Mothballs inactive runways, flooding the dens with water (or praying for rain), dumping litters of your pet commonly kitty litters down their dens, insertion of lava rocks treated with garlic and onion solutions into their dens are some of the easy solutions to get rid of moles from your garden.
What are Voles?
Voles are small rodents about 4 to 6 inches in length that are not a type of mouse but resemble one. A vole has a shorter tail and ears with respect to the mouse.
Their fur is slightly on the darker shade of brown and their ears and eyes can be easily detected by lawn owners.
They can dig their own tunnels or make use of the ones created by moles or other animals. Their burrows have around the entrance.
They can be of two types based on the location of damage they cause:
- Those causing damage above ground: Meadow Voles
- Those causing damage underground: Pine Voles.
They are quite opportunistic species and multiply quickly in good numbers. This has been evolutionarily designed to make up for a short life span of 16 months or less.
They can deliver 3-6 offsprings at a time in 21 days and the saturation level can go up to 30 offsprings per year.
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From this, it can be assumed that before an owner can figure out the slightest of clues, they can cause damages in numbers beyond recovery.
What do Voles Eat?
They are herbivorous or plant-eaters unlike moles. They do not have preferences as such but rather feast on whichever part they can reach.
Voles have huge front teeth making them efficient for the act of chewing on fleshy roots stems, seeds, specific flower bulbs, mushrooms, and tubers.
Their favorite meal is lawn grasses but also feed on shrubs and tree barks at the ground level. Voles can create grassy runways by munching the topsoil grasses.
They prefer feeding in areas where they will not get targeted by their predators. They are active both day and night time.
How to Recognize Vole Activity and Damage in Your Yard?
Recognizing the presence of voles is different from that of moles with respect to their signs. Voles can be suspected if your garden has the following signs:
- Runways on the ground surface. Runways may be one to two inches in width.
- Presence of vole burrows under the base of trees (shadowing their shelter from predators) or in plain lawns without any tree shelter. The grass immediately surrounding the burrow will be almost munched off and very short. There will not be any soil/dirt mounts surrounding the burrow as in the case of moles.
Voles can cause damage throughout the year and specifically during the winter season, the signs of damages reach its peak because of the shortage of food.
At those times, voles can cause serious damages to roots and underground tubers which are usually consumed as storage vegetables.
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On uprooting such plants off the surface, these are seen to be dead with no root or tuber structures left. Another sign is when voles consume plants, stems are left with a pointed tip.
Tips to Getting Rid of Moles and Voles in Your Yard Fast
There can be a long list of methods or remedies that can be followed to keep voles and moles at bay. The following are possibly the best ways to get rid of such creatures without any delay and have a clean and tidy garden at home.
REMEDIES TO KEEP VOLES AWAY
If you have not come across the horrendous sights of damages caused by voles, here are some quick facts and tips that will save your life henceforth and knock theirs out.
1. Trapping Voles
Wondering how to get rid of voles without poison? Snap traps designed for mice are equally effective in the case of voles. You can use the same method of locating and placing the traps in one of the active runways.
Also, if you feel like putting some extra efforts, you can camouflage the device by using leaves or some cloth. Afterward, relocate the voles to some other place where it will not cause damage.
2. Using Sharp Materials in Soil Bed
Mixing soil with fine glass shards or particles can discourage them from tunneling into the beds.
Commercial products such as Permatill and Soil Perfector are ideally used for this purpose. For the cheapest way, you can use course gravels to achieve the same results.
3. Use a Physical Barrier to Getting Rid of Voles
In bulb beds, sheets of wire can be laid over the soil to prevent voles from burrowing down inside or the bulbs can be protected from all angles by wires creating a wire network
4. Using Repellants to Deter Voles
Repellents are always convenient to use. A large variety of repellents such as Ro-Pel, Liquid Fence, the fungicide Thiram, Plantskyyd, etc. can be used for this purpose. They need to be reapplied every now and then particularly in case they are washed off by heavy rains.
Young trees and shrubs can be covered with hardware cloth around the base of the trunks to keep voles away from munching on the plants. It should be a couple of inches deep and should go up at least 1-2 feet above the ground.
5. Tidy Up Your Yard
Lastly, a low-key tip would be to maintain your yards regularly and have a good gardening practice. Voles love living in mulch and big ground covers or any habitat providing them stable protection and place for hiding which can be easily found if your place is not cleaned up regularly.
Avoid storing leaf mulches close to trees or piles of dried up twigs around trees; these are few of the most used hiding spots of voles.
Therefore, mowing grasses on a regular basis, cleaning up piles of debris or plant stems/branches/twigs, etc. and taking care of planting beds are musts if you want that pretty space outside your home to look spotless.
6. Natural and Home Remedies to Keep Voles Away
Some gardeners swear by putting mothballs into vole burrows or mixing irritants like ammonia and garlic with water and spraying them in the entrances.
The downside is that these washes away in the rain and have to be reapplied and repeated regularly.
FAQ’s About Getting Rid of Moles & Voles
Q. How to get rid of moles in the yard with juicy gum?
A. Juicy Fruit gum for killing tunneling critters like voles, moles, and gophers is a home remedy that has been passed around for decades. The whole idea behind this crazy DIY trick is that the critters will eat the gum and it in turn will “gum up” their insides. It is supposed to clog the system causing them to die of a horrible blockage in their guts. However, there are many who oppose and do not advocate this inhumanely method. You should always try to trap them and relocate them.
Q. How to get rid of moles in yard with dawn dish soap?
A. Combine castor oil, Dawn dish soap, and water in a bottle. Spray the active areas where moles and other burrowing animals are taking over. You might not be able to get rid of them quickly. So repeat this treatment regularly until they are gone.
Q. Which plants repel Voles in Yard?
A. Voles dislike some bulb varieties such as daffodils, Italian arum and grape hyacinths. So adding these plants to your garden/yard will naturally repel voles from your landscape.
If you need more help to control the voles and moles in your garden, then Call a wildlife control professional to get rid of pesky moles and voles.