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Moles

Hello friends: I would like advice on how to control moles in my garden and lawn. They are cute animals, but do ruin some areas nevertheless. Is castor oil any good and how much should I use. Where do I purchase at reasonable prices, etc.. Thank you for any help.
 
Hello Glorious, and welcome to the Forums!

Moles dine on grubs, mostly, including Japanese beetle grubs, along with earthworms and other invertibrates, but untidy as their tunneling is, I've always ignored it.

They can make a lawn look like a highway map, but they don't really hurt a garden.
 
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Much as I might wish for the moles condo-izing my back yard to die. They eat just about their weight each day of grubs. Which I want in my garden even less.

Moles are a pain in my tochis, but don't eat what I do. Japan beetles however do.

The scales for me, puts moles just over the edge into "good critter" status.

Now, if you want the moles to pack up their tunnels and move away. Start treating your yard with Milky spoor, to kill the Japan Beetles that have infested your lawn, and that the moles find such a yummy buffet.
 
[hr]Beyond the mountains, there are more mountains.
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I pretty much ignored them in the past, but found that planting onion bulbs with my seeds helped deter them. Haven't had a problem with them since we moved in to town 4 yrs ago. And I find plenty of grubs to toss to the birds!
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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The principle food of moles is earthworms, although they will eat grubs also. No one that sells the poisons people want to spread around to aid in control of moles will tell you that those poisons will also kill off your earthworms, but you can sterilize your soil so the moiles will find no food and so they leave or you can make the food source unpalatable and that is what the castor oil will do. A study at Michigan State University found that spraying a mixture of 1 pint of castor oil in 1 gallon of water over 2,500 square feet would discourage moles. Less is not effective and more is a waste of money. This will need to be sprayed again about every 6 weeks.
Several people I know tried that and found it effective but expensive so the next year bought a commercial mix (with much less castor oil to cover a much greater area) and found that commercial mix a waste of money.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I don't know if we have moles or voles but I ignore them and they seem to be just in the flower beds, not the garden. Anyway, when the snow melted this year we found the bottom half of a tunnel on top of the grass that was completely filled with sunflower seeds. The top of the tunnel was made out of snow. This may have been from a mouse but it was interesting looking and at least 2 feet long. My husband kicked it apart before I thought to go get my camera.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Kimm 1: Which kind of castor oil should I purchase. I'm assuming it's the kind used in homes many years ago. I can purchase via Amazon 32 oz size for under $6.00.
 
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I was in my yard adjacent to the garden yesterday, when i thought i had stepped in something..Since there are no bovine in my yard and my dog is not near large enough to leave me a present that big..I looked down to discover something I had all but forgot for 15 years...a mole run. At first I was upset..then remembered they were not my enemy in the garden..meerly unsightly in the yard. I forsee no actions being needed at this time. Mole are here for a reason....unlike ants..LOL....Good gardening all
 
"Closer to God with every seed"
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I'm not crazy abt them in the lawn, more because my dogs hear/smell them and will dig to China in zero to 30 seconds. They dig faster that any animal that I have ever seen. The proverbial circular dust of dirt--If I wouldn't wrench my ankle in the holes, I wouldn't care.
I don't want them in the garden because they dig and upright my plants(mostly the best ones
so I use moleboxes and the castor oil spray.
 
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Rexx, the tunnel sounds like voles or some other field mouse. Not all field mice are a problem in the garden, but voles sure are. They make tunnels under mulch, make them out of the thatch in the grass, and use mole tunnels. The real problem with them is, they eat roots. They like potatoes, flower bulbs, rhubarb corms, etc. There are baits, traps, gadgets to gas the tunnels with car exhaust, cats, terriers and other dogs, and the little monsters breed so fast it's almost impossible to get rid of them. The best way I've ever heard of to co-exist with them is to bury wire mesh around anything you don't want them to eat. They don't seem to dig down deep like gophers, so the mesh doesn't have to be real deep. If anyone knows any other deterrent that works on voles, I'd sure like to know about it.
In contrast, moles are actually helpful, eating the grubs that damage roots.
 
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Voles do tunnel undeer the snow and leave distinctive tunnel like trails in the grass, moles will not do that because moles live 99 percent of the time in your soil.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I'll have to keep my eyes out for voles in the garden since I am trying a new way to grow potatoes in straw mulch. I don't want to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles by mulching and end up with voles!
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Sure hope you have better luck growing potatoes in straw than I did last year. Oh, the potatoes grew great, but the voles thought they were delicious! Every single large potato was at least partially eaten. They left me the little ones! LOL Big Grin
 
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I don't have mole problems at this house.

One house growing up we did, and those plastic windmill flowers and other such whirlygigs actually noticeably worked for me.

The theory was the vibration scared them.

Before I had enough, I could move them to different sections and they'd keep about 50' radius cleared.
 
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Moles come and go for no apparent reason so often people think some method of control worked when it was simply because the mole left, for no apparent reason. Research at Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, North Carolina state, the U. of Wisconsin, Washington state, UC-Davis has found that none of the windmill or other vibration producing thingys actually work and the only really effective control (short term) is a killing trap which then opens your yard for another mole to move in.
The only thing I have seen that repels moles, when properly applied, is the very expensive castor oil spray. The castor oil can be found in your neighborhood pharmacy, and the last I looked was about $4.00 per 1/4 pint, or $16.00 per pint.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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another poster purchased a qt of castor oil at whole foods for around $8.00..I'm trying to justify a trip to wf
 
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quote:
Research at Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, North Carolina state, the U. of Wisconsin, Washington state, UC-Davis has found that none of the windmill or other vibration producing thingys actually work and the only really effective control


Michigan State:
quote:
7. Other control methods effective in special situations -

A) Any device that imparts a vibration into the ground repels moles. The range of these devices is limited, making them practical only in small areas such as a small garden or flower bed. The more vibration the device imparts into the ground, the more effective it will be.


http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/modwl/11209807.html
 
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There are many, old, references to mole control methods from usually reliable sources still posted, but these still have outdated information. There is a later publication from Michigan State that refutes this 1998 bit of misinformation which I cannot find right now but this from Virginia Tech, 2009, should suffice.
http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-201/420-201.html
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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