When you’re living in a house, there are few things more enjoyable than tending to a beautiful yard. And that’s no small amount of work — especially if you’re doing it on your own, without the aid of your family members of professional gardeners. It all pays off in the end, of course — when you look out of your window and see the sight of a perfect garden.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can mess with this plan. For instance, there’s rarely something more annoying than the sight of a freshly accumulated brown mound on your otherwise gorgeously arranged grass. And that means one thing — moles. Which is why we’re going to go over the basics of mole catching and do our best to tell you what works, and what’s a myth.
Mole Infestations Are Chronic
Indeed, if you’re dealing with a chronic mole appearance, annoyance is the least level of negative emotion you’ll be feeling. And if we’re being honest, most mole appearances are chronic, and not a one-time issue; they either live in a specific region or they never appear there.
That’s why people go to ridiculous lengths to make sure that their perfect gardens are free of these rodents. But that’s rarely easy — for instance, Britain has released statistics that show that the number of moles in the country has risen by a fifth compared to estimates a decade before, and that’s the situation pretty much everywhere.
So, what can you do about this? For one, prepare yourself for a process that’s pretty much continuous. Whenever you notice that the little buggers have been ripping through your garden again, try not to lose your cool and be distressed. It will happen again, and there’s no use losing your nerves because of it.
Plus, if it’s any consolation — having moles means that your garden is planted upon healthy soil. Moles like areas where there are plenty of earthworms in the ground and these are important for soil enrichment and fertilization. Naturally, this isn’t much of a consolation — most people say that they would get rid of all the moles if they could.
It May Not Be Moles
While getting rid of moles is a worthy endeavor — before you embark on your quest for a perfect garden, you should make sure that your issue is a mole, to begin with. There are other types of living creatures that could do a similar amount of damage to your lawn. And remedies for getting rid of them aren’t always the same, so you could be stuck doing something that has absolutely no effect. The holes and mounds you see in your yard could have been caused by other tiny mammals like voles or pocket gophers. That’s why trying to get rid of moles won’t do you much good in that regard — make sure you know what you’re dealing with.
Forget Old Wives Tales
Whenever there’s a problem that people deal with on a regular basis, there are those who would sell them extravagant and interesting remedies; or be quick to repeat “secretive” home remedies that nobody knows, but are guaranteed to work. In the case of mole catching — forget about that right away.
During the past few centuries, people have tried all kinds of crazy stuff. There are even reports of people in country club lots trying to pour flammable substances down the mole runs, and then proceeding to set fire to them. Not only is this unnecessarily cruel to the mole and damaging to the soil — it simply doesn’t work. Moles can dig quite quickly and reach safety.
With that in mind, ignore ultrasonic gizmos, repellents in spray bottles, huge pieces of gum that supposedly traps moles, etc. All of these just aren’t effective.
Removing Grubs Is a Mistake
We’ve already mentioned that earthworms are the main source of food for tiny animals like moles. And while that may very well be true, getting rid of insects akin to grubs won’t really do much good for your garden. Sure, there could be bad bugs you want to get rid of because they’re also doing damage to your garden. But if you get rid of them to “starve out” moles, you probably won’t achieve the desired effect.
First of all, moles are incredibly adept at finding food. They do so far more effectively than you could remove insects and grubs below the surface of your garden soil. Also, the harder you try to remove grubs, the harder your moles will try to search for food; causing more damage to the yard in the process.
There are plenty of mole poisons commercially available for purchase. However, these are only effective if you lure the moles and trick them into eating the poison. And that’s rarely something you can do in any considerable measure because moles are bigger fans of meat, however tiny it is — that’s why they eat insects. On the other hand, most poisons are plant-based.
Plus, many people mistakenly place the poison in tunnels they find. But moles make tunnels while they go through the ground searching for insects and other food. They almost never revisit a tunnel they’ve already made – because there’s no food left there. In other words, you’d have to anticipate where your moles will go next; something that is pretty much impossible.
Pets Will Help
Most people who have a garden will opt for having a pet at certain points in their lives. If you’re considering this, know that having a cat or a dog will actually be beneficial to your efforts to catch moles.
These household animals will attempt to kill or at least trap the little mammal. They sometimes eat the moles, though they most often just leave the body in the garden. Dogs are known to also dig through to a tunnel where the mole is holed up; this will obviously help you catch the mole, but bear in mind that the dog’s digging will probably make for an even bigger mess.
Trapping Is Effective
At the end of the day, mechanical traps are the only truly effective way to get rid of moles. This isn’t something anyone can do easily, mind you; mole traps need prerequisite knowledge to be utilized successfully. Plus, you’ll still have a living mole or a carcass to get rid of; but that’s pretty much a given regardless of how you’re dealing with a mole infestation.
The so-called “quick-kill” type of traps is probably the most effective, but it also takes the most skill and persistence to use to any large effect. You’re probably far better off paying a professional whose only job is to catch moles to do it for you — they’ll have both the equipment and the expertise. Sure, it may mean spending a few bucks, but compared to the time you’d otherwise invest in this, it’s a safe option.