Moles in the garden are not harmful as such, but they can make a right mess of your garden by the tunnels and chamber systems they dig. They are attracted to gardens because of the earthworms and other insects that live beneath the soil but they are not harmful to plants and roots – the havoc they can wreak upon your garden is simply a by-product of the kind of lifestyle they lead.
There are several different methods of dealing with moles and ways in which you can deter them from using you garden in the first place.
You can buy different variations of humane mole traps from a good garden centre but they can have their drawbacks. Firstly, to work effectively, it’s usually advised that you have the traps set by an expert, which will cost you extra money and it’s not really a long-term solution, as the job will have to be repeated every year or so. Moles are very territorial so, even if you think you have got rid of the problem, the chances are that another mole(s) in the area will seize the opportunity to take up residence in the vacated territory. Therefore, trapping is not a sure-fire solution to eradicating your mole problem and can be quite expensive.
The best way of dealing with moles in the garden is to prevent them from setting up home in the first place. Moles do not like noise or disturbance and there are several vibration and electronic buzzing devices which you can buy from your garden centre which, when strategically placed, can drive moles mad and soon have them scurrying away from your garden.
Some gardeners choose to devise their own makeshift devices out of things like buried empty bottles which, when the wind blows, causes vibration or they might plant a child’s toy windmill close by. You can also buy electronic probes which emit a sonic pulse and there are other repellent solutions available at garden centres where you’ll be able to obtain advice.
Moles have a dislike for stony soil, heavy clay or areas of soil which have been compacted. This is because they use their heads to tunnel with and because their skulls are quite frail, any resistance in the soil is likely to put them off digging there. Animal urine is also reputed to be a good deterrent so if you have a pet cat or dog, it can help – some people even use human urine and claim it works just as well and others swear by placing garlic bulbs or pickled onions nearby.
The use of poisons, however, is strictly regulated and you should seek advice from your local council’s environmental department if you are considering this option as it’s heavily regulated and you could be breaking the law.