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Moles/voles  RSS feed

 
Adam Buchler
Posts: 70
Location: New Jersey
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I have stopped spraying my lawn several years back for grubs but now I have a serious mole/vole problem. They're everywhere and they decimated my potatoe harvest which I am not happy about. So now I am on a mission to defeat them. I am going to buy some traps but i saw online that castor oil beads and even fruity bubble gum placed in their tunnels helps repel them. Anyone have any comments or suggestions? Obviously I want to do thing chemical free
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1667
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
54
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Repelling only works to a point. You move them from one area, but the mole pressure is still there. You might be able to keep them from a particular area that needs protecting for a short time, but I wouldn't count on it.

We have had some success with traps, having caught half a dozen or so that were destroying our lawns and annual veggie beds. Trouble is each spring we get a fresh bunch move in from outside the garden.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1787
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
195
forest garden trees woodworking
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Our big rescue dogs (random breeds, idiosyncratic, not as easy to train because not as eager-to-please as well-raised dogs) do a lot of digging and catching of subterranean nibblers. However they do a lot of galumphing and damage to garden plantings in the process. It's my impression that the predator pressure has reduced my local population of nibblers, but it didn't get reduced by enough to matter; pretty much everything I planted that wasn't in containers or tall raised beds got eaten this year.

I have *wondered* whether a few small-breed dogs that were actually bred to hunt rats and go down into burrows might be an effective solution. Bit I have not tried it.
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
2
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First off, please accept my sympathy. I have fought this battle, and in fact, continue to fight it as I am able. This is your big chance, if you like researching on the Internet. Moles are carnivores, voles are herbivores, if the buggars ate your potatoes, they're voles. Lotsa stuff to read on the computer. I have tried gassing them with the exhaust from the riding lawnmower, also a railroad fusee lit and stuck in a tunnel, not to mention carbide and water, then cover the hole... Oh, and planting castor beans, an electronic buzzer dealy, and flooding too.... I really, really don't like them. I have an asparagus bed that I'd dug out and had river bottom gumbo and old horse manure and sand in there too. The dang asparagus was growing like weeds, real stout, pretty stuff. It was the Arnold Schwartzenegger of the asparagus world. One day, it started to look kinda puny, and to my everlasting horror, I discovered that the sneaky little voles were eating the roots. Thus began the past few years of fighting the little pests. Good luck! I grew some huge castor bean plants, but that may be illegal in some places. The castor bean plants also consumed nutrients formerly available to the asparagus. Everything's a tradeoff, right? Good luck! Best, TM
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2834
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
233
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The best bet for keeping Voles out of your gardens is to get 1/4" hardware cloth and bury one foot of it into the ground surrounding what you want to keep them out of. You can bury as much as two feet deep but that may be wasteful of the hardware cloth.

For Moles, who have better digging claws, we used a double layer of the same hardware cloth spaced about 1" apart but I dug the trench 1.5 feet deep. This has deterred the little buggers so far. I'm not trying at this time to eradicate them, just control where they can go. I am hopeful that the denial of favorite foods will convince them to just move on down the road.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
15
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When I have trapped moles, I had success with the Victor jaw traps but they are somewhat dangerous ;).. the Trapline traps are much easier to use and effective. I have also 'buried' a 'fence' (I.e., sliced a 'trench' with shovel, then 'pushed' in) of the plastic mesh bag material that onions are sold in. It may have been effective... no moles raising a long-used run, but there are other variables... it is easy, though :)

OT - I had two 'self-harvest' this summer. I found... er.. 'smelled'... them floating in a 4' dia ancient concrete pond, which had almost dried out, leaving the overflow outlet pipe above water. Apparently they had run into the buried overflow pipe and took advantage of the no-dig opportunity. However, I think I have a new family every year, and won't be counting on such simple-mindedness in the future ;)
 
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