6 Forms of Natural Mole Control
There are quite a few ways to control pests in the garden, but natural and humane methods tend to be harder to come by because it can be easier in the moment to use traps and poison. I’m going to talk about moles and gophers today, because we’ve just had to deal with an infestation. But some of these ideas will apply to any pest you find invading your home or garden.
The first step is to know your enemy. In my cases, the signs of moles and gophers are very similar, but the pests are actually quite different. For example, moles actually don’t eat plants, but they burrow under the soil in search of their favorite meals, grubs and earthworms. This isn’t too much of a problem because they tend to aerate and turn the soil, but they do leave visible tunnels, ridges, and circular mounds, which can be a nuisance in the garden. On the other hand, gophers DO eat plants and can really do a lot of damage to crops. Their tunnels usually aren’t visible, so it can be tough to pinpoint them as culprits.
Here is a list of 6 forms of natural pest control, with a bit of a focus on fighting against moles and gophers:
- Kill their food source
The best way to get rid of moles feeding in the garden is to take away their food, so they won’t want to come back. A combination of milky spore bacteria and beneficial nematodes can be used to destroy the grubs.
- Castor Oil
Castor Oil can be used as a repellent and does an excellent job of controlling moles and gophers as well as armadillos. Castor oil products don’t actually harm moles or gophers – it simply deters them, making it a great form of natural pest control. You can actually use the castor oil to control the direction that they go. Using a spreader, castor oil can be set down in granules over an area where damage has been particularly bad. You will only need about one pound per 1,000 square feet, so a small amount does the trick. The granules need to dissolve and release the repelling scent, and for this to happen they need to either be watered or rained on. Castor oil granules are an all-natural product made up of castor oil, soap and corncob granules, which are actually good for the lawn
- Build raised beds
Cover the bottom of the bed with a sheet of hardware cloth so gophers and moles cannot burrow around in the garden. You can also install underground rhizome barriers, which are usually used to control the rapid spread of plants, but they can also be used to keep pests out.
- Humane traps
Gophers and moles can be caught unharmed with specially made humane traps and set back out into the wild. Although regular mole traps are apparently a very efficient way of getting rid of the problem, the humane traps seem to be less effective. So, this may not be an efficient solution if you have a large number of pests.
- Build fences
Gophers and moles cannot climb, so building a fence around your property may help with these pests. Even just a one-foot-high solid barrier is enough to prevent pests from getting in.
- Sounds and vibrations
Gophers in particular are very sensitive to any kind of vibrations and noise in the ground. Special devices are available which create these deterrents and keep gophers away. Different types include battery models that use solar panels.