Overrun by moles

Credit: Tramper2/iStockphoto


Q: We have problems with moles. They dig up the grass and plants, leaving bare spots in the lawn. We have a dog, so poison is out. What can we do to get rid of them?

Many Canadians have problems with moles; here are a few tips on how to get rid of them:

If moles become a problem but pets are in the picture, traps and poisons (in chemical or natural form), though effective, are not ideal pest-removal methods. There are a few natural alternatives. Plant-based castor-oil mole repellents, which can be bought commercially, do not pose health or environmental hazards according to the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP). Homemade castor-oil repellents can be made with a blender from store-bought castor oil, but don’t try to extract castor oil from your own plants, as the plants will contain ricin, a deadly poison.

Daffodils have also been known to repel moles since the furry creatures don’t like the flowers’ scent. Other organic repellents are squill bears and yellow crown imperials. The latter flower smells like a fox.

Perhaps the most logical solution to the problem is to eliminate the mole’s food source: the grub and the earthworm. To get rid of grubs, apply milky spore powder. However, getting rid of earthworms may not be the best option since they provide nutrients to your garden.

No natural repellent has been proven to be reliable against moles in the Northwest yet, but the castor-oil method has been effective for large areas in the eastern United States.

For more information, please see the following websites: