It’s hard to think of moles as pests – they’re cute to look at and don’t damage your plants like greenfly or slugs. Molehills on a grass verge look picturesque and it’s nice to know that nature has found a place even on busy roadsides. If molehills start to appear on your nicely-tended lawn however, it’s a different matter. The time, effort and money that can be put into maintaining the perfect lawn is ruined overnight by these burrowing creatures.
Moles don’t actually do any real damage to the grass plants that make up a lawn. They burrow underground and although they might disturb the roots, this doesn’t do the grass any harm. An ironic point is that the presence of moles is actually a sign that you have a good lawn. Moles like to eat earthworms so they’ll take up residence wherever there’s a good food source. Lots of earthworms help to keep your lawn healthy and well-drained, so if your lawn has attracted moles you should be proud (before bemoaning the loss of its pristine finish!).
The main downside of having moles living underneath your lawn is the unsightly molehills that inevitably appear. Not only do they ruin the look of your garden, they make mowing nigh on impossible. Mole tunnels can also collapse, which turns your lovely flat lawn into a mountainous, uneven landscape.
Encouraging moles to leave your garden can be a long, arduous, and ultimately futile task. Once they’ve found a prime piece of land with a good food supply, they don’t like to leave. They’re fiercely territorial creatures, so even if you do manage to get rid of one you may well find it’s not long before another mole moves in.
There are however some methods you can try to stop moles further ruining your lovely turf. A mole trap set by a professional costs a bit of money, but once the mole is trapped it can be released far away from your garden. If the tunnels your mole has dug are shallow, they can be flooded to drive the mole away. Bear in mind that any baby moles won’t be able to escape, so you might want to go for a more humane method.
Buzzing devices are available from your garden centre – you place these into the soil and they emit a sound that drives moles crazy. These are good deterrents to stop a mole invasion before it’s even begun, and if you’re looking for a cheap alternative a child’s windmill does the job.
A final method of removing moles is to lace their tunnels with garlic. You can buy special pellets from your garden centre or just use garlic from your cupboard, but moles don’t like the smell and it will stop them from tunneling any further. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed to get rid of them as they might just change course!
A mix of these methods is usually the best option, and be ready to persevere before you see results. Moles are stubborn creatures and you might have to learn to live with them!