Do daffs really ward off moles?

gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)November 27, 2005

I have heard that moles and voles do not like daffodil bulbs. Does anyone have any experiences/observations on this subject?

I do not want to use poisons. My outside cat, DeCon, has already killed one and I don't want to chance his eating a poisoned rodent. Same with traps, I am afraid that he would end up in one.

If daffs really work I would have no problem planting tons of them in my yard.

When I had my farm I had somewhere over 2000 bulbs planted and never saw moles but I don't know if the daffs were the reason.

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I have also heard that moles don't like to be around daffodils, although since moles eat insects (mainly grubs, earthworms, beetles) I don't know why the presence of daffodil bulbs would make any difference. Voles don't eat daffodil bulbs because they are poisonous. If you planted enough daffodil bulbs the voles might be discouraged, but I don't know that it would deter them altogether from going after your other plants.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 12:54PM
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For an organic and natural mole / vole eliminator, try a beagle. Guaranteed to bring you every mole/vole in your yard and deposit it lovingly at your feet. All mine have been eradicated. Squirrels, however, are an elusive work in progress.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 7:45AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

titus, or a lab - who, unfortunately, managed to excavate about 10 cubic yards of garden to get to one :)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 12:35PM
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Don't believe there are any plants that discourage moles and voles. While some plants are not eaten by voles, that doesn't mean they won't dine on the plant 4 inches away.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 6:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sounds like another old husband's tale in the making!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 3:01PM
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gardenklutz(NC 7)

Yep - it is "another old husband's tale"......LOL.
I planted over 200 daffs surrounding my medium sized flower garden, put another 100 in and around the plants and still have as many voles/moles as ever. True, they didn't eat the bulbs, but I know they're still there because I can see all the holes they make. There must be miles of tunnels under the ground that they travel around in. Nothing I have tried has discouraged them in any way. If anyone has a sure fix I would love to know about it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 5:42PM
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Tammy Kennedy

permatill is supposed to help. you can buy it by the truckload(no i don't know where, but know someone who did). i've been incorporating it into any areas i dig up, esp in the vole prone areas of my yard. time will tell how well it works. it's supposed to permanently aerate the soil, too. not cheap, but probably cheaper than daffs.

also, there is a plant in the euphorbia family, gopher purge, that's supposed to help. i don't know if it actually does, but my 84 yr old gardening mentor has a bunch of it and swears it helps. it meanders in & out of her beds. she's a pretty savvy lady and if she says it works i believe her- she's been at it tons longer than i. she also puts 1/2 stick of juicy fruit gum down the holes she finds- the voles are supposed to eat it, and it 'gums up' their innerds. i do it too, again, dunno how much it helps- but it doesn't hurt, right? something definitely eats it- it's gone fast. maybe i'm just creating a race of mutant gum chewin' rodents. and you gotta ask triangle john about his machiavellian solution to voles. snicker.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:05AM
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It is true! Rodents do not like Daffodils - they are poisonous. I plant Daffodils around my Tulips - tulips are edible.

Garlic, chives, or any kind of allium works well around bulbs, flowers and fruit trees, especially the potent Wild varieties which usually have a much stronger odor. Don't worry, they do not affect the fragrance of your flowers or the fruit, but Gophers and other rodents shy away from the stinky roots and bulbs down in the ground.

I poke Spearmint, Peppermint or Doublemint leaves down into rodent holes. Peppermint is the best. It is a good deterent for both insects and rodents. They don't like the potent Mentha oil in mint. It is how I got rid of the family of copperheads that had taken up residence under my henhouse. I packed all the mouse holes with Mint leaves and scattered some inside the henhouse in the hay litter on the floor and throughout the run area. The mice left. No snakes. Worked for me!

Castor Beans are said to deter rodents and deer, too, but they are somewhat toxic.

A good female Momma cat makes the best mouser, especially Siamese female cats, but I have had tom cats that were fantastic hunters, too.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:45AM
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Tammy Kennedy

oooh- i'll have to rty the mint trick. cheaper than gum, too! btw castor beans aren't a little toxic- they are very deadly. they have ricin in them. thanks, annie for the tips! tam

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:37AM
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Claire Pickett

Wait a minute, titus and ch-h-g, the beagle or lab can create a whole new problem. Planted my pretty pink daffs 3 weeks ago, and used a little bonemeal (I should know better). Trudy, the basset hound, with her schnoz, has been walking by this bed ever since, but I think the rains of the last two days stirred up a bonemeal devil's food cake delight, b/c an hour ago I found the bed totally dug out and 'ol Trudy with "cake" all over her big goofy paws.

Just to let y'all know, the bulbs are putting out nice little roots, but no bolting was evident.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:27PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

Well, it sounds like some have had success and some not so I won't go out and buy a bunch of bulbs. But I will divide the ones I have and spread them out a bit.

Puppy, what are the name of the 'pink' daffs, I think I would like to plant some of those.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 7:30PM
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Claire Pickett

Gurley, they were actually 6 packs from Walmart. Great big honking bulbs, some doubles, cream with pale pink centers.

The first ones I planted last year were from a dollar store...much less robust bulbs, but came up lovely, much later than the yellows.

Wish I could be more help with the name.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 10:04PM
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Isn't Bonemeal toxic?

If you have inquisitive pets, use wood ashes instead. They are less likely to dig up your bulbs and the rodents won't bother them either.

Tam, I wrote "somewhat toxic" meaning rather toxic. Sorry that didn't come across right. Yes, Castor beans, leaves, stems, roots, etc, are very bad pie!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:43AM
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Tammy Kennedy

do you have any idea how much wood ashes to use as a substitute? b/c i've always heard it's good for the garden, but in very small quantities. the info i'd caught said it wasn't good to use too much; something about accumulations of certain things (it's been a while). i use bonemeal, but i don't have dogs to worry about. i'd never heard it was toxic. certainly good to know. we have wood ashes around and i'd be happy to use them if i knew how much was right. after all, they're free!

i hope i didn't sound snarky about the castor bean- just didn't want people to think it was a mild manner of poison. they are gorgeous plants, but i'd never have one anywhere close to kids- and i have plenty of poisonous plants. from what i understand the seeds are the worst part, and the most likely to find their way into a toddler's mouth.

about pink daffs- most of them open yellow and turn pink. just so you don't panic when they don't open up the way you were picturing! i'm not partial to pink, but i love salome. tam

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:07AM
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Backing up a bit - since MOLES are insect eaters I doubt anything you plant will deter them, they are after the grubs and worms in your soil and not your bulbs. VOLES are plant eaters and can do a ton of damage in very short time to your garden. Getting rid of them is an on-going battle. There a million ways to control their populations and you pretty much have to try each one til you find the one that works best for you.

Keep in mind that there are lots of lists out there that claim to be deer-proof plants or pest-proof plants and plenty of people on this very forum have commented in the past about how the deer or rodents did in some of these same "proof" plants. What works in one yard may not work for you. Voles don't read these lists so they have no idea they aren't supposed to be eating certain things. Again I plea for a government sponsored literacy program for animals,,, we can send a man to the moon, can't we teach a rat to read????

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that no matter what I do I am gonna spend money on more plants. Whether I have the space, the money, the skill, seems to play no part in this decision. I buy plants all year long from every vendor available - I have no control over this addiction. Therefore, it really doesn't matter how many plants the voles eat, for I will be replacing them anyway.

My yard has a vole problem. It is most evident in the early spring before the snakes have woken up from winter. Once the weather gets reliably warm the snakes seem to keep things under control. I help out the snakes by building little snake restaurants around the yard wherever I see vole damage. I build them by sinking an open plastic bucket into the ground up to the rim. I place some sticks or small boards over the top and then cover with either the lid to the bucket or a small sheet of plywood. Voles and all sorts of wildlife stumble into these pit traps where I have placed pieces of apple and stale bread for them to eat while they wait for the snakes to show up. The snakes can climb in and out of the bucket without and difficulty.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Tammy Kennedy

oh, but john- you didn't tell the really gross part of your plan. about the shrews. c'mon now- do tell....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:05AM
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OK OK OK - another helper in my diabolical plan is the tiny little Least Shrew. A small animal with an amazing metabolism, they pretty much have to eat constantly to stay alive. Even though they are smaller than a vole, shrews have a mild venom which will sedate other animals, so they often consume (live and uncooked) other animals they stumble upon. My yard is also full of shrews so they often fall into my bucket traps where they eat anything that stumbles by regardless of its size. Snakes, Shrews, they all help me out of my Vole problem.

is it lunch time already???

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 2:00PM
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Tammy Kennedy

i told you guys it just had to be heard! :) leave it to john to figure that out. t

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:40PM
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Claire Pickett

OMG, john, talk about IPM! Remind me if I ever "get around" to your yard, to watch my step around those sunken snake diners.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 1:37AM
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