Moles in yard.

rayceeMay 14, 2007

Do the sonic mole devices work? Any suggestions beside chemicals? If I use chemicals I will likely kill the earth worms in my soil. The darn things are wreaking havoc on my yard.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You should try a castor oil repellent. You can purchase a commercial product (Mole-Med is one.) or try out the following recipe. This one is a favorite of some of the landscaping companies on Hilton Head (my old stomping ground).

Mix 6 ounces of castor oil with 2 tablespoons of dish soap and pour that into one gallon of water. This is your concentrate. Use 1 ounce of that stuff per gallon of water to spray on your lawn or where ever you have your moles. I'd certainly use a hose end sprayer for this because you want to make sure that you get the product down into the soil. You may want to water first, then apply.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:21PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Research at Michigan State University found that a mix of 1 pint of castor oil sprayed over 2,500 square feet was the concentration needed to repel the moles. Anything less than that is ineffective.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 7:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Naah. A good soaking with the above recipe does the trick. raycee, the castor oil treatments are not harmful to earthworms.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:56AM
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bluebars(7 MD)

How long does the caster oil treatment last? Depending on rain I suppose, how often does it need to be repeated?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 11:30AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It does depend upon the rain fall frequency, but 30 to 60 days is typical. Some of the commercial products claim to last longer.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 3:14PM
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wild_rose_of_texas(z8b TX)

I had read someplace that castor bean oil is toxic to pets, dogs in particular. Is this true? Would it be safe to spray this concoction and then keep the pets away until it dries?

Thanks,
Allison

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:16AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Castor BEANS are toxic to anyone, including pets. Castor OIL is not toxic (unless someone ingests a great deal of it). It is likely that the castor oil that people will be using is food grade, the stuff that moms used to spoon feed to children. They must still do that, since you can still buy the stuff at the pharmacy. ;-)

Besides, the product will be diluted quite a bit.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:25AM
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wild_rose_of_texas(z8b TX)

Thanks Rhizo 1 ---- I always worry a little about the pets that are loose around here. Good to know that the oil won't be harmful.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 10:02PM
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mogardening(5b)

The castor oil worked for less than one week in our yard. The only thing I know for sure that works is a garden hose and mole hunting german shepards. My dogs and I have gotten 13 so far this year and 7 or 8 last year. Forget the stuff about only one or two moles per acre, we have only 3 acres fenced in. I have tried to poison them but not sure it helped and I have to be really really careful not to put it anywhere the dogs could get to it.I mixed the poison with peanut butter,made a small ball, wrapped it in plastic,poked holes in the plastic, tied a string to it so I could retrieve it later, put the ball down the mole hole and covered the hole with a bucket and brick. Some of the posion was eaten by something but it didn't seem to slow the mole population down much.I tried a mole trap, never caught one. I've tried putting old kitty litter in the tunnels, this worked longer than the castor oil but they eventually came back and started using the same tunnels again.The main problem I have with just repelling them for a short time is they leave, have a litter or two and come back with avengeance!I keep hoping to read about a sure fire way to get rid of moles but that seems as likely as winning the lottery. I've decided to consider mole hunting as one of my hobbies because I've been doing far more of it than gardening this spring! lol Kate

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:03AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Research by the turf grass students at Michigan State University found that a mixture of 1 pint of castor oil sprayed over 2,500 square feet was the only way to drive moles away, for 6 to 8 weeks. A mixture with less castor oil was not effective and more just cost more and did nothing more. The theory behind using castor oil is that it makes the earthworms, the choice food of moles, distastefull and they leave to look for better tasting food, so you need to get enough castor oil into the soil. Several people I know tried the commercial mixes and found they did nothing, but this 1 pint mixture did work, for 6 to 8 weeks when it needs to be repeated.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 8:01AM
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gaoyuqing

another route is to get rid of their food supply. if there are moles then there are grubs to feed them. kill the grubs, the moles will leave. thats the route I'm trying. course i turn up probably 5 grubs for every shovel full.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 2:31AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

It is a common myth that moles only eat grubs, but good, solid research has shown by far the most favorite food of moles is the earthworm. The poisons you put down to control the grubs also will kill earthworms, and even if you killed all the grubs you would not eliminate your mole problem because they would still come in to eat any earthworms you left.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 8:04AM
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mogardening(5b)

kimmsr is right, don't poison your poor little worms. You'll still have moles but no worms to keep your soil healthy. I have thought about sacrificing a few of my wonderful earthworms to the cause. My thought was to crush the mole poison and coat some earthworms with it.Anyone ever tried this? I have also tried Milky Spore Disease, it didn't help. The dogs and I bagged mole # 15 today!Yiphee!Kate

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The earthworm idea is probably not so good. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 3:35PM
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pauli4

If there was a brand new solution to the mole problem in our gardens,would there be any interest,guaranteed/totally green and very long term no harm to anything including the mole,if there's any interest please contact me on 1212paul@googlemail.com Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:36AM
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angelbronze_att_net

My Dutch Shepard just killed a large mole last night! I thought he was trying to dig me a swimming pool. It's getting hard to walk in the back yard without falling into one of his holes! That seems to be the main drawback of having a dog do this task! He then wanted to crawl into bed. lol

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:52PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Moles do not get very large, ever. Sometime back a neighbor trapped what they thought was a large mole which was in reality a gopher.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:19AM
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