moles in garden (No grubs) #240811 - Ask Extension


moles in garden (No grubs) #240811

Asked April 30, 2015, 7:14 PM EDT

Fields dug up to repair water lines. Moles, voles, chipmunks mice displaced. How can moles be kept from tunneling in garden and making runs for other critters without killing them? Deterents???

Hampden County Massachusetts

Expert Response

To the best of my knowledge, there is no short or long term repellents that actually work. The preferred method of mole control is trapping due to its effectiveness and cost; however, if you do not want to do that you can install a barrier that prevents the moles from digging into the garden.

To make/install the barrier use 19 gauge PVC coated wire in a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch weave (this is generally known as hardware cloth). You can do an Internet search for 1/2 inch PVC coated hardware cloth to find companies that sell it. While some research states that Easter moles will generally tunnel no more than 8 inches deep, this has not been my experience. The deepest mole tunnel I have encountered was around 30 inches with some professional mole trappers claiming even deeper depths. Due to the unknown tunnel depth, I would recommend purchasing the 4 foot wide hardware cloth.

For installation you have too options. The first option is to a dig a trench that is 40 inches deep and install the wire in a vertical position leaving 8 inches above the surface. Bend the top two inches at a 90 degree angle to help protect from moles accessing the garden above ground. The second option is to dig a shallower but wider trench. For this I'd recommend digging a 30 inch trench that is 12 inches wide. Bend 10 inches of wire at the bottom of the hardware cloth at a 90 degree angle away from the garden and then set the wire into the trench. This will give a 10 inch lip 30 inches deep. Replace the dirt into the trench making sure to pack it down. This should again give you an 8 inch lip above surface that would need bent as previously described.

While no guarantee can be given that this will keep moles or other wildlife out of the garden should the dig below it, a barrier is the proven option to keep animals out without having them captured and removed.

Eric Arnold Replied May 01, 2015, 10:32 AM EDT

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