Diary of a Rocket Gardener: Moles in the veg patch

Ok, so last week I spotted some molehills in my veg patch. I’m not amused. There’s so much space for them to choose as my garden is surrounded by fields…why did they have to choose my raised beds?? Grrr. Anyway, I have obviously been trying to find a way to politely ask these moles to move away and thought I would share my findings with you in case you’re having similar struggles!

First off, moles feed on earthworms and other animals that live in the soil. They don’t eat plant roots so any damage one is just a byproduct of them eating (my precious) earthworms.

Secondly, moles are largely solitary creatures, and I think that I’m only dealing with one little chap for now. That said, the main breeding season starts this month and lasts until June. So I’m hoping my mole is a male so that I don’t end up with a nest of 4 or 5 moles living in my veg patch!

 

Thirdly, and importantly, where there are moles there are often mice (they borrow the moles’ tunnels) and mice eat plants. So moles are not to be encouraged.

Now we come to dealing with them. Well I am relieved to report that moles tend to move on naturally once they’ve depleted the food source, and most advice is to leave them be. To monitor the situation it is best to flatten the existing molehills – if they pop up again then the moles are still active, if not, they’ve moved on.¬†Given that I only have a few molehills right now, I think I will do just that and hope that they don’t make a nest!

There are ways to get rid of them if they do become a serious problem, but they’re not very nice:

  1. There are mole traps out there but I don’t think they’re very ethical. They claim to be “humane” but they do kill the moles and sometimes can cause a slow, painful death. Definitely not something I’d recommend.
  2. You can also buy sonic, electronic devices that allegedly deter the moles. I’ve yet to see a good review of these and I get the impression they don’t work very well.
  3. You can get mole deterrent which is a sort of fumigating smoke that is meant to fill the tunnel and discourage the moles. Again, I’m not sure about the ethics of this method.

To conclude, I’m afraid to say that I don’t think there is a good or responsible/humane way to move moles on from the garden. Better to just to use the topsoil from the mounds, or stamp them down and hope that Mr & Mrs Mole move on soon!