Animals with cylindrical bodies and soft, velvety fur that lives in your garden and does the amazing job of aerating your garden soil are Moles. These mammals are the subterranean animals that love to swim in the soil and hunt for food, especially, their favorite, earthworms. Their hind limbs are reduced, but their forelimbs are powerful, which makes burrowing in the soil very easy.
The term ‘mole’ is sometimes used for the marsupial mammals of Australia and Southern Africa, the animals that closely resemble the body shape of moles. However, the true moles are found only in parts of Asia, North America, and Europe.
Moles are often confused with other creatures of the garden that are not so advantageous as moles are. One such animal is a gopher. Gophers are the animals that do the actual damage to your garden. They eat the plant life, whereas moles are always looking for insects.
So, first of all, you need to know what is that is causing a havoc in your garden. And these three ways will confirm which garden animal you are housing.
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Table of Contents
Tips to Confirm Who Causes the Havoc
The tell-tale signs
Both mole and gopher leave some signs in your garden that makes it easier to differentiate them from other animals and each other as well. No other animal, other than mole and gopher makes the small hills in your garden. So, if there are soil hills in your garden and none of your children take the credit of the artwork, then it is the result of either moles’ or gophers’ creativity.
Now, who is the actual culprit, the insect-loving moles or the plant-loving gophers? If the hole of the mound is in the center of the hill, then congratulations, you are letting an insect-lover live in your yard, without a rent! However, if the hole is in the side of the mound then the culprit of ruining your plant is gophers.
Spot the Pest
Still not sure who the uninvited guest is? Simply try to take a picture of the animal and then compare it with the pictures present online. ‘Try’ being the keyword here, because they are very difficult to spot, much less take pictures. Also, gophers are bigger in size than the moles.
By now, you might have an idea as to who is hogging your garden. Search the web for whosoever you think the animal is, if the location is same as yours, you know the culprit.
So, if you have concluded that the uninvited guest in your garden is a small mole then this article is for you. Now, it depends on you what you want to do to the mole. Kill it, repel it or simply catch-and-release it. Well, if the mole was doing an amazing job of aerating your garden then you might not want to kill it.
And if you don’t want to kill it, then you either have to repel it or catch-and-release. There are many traps available in the market that solely focus on killing the moles and a few others who simply do catch the moles are not effective enough.
So, what to do then? The answer is—build a mole trap yourself that would not kill the poor creature.
In the article now, we are going to focus on just that— How to make a mole trap?
How to Make a Mole Trap?
Things you will need
- A three-pound coffee can/wide-mouth, quart-size jar
- A board to cover the can/jar that will keep the light out of the jar
- A spade or shovel for digging purposes
Use a shovel and make a clean cut in the main runway of the moles. The cut should be large enough to fit the can/jar. Make sure that the trap has caves on both sides of the trap. Now, place the trap in the hole and cover the opening with a lid or a board to prevent sunlight from entering in. Sunlight might discourage the moles from using that runway at all.
Catch the mole!
As you have placed the trap in the main runway of the mole, then it will visit that tunnel at least once in a day or two. That means you have to keep checking the trap every few hours to see if the mole is trapped. You can check that by lifting the board. Once the mole is in its trap, move the trap and the mole away from your garden.
Um, go to jail!?
You might make a mountain out of this molehill, if you live in a country that forbids you to relocate an animal to another area. For example, you cannot relocate animals in the State of Virginia.
In this case, you can relocate the animal to another, safer part of your garden, or you can simply repel it out using the method given below.
Repel the mole
If you don’t want to put so much effort into getting rid of the mole, then you can simply repel them away from your garden. However, this method is not as effective as trapping it and then removing it. Yet people choose this method over others because it is easy to do and least time-consuming.
To repel the mole, you need to purchase some cat litter or blood meal. Blood meal is a non-synthetic powdered fertilizer that is made up of nitrogen. Both the things are easily available at a home improvement store or at a local garden center.
Now, search all of their burrows and sprinkle a teaspoon of either blood meal or cat litter inside all the openings you can find. For perfection, sprinkle some around the holes as well. Cat litter and blood meal, both things will repel the mole, so much so, that it will look for a new garden to aerate.
Check whether the tunnel is the main runway of the mole
It is easy to check whether the tunnel that you are about to use as a bait for the mole, is the main runway. Simply, deflate all the tunnels that are present in the garden and mark them using a flag or stick. Check the tunnels again in a day or two, if you find that the tunnels are repaired then that tunnel will be the main runway of the mole. However, if the tunnel is still in the position that you left it in, then that is the wrong tunnel.