Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting Rid of Yard Moles, Gophers and Voles Without Poison, Traps or Noise

Question about how to get rid of yard moles without poison or noise.

Q: "Once more the moles have invaded my yard and garden beds. The burrows are going everywhere. What suggestions do you have to get rid of them without using traps, poison peanuts or noise?" Thanks. Jack.

Answer: Getting rid of yard moles, voles and gophers is faster if you use several methods simultaneously. Gophers are the most difficult to evict if they've established extensive underground tunnels over some years. Moles eat worms and grubs while they tunnel at grass level. Gophers eat the roots of your plants and shrubs. Voles eat vegetation and snails, etc. All burrow.

Treatment options include liquid sprayed castor oil, known as Scoot Mole, granular repellents like Mole Scram and inserting vibrating metal mole chaser stake or the Original P3 green PVC mole chaser stakes into solid ground, not the tunnels or burrows themselves. (The noisy Weitech tunnel units are no longer available.) There are also solar powered mole stakes for flower beds in sunny climates as you cannot mow over them. P3 International mole chaser stakes operate on alkaline batteries (4 D cells), are waterproof (screw on top), are almost silent except for the hum when they cycle on and can be buried deep enough that you can safely mow over them. (To replace batteries, you unscrew the watertight top, remove the battery sleeve and replace the batteries. Batteries last 4 to 6 months on average.) Initially the pests can mistake the currents of vibration/sound as food source so there may be more activity at first..

Using a grub killer on your lawn as a preventative helps get rid of the moles and also save your lawn from destruction if you are not opposed to chemicals on your yard.

Using both the liquid or granular and the stakes at the same time has the best results. Moles eat their body weight every three days or they dehydrate and die. After a few unpleasant meals plus being irritated by the vibrations or ultrasound, the mole pests begin looking for a fresh food supply. In 1 to 2 weeks, they typically are gone.

Scoot Mole comes in a liquid with or without a sprayer. Refills are available. The downside to this liquid is that you need to have a very long water hose or a several long water hoses connected together to be able to reach all of the area to be treated if it is large. Dragging hose around and spraying is not easy if you have a large area. "BANDING" is recommended i.e. treat a small strip (10-20 feet wide) around the perimeter of a mole-free area.

Mole Scram is a granular formula containing Castor Oil: 15% , Citronella Oil: 0.4997%, Garlic Oil: 0.0003% and Peanut Hulls 84.9%. Depending upon your yard size, you can either sprinkle or put into a rotary lawn spreader. The plan here is to first spread the granules on the area closest to your home. For example, treat the half of the yard closest to your house or garden. Water in for 20 minutes or apply before a storm. (Hopefully you have an irrigation system,lawn sprinklers or have occasional heavy downpours). The next day do the second half and again water in thoroughly. This treatment typically lasts 3 months. The manufacturer states, "Mole Scram has higher concentrations of castor oil that its competition. Plus MoleScram adds garlic oil and citronella oil to the mix. Moles cannot tolerate the garlic odor. The citronella oil helps get rid of bugs, an alternative food moles love. The carrier is ground peanut hulls which releases the oils faster than similar granular mole repellers on the market."

Simultaneous to these topical treatments, insert mole chaser stakes in your yard, once more inserting first those closest to your home or the area you wish to protect. Remember that in heavy clay soils, vibrations are intense in a small area. In sandy soils, the vibrations are less intense. Insert mole chasers accordingly. In a laboratory test, moles typically were gone within 1 to 2 weeks.

My personal experience with the P3 units is 100% positive. We've used the same units for the past 5 years, just replacing batteries. One warm January, the moles tunneled from the woods to the front yard: the batteries were dead and who would expect warm weather in January!

I hope I've given you enough information to decide how to fight your battle.

Thanks. Barbara

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Molechaser Stakes

Q: "Now in my 3rd summer of using a molechaser stake in my garden. I have been very pleased with the results although now it seems the gophers may be getting used to it and no longer are repelled. I am thinking of buying a second unit. Do you have other suggestions?" Ken

Answer: Multiple units are always good. You may want to get the Supersonic Molechaser to add to the Vibrasonic molechaser as it makes a noise rather than vibrating. It also helps to move the stakes around a bit. Hope this helps.

Comment from Customer: "Thank you for your quick and helpful reply. Based upon the information you sent, I have ordered a "supersonic" from your company. Thanks again, Ken."

Comment from Barbara: We sell several mole chaser products. These are also helpful in getting rid of gophers and voles. Gophers are more difficult to chase away as, once established, they have an elaborate network of tunnels under the ground while moles stay near the top where they can eat grubs.

Some suggestions to get rid of moles:

  • Install molechaser stakes. Multiple units work best especially if your soil is mostly clay and rocks or mostly sand. Sound is contained in a smaller area and more intense in heavy soild and is dispersed farther and is less intense in sandy ones. We sell green PVC plastic ones, vibrasonic molechasers, solar mole chaser stakes and supersonic molechasers.
  • Spray grass with Scoot Mole.
  • Use grub control granules in mid summer.
  • July 17, 2009 Note: MoleScram is a granular products we've sold now for almost 2 years. The advantages are that the product can be spread with a lawn fertilizer spreader, a much faster application than with Scoot Mole liquid which requires walking with the sprayer turned on and dragging perhaps hundreds of feet of hose behind you plus you treat one half of your yard on Day 1 and half on Day 2. Water in well or apply before a storm. You'll move the moles back out of your yard!
Good luck with your gardens and grass.

Sincerely, Barbara

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