This week in the office we are all talking about an annoying pest which you rarely ever see … moles. What a nuisance they can be, but how much do we actually know about them and are we really making a mountain out of a mole hill in deterring them?
Did you know that moles were the cause of William III of England's death? In 1702 William's horse tripped on a mole hill throwing him to the ground and breaking his collarbone. He died later from pneumonia, a complication caused by his injury. Thank goodness things have improved since 1702, however, moles are making a nuisance of themselves in our gardens. From digging up your perfectly flat green lawn to killing off your favorite rose bush, they can be annoying and many of us are trying to deter them from entering our gardens.
It is a common known misconception that moles are blind. They do in fact have tiny eyes which give them limited vision mainly for detecting movement and light changes. Although, they do not use them very often as most of the time they are closed while they are underground to protect their eyes from the soil. Moles are prevalent all year around but are seen less during the winter months, they are constantly hungry eating 70-100% of their body weight every day! Their main source of food is earth worms which are mostly found around the roots of your plants, the moles will dig around the roots of your plant to get their food and this is how they cause damage to your plants health. They use shallow and deep tunnels as means of transport to gain food, you may see a cluster of mole hills and this could represent their current feeding area.
So what should we do? Well, if you are like me and do not like the idea of killing the moles with traps then it would seem there are quite a few options. There are certain plants which moles do not like, marigolds and daffodils. They also do not like the smell of certain solutions; the most effective according to sources on the internet is a solution of oil, dishwashing soap, castor oil and cayenne pepper. It has been advised to get rid of their main source of food (worms) and they will soon get too hungry to stay. We have just had an infestation in our back garden so we will be trying out all of the above methods to see if any of them actually work.