Daisy Payne reveals how you can inject colour into your garden
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Moles may seem cute to some people but they can end up leaving you with significant garden costs depending on how destructive they end up being. The little mammals construct intricate networks of tunnels and mounds in the ground and quickly kill or damage the plants, grass, and trees in your outdoor space.
If you’re concerned you might have moles in your garden the first step is to correctly identify their presence.
Look around for any obvious signs of damage that they may have left behind.
Typically, there are four key giveaways that show moles are pottering around your property.
Dead grass – As moles make their tunnels, they disrupt the root systems of nearby grasses, killing the grass at surface level and leaving dead patches in their wake.
Molehills – When moles dig their tunnels, they act like mini excavators, moving all that dirt out of the tunnel and up to the surface, creating a tell-tale, mounded molehill at the tunnel entrance.
Mounds that are far apart – Moles make entrance and exit mounds that tend to be about six feet (1.8 metres) apart.
Chunks of dirt – As you evaluate the mounds in your yard, look for clumps of soil, which is a sure-fire sign of moles.
Once you’ve identified you have moles in your garden you then need to decide how to remove them.
TV gardener Toby Buckland said he “swears” by the traditional mole traps but that “you need to make sure you check these at least daily because moles feed regularly and will starve quickly”. So what else can you do?
The following five methods from Smith’s Pest Management are all humane and will help to rid you of any moles from your property.
1) Eliminate their food sources
Moles primarily feed on a diet of grubs and insects. If you can remove these from your garden the moles are likely to move elsewhere in search of food.
2) Apply a repellent
In some cases, a mole repellent is an effective solution for an infestation.
For example, castor oil will not kill moles, but it will cause digestive upset for those that come into contact with it, making your lawn a less appealing place to live.
3) Use plants as a barrier
Daffodils, marigolds and other plants with strong smells are disliked by moles.
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Plant these species around the edges of your garden to form a natural barrier or plant in raised beds to protect root systems.
If you prefer, you can also purchase ready-made mole barriers at your local garden store.
4) Dig a trench
To form a human-made boundary around your lawn and garden, dig a trench that is roughly two feet deep (0.6 metres) and six inches wide around the space you’d like to protect.
Fill the trench with rocks or line it with wire mesh or hardware cloth with holes ¾ wide or smaller.
The experts said: “This is a time-consuming but effective, long-term solution to keep moles from burrowing their way into your yard.”
5) Create an unfriendly environment
Moles don’t like to live in disruptive areas. This is good news for you since it means getting rid of them can be as easy as creating an unpleasant environment.
To do this, purchase a sonic spike from your local home and garden store and insert it into the ground in your garden.
The spike will use electronic pulses to create irritating sounds that encourage the moles to go elsewhere.
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