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Voles and moles the bane of my existence

I hate voles and moles and they have a thriving metropolis on the 3 acres that our house sits on. I have tried the enviromentally friendly liquid and pellet repellents with very little success. I have reapplied every 3 months in areas along our stream to try and stop the buggers, but nothing seems to work. I'd shoot everyone of them if I could but they're nocturnal and I'm not. They are destroying our yard and its becoming dangerious for ankle sprains trying to take a walk as well as increasing erosion of the stream bank. Any suggestions? Because of the stream we are concerned about using poision. I know mission impossible, any Mr. Phleps out there?????:mad:

Re: Voles and moles the bane of my existence

The moles are there because there is a bountiful food supply for them. Most likely..... grubs from Japanese beetles. If you eliminate the grubs and other insects that they're feeding on (which are also chewing up the roots of your lawn), the moles will leave and seek happier hunting grounds.

There are insecticides specifically formulated to take on grubs as well as other lawn pests. The insecticide is in granular form and would be applied with a band or broadcast lawn-spreader. (I much prefer the broadcaster) You'd need to spread the insecticide and then get it watered in promptly. I try to time mine to an impending and certain rain storm.....and have been known to spread it in the rain if necessary. (I just cover the hopper of the spreader with a plastic garbage bag)

There may be specific times in your zone to apply the insecticide and get the best kill on the grubs because at these specific times the grubs are up close to the surface where they are vulnerable to the insecticide. If you apply when the grubs are down deep, odds are that you won't get a very good kill. And always apply it at the specified rate.

Don't expect the moles to immediately leave after you treat the area as they're accustomed to finding breakfast & dinner at your local diner. It'll take a while before they smarten up and leave. Most likely a month or even longer before they no longer bother to make exploratory expeditions.

We retreat about every five years whether moles have returned or not. I had my fill of them when we bought this place back in '88. The grounds were overrun with moles....which we caught with Victor mole traps......day and night....literally. Put hash marks on the wall of the garden shed to keep track. Last count was 33 caught in 2 weeks time. IIRC, we caught about 4 per day for the first week and then things slowed down to about one a day.

You might also like to go after these guys with the Victor mole traps. Model 0645. If you have alot of moles.....buy two or more and double your fun. Don't just yank the trap if it's tripped, but first take a spade, dig in sideways to the run and toss the trap out of the ground along with the mole. This because sometimes maybe only one time has actually come in contact with the critter and that tine may be only thru the skin. If you just yank the trap on a situation like that, the mole will scurry away down the run for freedom. So toss 'em out instead and get ready to bop 'em on the head with the spade, if necessary.

If you have apprehensions about using chemical insecticides on your lawn you could consider using milky-spore instead. More money and takes longer to kill off the insects, but it works. One application lasts about 20 years or so around this locale.

Note that they say ....."once established".....as concerns the milky-spore. Doesn't happen overnight, but takes a year or so IIRC. We used it over at the farm about 30 years ago and it has now "worn off". I finally treated with granular insecticide last year again because a couple moles had invaded and I wanted to nip that in the bud right now. There were no moles even looking around this year (no short exploratory runs into the lawn from the road ditches or fields.

Re: Voles and moles the bane of my existence


Thanks for the advice, i'll check out your milk spore solution. I've put up with these critters for 5 years what's another one if it works.

Re: Voles and moles the bane of my existence

Sorry. I forgot the milky-spore link.

But then you can easily Google your way to many results.

A. Spruce
Re: Voles and moles the bane of my existence

We never had much luck with traps back on the ranch. What worked for us was to uncover the mound and wait with a pellet gun or shot gun. On occasion we could coax a cat to sit watch on an open hole. If you can't fire weapons where you're at and have the fortitude, open up the hole and wait with a shovel, dig the shovel in behind the critter when it comes to close up the burrow to block it's escape, then fling him to the heavens. When he lands, introduce him to the flat part of the shovel. And you don't have to do any of this in the dark because they don't like the light and will come to cover an open burrow, leaving you the opportunity to acquaint them with the shovel. :D

The neighbor had great success with burning sulfur into a burrow. Basically he got granular sulfur and then used a weed torch to burn it. If the sulfur didn't kill 'em, it drove them away because he didn't have too much trouble with the buggers. It's possible that a road flare could do the trick, but do be extremely careful with this method in dry conditions.

Re: Voles and moles the bane of my existence

If they are moles, most likely they are feeding on earthworms, not grubs. Any treatment for grubs past the mid. of June does not work, they are to deep in the soil. You need to pick up a product called Giant destroyer. It is a smoke bomb that kills them in the ground. Take the family out on day 1 and flatten the burrows. Go out on day 2 and all the raised burrows ane active, they need to be treated. Ropellants and over the counter poisons do not work....If you are getting small holes at the base of your plants, and they eat the roots, allowing you to easily lift the plant out of the ground, it is a vole. Another way to see what you have is to check the burrows, if there are openings in the runs it is a vole. A mole will have all of his burrow closed. If it is a vole there is no poison that is available to consumers, without a commercial applicators license. If you treat for moles, cut the grass when you step down the burrows, they are much easier to see that way.

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