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Moles are useful helpers in the garden. They eat a lot of pests and loosen up the soil. However, they also produce annoying mounds that drive many garden owners to despair. The question quickly arises as to how to get rid of a mole. Killing or catching it is forbidden - the species is under protection. Luckily, there are some gentle alternatives to get rid of the burrower.
Talpa europaea, the zoological name of the mole native to Europe, is pronounced in itself useful in the garden. As a pure carnivore, it feeds on harmful insects, among other things. In addition, snails of all kinds are at the top of his menu. With this in mind, he could be every hobby gardener's best friend - if it weren't for the unsightly mounds of earth he throws up in lawns and beds. After all, a healthy male can climb up to 20 mounds a day. It goes without saying that there will soon only be a battlefield or a field left from the lawn.
The European mole is acute threatened with extinction. Since 1986 he is therefore under protection of species. It must therefore not be hunted or killed. Catching is also prohibited, as this usually also leads to the death of the animal. Talpa europaea must therefore be combated with other means. In principle, the aim is always to make the basically attractive garden habitat as unattractive as possible for moles. If the animals no longer feel comfortable there or are even threatened, they will flee. They react primarily to odors and sound waves that are unpleasant for them.
Mole or vole?
However, before you start driving away moles, you should first clarify whether it is actually this species of animal that is digging up the garden. Most of the time it's voles that are at work - i.e. animals that can very well be caught and killed. A mole's mound is generally devoid of any plant debris and roots, while a vole's mound is not. Molehills are also taller. The passage hole is also in the middle directly under the raised soil. On a vole hill, it's more to the side.
tip: The easiest way to tell the difference between a molehill and a volehill is to dig up it and the tunnel beneath it. If it is closed again the next day, a vole was definitely at work.left: molehill
right: vole holes
drive away moles
Moles have a very fine, keen sense of smell. Among other things, it helps the half-blind animals to find their way underground and to search for food. However, certain smells are perceived as extremely unpleasant by them. Exactly this circumstance is used to get rid of Talpidae gently.
Natural home remedies
Although there is a whole range of odor-based deterrents available in specialist shops, the fine mole nose can also be offended naturally with a few tried-and-tested home remedies. These include e.g.:
- sour milk
- dog hair
- vinegar essence
- crushed branches of the tree of life
- Plant slurry made from wormwood or stinging nettles
What all of these substances have in common is that they are completely harmless to animals, but still cause a mole to avoid places where they smell like them.
Another very effective way to drive away Talpa europaea is alcohol or the smell of alcohol. If they smell it, they usually leave their corridors immediately and flee the area. An empty alcohol bottle, which you put upside down in the hill passage, can be enough. Experience has shown that the effect increases significantly with a higher alcohol content. Incidentally, cloths soaked in spirit and placed in the aisles are also effective in this context.
No matter which odorant you choose, it is always important to deposit it as extensively as possible in the mole's duct system. This only works if you dig up the passages directly underground in many places and place the source of the smell directly there. A distance of five meters is usually required for this. The odorants must also be renewed regularly in order not to lose their effectiveness. Depending on the outside temperature, one change per week is necessary.
A mole's sense of hearing is at least as keen as its sense of smell. It is extremely sensitive and very sensitive to noise of all kinds. A mole finds squeaking and whistling noises particularly unpleasant. For example, already squeaky wind turbines in the garden cause him to look for a new place to stay. Bottles dug diagonally into the ground, which whistle when it is windy, are also helpful. Finally, there are also special ultrasound devices on the market, which have the great advantage that the sounds they emit cannot usually be heard by us humans. However, its effect is controversial.
After the eviction
As soon as no new mounds appear in the garden, it can be assumed that the mole is gone. However, the expulsion measures should not be stopped immediately, so that the animal does not immediately have the idea of returning. A period of about four weeks ensures a certain level of security. In general, squeaking wind turbines in continuous operation are a good protection against colonization by animals.
Moles as beneficial insects
It may seem counterintuitive to many people, but having a mole in the garden can definitely prove useful. As already mentioned, the animal is a pure carnivore. It feeds on insects, larvae, worms and snails. Of course, these also include a lot of pests that can be dangerous, especially for the plants in the bed. With moles in the garden, they are guaranteed to be significantly decimated. In addition, the thrown-up soil of the hills is ideal as growing soil, since it has already been perfectly loosened thanks to the digger. One should therefore give serious thought to peaceful coexistence with Talpa europaea - especially since they do not cause any damage apart from the visual impairments.