Though they only weigh 3 to 6 ounces at their full size, moles can cause a great deal of damage to your lawn and garden and may even enter your home. These creatures are insectivores so they may help to control the population of unwanted insects in your yard but, in doing so, they may also turn your yard into a network of unsightly tunnels. Rather than trapping or poisoning moles to control the problem, consider utilizing natural ways to keep them away from your lawn and out of your home.
Moles in the House
Moles travel by digging a network of tunnels underground and they rarely come to the surface or leave their tunnels. This being true, moles are rarely found indoors and do not typically seek to enter homes. The most common situation in which a mole would be found indoors is in homes where there is a shallow or nonexistent foundation. In cases like this, moles may accidentally tunnel up through a basement-level dirt floor and may be heard underneath the floorboards, traveling through their tunnels.
Modifying the Habitat
Homes that are built in wood lots often experience mole problems because moles these areas are part of the mole's natural habitat. In order to keep moles out of your yard and to prevent them from entering your house, try making your yard a less appealing habitat for moles. Convert your lawn into flower beds, paths and hedgerows to fill the space which moles might use to dig tunnels. You may protect your gardens by placing a layer of hardware cloth 12 inches down to keep moles from uprooting your plants.
Removing Food Supplies
Removing the food supply for moles can be an effective way to keep them from building tunnels in your yard and possibly getting inside your home. Moles feed almost entirely on insects so take steps to remove grubs and earthworms from your yard. Introducing a bacteria like Bacillus popillae, also called milky spore, is a safe and natural way to control grubs and flooding the area may also kill ground-dwelling insects. Keep in mind that reducing available food sources for moles will also affect other creatures, like birds, that you might enjoy having in your yard.
Introducing certain bulb plants into your garden and the flower beds around your house is a easy and natural way to repel moles. Daffodils, crown imperials and Siberian squill can be used to border your garden as a means of deterring moles. Siberian squill plants produce blue, pink and lavender flowers which make them an attractive addition to the garden; these plants reproduce naturally over the years to provide extra protection against nuisance moles.
Several common household products can be used to repel a variety of garden pests including moles. Sprinkling ground pepper or powdered garlic into existing mole tunnels or pack tunnel entrances full of hot peppers. You may also castor beans to repel moles but the beans are very poisonous so do not use them if you have young children or pets. Treat the plants and soil near your house with 1 tablespoon of castor oil and 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap combined with a gallon water to keep moles away from your foundation so they do not dig into your home.