Drive Away Moles: What Really Helps

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:30 pm

Whether on the sports field, in the park or even in your own garden: a mole can quickly turn a lawn into a hilly landscape. But: Are the piles even from a mole? Am I allowed to drive him away? How do I disturb him effectively? We have answers.

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish between the garden inhabitants mole and vole. In many cases, voles are responsible for the defaced areas. There is a clear distinction between the two.

Carnivores or herbivores

Drive Away Moles: What Really Helps

Moles are carnivores, feeding on larvae, earthworms, snails and other small animals. They dig vertical tunnels upwards. Therefore, the piles are larger, round and uniformly shaped.

Voles, or more precisely water voles, also called vole rats, are herbivores, gnawing roots and tubers. They dig their burrows just below the turf, and the entrances under the mounds are not centrally located underneath, but to the side, running diagonally into the ground. The “excavation” of the vole is therefore also not a uniform pile, the mounds are clearly smaller and irregularly distributed. If there are still plant parts mixed underneath, the resident is certainly a vole. Moles would not nibble off roots, but undermine them.

If there is still uncertainty, make the test – the so-called Verwühlprobe: you open at one point the passage system, carry off the pile and clean the entrance. A vole will push it shut again within a short time. A mole will undermine this place, moreover, his work will be seen only after a few hours or even days.

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Drive Away Moles: What Really Helps

What helps against moles

Moles are very sensitive to noise – children playing in the garden, dogs or cats running around in the garden, lawn mowers, especially robotic mowers – the animals will avoid a busy property.

For this reason, some regularly hit a pole driven into the ground – this is also unpleasant for the mole. In addition, cans tied to the pole regularly produce sounds that make the mole move.

A similar effect can be achieved with bottles stuck into the ground, which produce sounds in the wind (in this case, however, the bottom of the bottle must be sawed off beforehand – be careful, this can be sharp-edged, smooth it out if necessary). Likewise wind wheels or wind chimes are possible as noise sources.

In addition, there are specially designed against moles – a mole scare: they are inserted into the ground and produce sounds and vibrations, there are even solar-powered. Prices for these start at around 10 to 20 euros. To what extent these devices are successful, one finds quite different opinions.

Get rid of moles with odors

Moles have a very well-developed sense of smell. They do not like pungent odors. There are numerous home recipes and ideas on how to regularly spread unpleasant odors in the passages of the mole:

  • Animal droppings from dogs or cats, animal hair
  • Garlic cloves or onions (pour into the passages as a decoction).
  • A decoction of elderflowers
  • Pour buttermilk or whey into it, butyric acid works even more intensively (be careful when handling this chemical)
  • Plant lily plants in the bed, such as the emperor’s crown
  • Spread alcoholic drinks and alcohol mixtures
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However, you should only use natural remedies that will not harm nature or poison your garden.

Whether smells or sounds work better also depends on the soil: Sandy, loose soils are more permeable to odors, while loamy, compressed soils transmit sound better.

In addition, some gardeners rely on natural enemies of the small mammals, such as birds of prey: They install perches that make it easier for birds of prey to land, so-called perches.

Cats can also make life difficult for moles and mice. This is less known of dogs.

Drive away voles

However, voles are often the culprits of the mound landscape. They are herbivores, love tubers and roots of flowers, vegetables and shrubs and also like to nibble on roots of fruit trees. In this respect, they are much more problematic than moles for fruit growers, for example.

For the expulsion of voles, the same means can be used as for moles, with the difference that here it is also permitted to catch the animals or to set up traps. A recommendation here are box traps, which are live traps, they come in different varieties. If possible, however, you should do without traps. Often smell or noise measures are sufficient – or your cat turns out to be a successful mouse hunter.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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