Bust Your Pests: Voles, Moles, and Gophers
Posted by Shelby Carlson on 24th Mar 2023
Have you noticed that certain pests are ruining your garden? Deerbusters knows that besides deer, home gardeners face many pests that can destroy their gardens overnight. These pests can eat your plants, ruin new seedlings, and uproot all your effort and hard work. The good news is that there are basic steps that you can take to ensure that these pests don’t continue to cause issues around your garden. This blog series will help you with DIY solutions to keeping those pests at bay and how Deerbusters can help avoid the constant headaches they bring. This month we’re looking specifically at voles, moles, and gophers – the burrowing pests that will turn your garden, yard, and landscape upside down!
Why Are Voles A Problem And What Can You Do?
Voles often make a home in gardens that they tend to find comfortable. While their numbers usually remain quite low, you might notice a surge in the autumn. This surge means they can cause much damage just before winter begins. Voles tend to create a network of tunnels in the soil. These tunnels can cause the lawn to look uneven, ruining the aesthetic. They might also eat many of your plants and shrubs, including tulip bulbs and crocus corms. If you are growing vegetables in your garden, there’s also a strong chance that voles will dig in and leave them half-eaten.
They might also chew on the stems of young trees and ornamental plants, leading to damage and dieback. You might even notice layers of excrement along the runways that they cause in their wake.
There are a few ways to deal with voles that are causing havoc. First, you should keep the ground around your garden clear. It needs to be well-weeded and mowed. Voles love long grass that keeps them hidden from predators.
Some deterrent sprays work well with voles, including those with a garlic barrier spray or some castor oil. It won’t damage your foliage but will deter voles from chowing down in the future.
You can even plant some alliums such as onions, chives, and garlic in with your plants. Their natural scent will surely put voles off visiting your garden in the future.
The best way to keep voles out of your garden space is to use the proper fencing. At DeerBusters, we have various fence products that could be suitable here. To protect areas of your garden from voles, you need to bury a fence 6 inches beneath the soil surface. The fence will need to be bent outwards in an L-shape. Above the ground, the fence should be between 4 and 12 inches tall. Quarter-inch, non-rusting fence mesh is best to ensure that your fencing remains durable. Our hardware cloth provides the perfect protection to protect your garden.
Why Are Moles More of A Mountain Than A Molehill For Gardeners?
Moles can cause more trouble for gardeners and homeowners than you might know. First, there are the molehills themselves. These will ruin the aesthetic of your landscaping and lawn as the moles make big heaps of excavated soil.
These pests can provide certain benefits, including eating the extra bugs around your garden. However, they can also disturb the roots of plants and flower beds in your yard. As such, the perks may not outweigh the issues they create. They can also provide access to more rodents, including the abovementioned voles. So, how can you stop moles from creating hills and headaches?
Moles don’t like plants such as daffodils, alliums, and marigolds. As such, if you border your garden with these, then you can prevent moles from entering your yard in the first place. These deterrents are safe for other wildlife, pets, and small children.
You can also escape an issue with moles by using noise. Buzzing noises deter moles from getting too close to your home. Devices like this are budget friendly and can be set up all over your garden.
Alternatively, you can use products such as castor oil to ensure that your vegetation is no longer a pleasant option for moles visiting your home.
In terms of physical landscaping steps that you can take to stop moles from causing havoc, you could dig a trench around your garden beds. This trench is lined with a wire mesh to prevent moles from getting too close.
The trench should be at least three feet and include rocks and the mesh. There are guides online explaining how to create a trench like this in your garden. Our wire mesh from DeerBusters is available with PVC-coating and non-PVC options depending on your requirements.
Why Are Gophers Trouble And How Can You Get Rid Of Them?
Finally, gophers can cause a variety of issues around your home. They can destroy the roots of plants, create dirt mounds like moles and impact the structural integrity of your yard. These mammals may also carry diseases such as rabies and will not display symptoms themselves. As such, you’ll never know how dangerous they are by looking at them.
There are lots of repellents that you can use to get rid of gophers. For instance, use castor oil. It tastes awful to gophers and the pungent smell will prevent the pests from entering the area. Or, you might want to try fish oil, coffee grounds, and peppermint oil near the gopher tunnels. You can also add these products anywhere that needs protection around your yard.
Like moles, you can get rid of gophers by buying a hardware cloth and putting it at least 24’’ beneath the surface of the garden beds or around the garden. It may be the best option if you do not see any results from the natural options we mentioned.
While pests like voles and moles can seem like a nuisance with no remedy, there are always steps that you can take to eliminate the issues that they cause. These solutions are humane and highly effective. They are also simple enough to try out in your garden. Use DeerBusters to help not only stop deer but all varieties of garden pests! We have tried and tested humane and safe solutions for all animals..