Organic Mole Control for the Home Lawn and Garden

A question about Mole Control:

I live in Vermont and now that spring is finally here and the snow is all gone for good, we realized that we have moles in our lawn. I've read your article about moles and your advice to control them by controlling the grubs that they are eating.

But my question is, isn't it too early for grubs? Also, we had a chemical lawn service last summer (which I'm not doing this year—taking the natural approach instead) and they did apply grub control. So I'm not sure what those moles are after, but they are definitely there! I was just reading about a product that controls (scares away) moles with fox urine scent. It's natural and safe for my family and my lawn, but I just wanted your opinion on whether these type of products are really effective. Any thoughts?

Doug says

One of the interesting things about gardening is how all kinds of things are related and we really don't think about them as such.

For example. Moles love grubs but they're "meat-eaters" so they're also after worms. Worms are good guys in the garden and improve your soil. So even if your lawn care service nuked your lawn for grubs, there is still a food source.

"Nuking Your Lawn"

As for nuking lawns, I suspect there are still grubs there. Grubs are not a single year event - different species live in the ground for different number of years. So you're going to see most grubs living there for at least one full year before they make their way to the surface as adults in their second year.

I can't say about fox urine but I've always wondered how one collects fox urine?

Sonic Torpedoes Work

I do know that the sonic torpedoes seem to work for some gardeners (stick a humming torpedo into the ground, the sound drives them away) and that mole-med or castor beans work as well.

The ultimate grub protection is a combination of Doom (a natural fungus) and predator nematodes (that eat them).

Castor Oil also works and there are product on the market for these or you can go to the drugstore and buy castor oil in small bottles. Mix it up at 4 ounces of castor oil to one gallon of water and a squirt of dish soap (to help it stick and spray onto plants) and then soak the areas you want protected.

My take on most of these things is that they all work "a little bit". None of them are a silver bullet able to completely control the problem. And that's the joy and beauty (and frustration for new organic gardeners) ;-) You have to do a lot of little things to give your plants an edge to grow well. You'll never control all the problems (even with chemicals you never really get 'em all) but you learn to relax and understand that your lawn and gardens are living things - sharing with the good, the bad and the ugly every season.

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