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Advice for dealing with Moles and Voles

Holes?  Oh  No --  Voles!!

Question: I know this has been covered on past shows, but what are your suggestions on identifying and driving off those burrowing critters, voles and moles?  Thanks.

                                   ----John Corcoran; Lansdale, PA

Question: Dear Mike: On a recent show you talked with a woman from NC about mole control using beneficial nematodes and milky spore disease. We live in Goldsboroand have also been plagued by moles in the natural areas of our yard. I have just ordered nematodes from Gardens Alive!. Please remind me of the details on using milky spore. Thanks for your help. I love your show and listen every week.

                                   ---Diana Pike; Goldsboro, North Carolina

Question: Over the past few months my backyard has suddenly changed from a grassy square to a place where the earth is no longer level, with holes all over. I have 3 dogs and so never use chemicals outside. What could be doing this to my backyard and what can I do of a healthy nature to get rid of the problem? Thanks. You are my best resource.

                                   ----Sheila Bodine; Princeton, NJ


Answer: Boy, Sheila's plaintive plea sure reminds me of when Princess Leia sent that message to Obi Wan, doesn't it? I'm comin' Sheil—just let me find those Daylily droids and my trusty Slug-Saber and I'll save you from that nasty Darth Diazanon!

            All seriousness aside, our email has been absolutely burning up with similar complaints. Generally DEER win the 'Pest of the Year' award, but so far moles and voles are hands down the biggest problem our gardeners are confronting early this season. So first, let's discuss the important differences between these underground pests:

Moles are mostly blind, strange looking little guys with BIG front claws that eat grubs and earthworms in lawns. They NEVER eat plants; but the raised tunnels can make your lawn look really bumpy.

Voles make lots of little holes in the ground; they look more like mice, but with really long weaseley snouts. Voles are a HUGE garden threat; they eat plants, and lots of 'em. Their favorite foods are tulip bulbs and the roots of plants like host as.

You Bet Your Garden   ©2004 Mike McGrath 


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