Sad Saturday: War with Moles

Welcome to Sad Saturday – the place to come on the first Saturday of each month where we keep it real and share our mistakes and things that didn’t quite work out. I refuse to call them failures…everything’s a learning experience, isn’t it?

And, oh, have we had some learning experiences here at An Oregon Cottage. In fact, it was hard to choose the first one to write about, but in the end,the bane of our summer won out:

We have waged a battle against moles this summer (no, not voles- that was so last summer…). These are all the various remedies we have tried, starting with all the “natural” ones and slowly progressing to the whatever we thought might get rid of them.

Oh, how the mighty do fall (that would be us organic gardeners, not, unfortunately the moles).

However, you can see from these pictures taken yesterday how useless they’ve all been. I count about 15 mounds in this mulched area we were preparing for plants this fall (there are more in the border behind). It’s only about 20 feet long and maybe 5 feet wide, yet there are 15 mounds!

They love the moisture held in by the newspaper and mulch over old lawn for some reason.

They’ve wreaked havoc on the plastic we laid down in the berry patch to cover the awful weeds. And, yes, we were are planning to cover this with coarse straw at some point…

As the final humiliation, they’ve dared to come up right in the gravel paths of the raised bed vegetable garden. Oh, they can’t find their way into the tall beds after we vole-proofed them, but that didn’t keep them out of the garden.

We can’t seem to win this war. And we’ve tried…

Have you tried anything to thwart moles that’s worked? I’d love to hear about it!



  1. Ive heard peeled cloves of raw garlic put in the holes will work. My inlaws said the neighbor had alot and did that. Now they are gone.

  2. I saw on a home improvement program a few days ago where they put wire mesh down under the sod or in the flower bed areas before putting down the sod or mulch to keep the moles from digging thru those areas. Might be worth a shot at this point. Somehow it detours them. I think it was on Hammer Heads on HGTV.

  3. I put dish soap (lots of it) and filled the holes with water. Seems to have worked.

  4. God luck winning your war. The little devils aways seem to find a way around the deterrents.

  5. Jennifer Barker says:

    My husband puts droppings from our cat’s litter box down in the hoes and that seems to at least keep them away from those areas. But then they just dig holes elsewhere!

  6. Dan@retrooregon says:

    I would love to join the Sad Saturday if I could just pick one… and had pictures to share. We’ll see.

  7. I linked up a general parenting failure. :)

    As far as the moles, I can’t help. My cats keep moles and voles out of our yard pretty successfully. Good luck with that!

  8. I read online that you can use ammonia and newspaper to get rid of moles. You take the newspaper, crumble it and stuff in their hole, then pour on ammonia. Cover this with more newspaper and then dirt. I tried this method and it did work to an extent. It drove one mole out of its hole and my cats killed it. There are still a ton of mole holes in my yard though. Its not real efficient for a large yard.

  9. Dynamite? LOL Nothing I have tried including garlic has worked. However a friend of mine said to plant Castor Bean plants. Another person said spearmint gum.

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