Raking my backyard this time of year is akin to shoveling snow after a blizzard. If you don’t know exactly where your sidewalk is you don’t know what you’ll find underneath. If you do, then you happily see concrete and move the snow to a better place.
In my yard, I expect to find grass underneath all of the leaves and pine needles as I push them to the inside boundaries of my garden burms and compost heaps. But what I found was a subhabitat; a world of mole holes. I gave up counting as I continued to rake, feeling the earth shift beneath my feet. Ugh.
I’ve seen the armadilloes at nighttime scurrying about. I’ve seen their divets left in the yard the next morning along with little holes the squirrels dig to hid their acorns. Not that big of a deal, really. It’s nature.
Moles are nature, too, but I’d rather them hang out somewhere else. So what can I do?
Moles, can be good. They do aerate your soil. They do add organic matter to your soil. They do kill grubs. But if they are in my yard, so are grubs. So do I eliminate the mole or the grub?
To get rid of unwanted grubs you can use grub killers from the store (some claim to kill grubs in 24 hours) or you can make a grub killer. This is as simple as adding to 4 gallons of very wam water the following: 6 tbsp. baking soda, 4 tbsp. oil soap, 4 tbsp. vegetable oil, and 4 tbsp. vinegar. Stir until dissolved and apply with a sprayer. I don’t know how often you need to reapply. I think I’ll go for the commercial stuff and get it over with quickly.
Eradicating grubs is a good start but I’ll have to work on the moles as well. Just getting rid of their food source may not be enough. There may also be a lot of beneficial worms in my yard’s soil which they’ll eat on.
DIY mole repellant is tedious; too much work for me so I’ll stick to something from the garden store; a quick fix that won’t harm my dog is what I’ll be looking for. But if you’re interested in DIY mole repellants you’re looking at: putting castor oil down each hole, putting a stick of chewing gum down each hole, placing mouse traps near each hole, flooding the holes with garden water, trapping the mole in an obviously active mound by putting a shovel or barrier in front of and behind the mole you fine (then you have to scoop it out and toss it somewhere). You can also take a roller over your yard to compact the mole tunnels so they will theoretically leave. All of this seems a bit riduclous to me and time consuming. But help yourself.
Once I am finished raking the yard, I’ll take care of the underground wildlife.
But as soon as I get the yard raked, and the pests eradicated it’ll be time for the blizzard of oak leaves about to fall from the trees. Then I’ll rake some more.