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Q&A with Handy Mac: How to get rid of moles

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Val has a problem I believe most of us have faced:

As it is my “birthday” column I believe I am entitled to move off building and DIY topics just once. Val has a problem I believe most of us have faced:

Q:Do you know a way to get rid of moles in a garden? A year ago, the garden could have been described as a builder’s rubbish dump. Gardening is my passion and with a lot of thought and hard work, and despite water restrictions, we have trees, flower beds, shrubs, roses – and moles.

We have tried pills from the garden shop, wild garlic, mothballs and a pest control company. Do you know of a way to get rid of them permanently?

A: There appears to be an argument that unless moles are digging up your garden, they are best left to get on with it. In theory they are keeping your garden soil well aerated while eating slugs, snails and other grubs that probably do more harm to your plants. But I have ideas to get rid of them.

When we were young my friend Peter would go into the bush and catch mole snakes which were put into gardens with a mole problem. This seemed to work, but I can’t remember when I last saw a snake.

Noise was considered a deterrent and owners of guns would discharge them into the holes. Empty 2 litre plastic bottles put upside down into holes with cut-outs in the bottles let the wind generate noise through the bottles. The other favourite was a hose pipe down the hole.

If you want to get rid of the mole without harming it: Blend ¼ cup castor oil, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp liquid dish detergent. Use a blender to mix. Add 6 tbsp of water and blend again. Put the solution in a sealed container and keep it in storage until you see a new mound.

When you are ready, add 2 tbsp of the original solution to 4 litres water and mix well. Use a spray bottle or dump the solution into the problem area. Pour it down holes, along the top of tunnels and around mounds.

The moles will move on.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: Like us on Facebook

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