Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlis­ter, is our ex­pert on house­hold DIY is­sues

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - HOME -

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:


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?


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’s pet hate is su­per­mar­ket floors be­ing cleaned dur­ing busy shop­ping times. PIC­TURE: PIX­ABAY

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