If set up correctly, vibration devices can be an effective way to get rid of voles and moles in yard quickly. Unfortunately though … unless you are only trying to protect only a small area or a few specific plants … this can become quite an expensive approach to mole and vole control. (Though ongoing costs and effort are close to zero … so you only have to fork out the money once … and you will be free of moles for years to come.) Compared to other methods, vibration devices are easy to set up. They are safe with kids and pets, and generally friendly to the environment.
How does this method get rid of moles in yard work?
Vibration devices typically come in the form of short sticks that are inserted into the soil. The devices vibrate at periodic intervals (usually every 30 to 90 seconds). The vibrations travels through the ground … protecting a circular area around it from voles or moles in yard.
Therefore, the level of protection is very high close to the device, but gets weaker as you move away from it. As with sound devices, vibration devices work best on heavy clay or rock type of soils … as the vibrations travels further. Where grounds are dry/sandy or loose the radius of protection is smaller … meaning that more devices will be needed to get rid of moles in yard.
How effective is this method?
Vibration devices are one of the most effective way to get rid of voles and moles in yard. However … the protected area around the devices is often much smaller than claimed by manufacturers. On dry and loose soils, the radius of full protection around each device can be as small as 3 – 25 ft (1-5 m). In such cases it is often necessary to buy a lot of devices.
Is this an expensive method to remove moles in yard?
Depending on your type of soil and the size of area to be protected … this method can quickly become quite an expensive way to get rid of voles and moles in yard. On the positive side, ongoing costs are almost zero (replacing the batteries every few years) … so it’s suitable for people who want to invest once and then “be done with it”.
How much effort does this method involve?
It’s usually quite easy and fast to put the vibration devices together and to place them in the soil … even if you have a high number of devices. (On clay-type soils, we recommend to put them into the ground when it’s wet.)
A bit of effort will need to be spent on testing the effective range of the devices (see above) … and on working out the best locations and spacing of the devices. Even though this is easy to do … we recommend not to skip this important step unless you are protecting specific plants rather than entire areas.
Once you have placed all the devices, you won’t have anything left to do … other than exchanging the batteries periodically. We strongly recommend devices with solar panels where you only need to do this every one to three years.
There may be an additional consideration for big lawns: Usually, vibration devices would be placed outside the actual grass … or at least close to the edge, next to trees or into adjacent hedges. This avoids having to remove them for mowing the lawn and also reduces the visual impact of the devices. On big lawns and loose/sandy type of soils, this may not be sufficient … and you may have to place vibration devices into the middle of the lawns. Although removing those devices for mowing is easy, it can end up being a nuissance depending on how many you have.
Environmental, animal and safety matters
This method is one of the most environmentally and animal friendly method to get rid of voles and moles in yard. It’s one of the few pest control methods where no animals or plants are harmed.
The devices cannot easily be pulled out of the ground … so generally they don’t form a risk to young children or pets.
In situations where you need to place some devices into the middle of the lawn (see above), the devices can institute a minor trip hazard.
Summary of pro’s and con’s
- Effective short and long-term projection against voles and moles in yard
- Friendly to animals and the environment, safe to humans and pets
- Low one-off effort to implement
- Expensive in most cases
For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles”