Mole and vole repellents are an effective method to control these rodents … but only if used thoroughly and frequently. Unfortunately this often means both high cost and high effort. An advantage of mole and vole repellents is the fact that they are very friendly to animals and the environment.
How do mole and vole repellents work?
Rodents have very sensitive noses and dislike certain smells. If these smells are strong enough … moles and voles will avoid the area. Typical smells are derived from predator urine (including cats and dogs), castor oil, essential oils such as peppermint oil, garlic extract or moth balls. (Other smelly chemicals such as bleach or ammonia can also work in some circumstance … but they are highly polluting … and only last for a few days at best anyway.)
Application of these vole and mole repellents is simple: The materials are sprayed or dispersed straight onto the plants to be protected. If rodents are already present … the treatment is also applied directly onto their burrow system … especially the exit mole or vole holes.
How effective is this method short and long term?
The effectiveness of vole and mole repellents depends on the following three factors:
- Type of repellent: Predator urine has a strong deterring effect … but it doesn’t last very long … especially in wet conditions. Castor oil, moth balls or essential oils are slightly less strong initially … but remain effective over longer periods.
- Thoroughness of application: The more mole and vole repellent you use … the better the protection. (But also … the higher the cost.)
- Frequency of application: Regardless of the type of repellent … the amount will naturally reduce over time … and therefore reduce the effectiveness of mole and vole protection. The more wind and rain you have, the faster this will happen.
If applied properly and frequently, mole and vole repellents are usually very effective. (However, many people stop the treatment or reduce its frequency once the rodents are gone. In most of those cases the animals will then come back after a few months or even earlier.)
Is this method expensive?
Yes, in most cases. Although a single bottle or bag of purchased mole and vole repellent is usually not expensive … costs can add up quickly for large areas and reapplication over time.
Some home-made vole and mole repellents can be cheap or even for free.
How much effort does this method involve?
This depends on the size of the area and how often you need to apply the mole and vole repellent: A single application does not take much time … but re-doing the effort every month or so will quickly at up. As mentioned above … the more rain and wind you have … the more often you will need to apply the vole and mole repellent.
If you prepare your vole and mole repellent yourself at home … you will have less costs but more effort.
Environmental, animal and safety matters
This is generally a very environmentally friendly approach to rodent control: No animals are killed … and most vole and mole repellents such as vegetable oils or predator urine are based on natural substances. (Most moth balls are less environmentally friendly … as they are often based on synthetic chemicals such as naphthalene or chlorobenzene.)
Depending on the type of repellent used … care may need to be taken for children to avoid the area directly after application.
Summary of pro’s and con’s
- Effective rodent control if applied thoroughly and frequently
- Very animal friendly
- Most mole and vole repellents are natural and environmentally friendly
- Needs frequent re-application
- Usually high cost unless home-made repellents are used
- Smells can be unpleasant to humans as well
For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles”