How Do I Prepare My Garden to Keep Out Moles & Voles?


Moles and voles can create extensive tunnel systems in your garden soil, damaging the roots of your vegetables and other garden plants. Although moles won't usually eat your plants or plant roots, voles are more likely to feed on your garden plants, particularly your tulip bulbs. You can prepare your garden to keep out moles and voles by making an underground and above-ground border around your garden bed using hardware cloth.

Step 1

Dig a trench around the perimeter of your garden bed using a flat shovel. Make the trench about 9 inches deep and 9 inches wide.

Step 2

Slide the hardware cloth into the trench so that it lines the entire perimeter of your garden with no gaps. Lay half of the hardware cloth along the bottom of the trench, extending outward from your garden perimeter.

Step 3

Curve the other half of the hardware cloth up so it lines the trench vertically and extends about 3 inches above the ground.

Step 4

Refill the trench with the displaced soil. Use your feet to pack down the soil and secure the hardware cloth in the trench.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some states consider moles and voles to be "wild, non-game" animals and do not allow you to hunt or trap them. Check your state's laws and regulations concerning moles and voles before killing them. Avoid over-watering your garden plants. Over-watering is not only bad for your plants, but it also attracts moles.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat shovel
  • Hardware cloth, ¼-inch thick, 18-24 inches wide
  • Chicken wire or mesh wire fencing, ¼-inch (optional)
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • Seattle PI: Mole and Vole Control: More Expert Tips

Who Can Help

  • NC State University Cooperative Extension: Moles & Voles
Keywords: control garden moles, control garden voles, mole and vole

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.